1st Edition

Scientific and Legal Applications of Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation

By Stuart H. James Copyright 1999

    Since 1955 when Dr. Paul Kirk first presented a bloodstain evidence affidavit in State of Ohio v. Samuel Sheppard, expert testimony on bloodstain interpretation has gained wide acceptance in U.S. courts. Scientific and Legal Applications of Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation brings together some of the most respected and noted experts in forensic science, the law, and bloodstain interpretation to provide a comprehensive overview of the discipline. It discusses research, applications, and the current view of bloodstain pattern interpretation within the legal system at the trial and appellate court levels, as well as scientific approaches and developments in the field.
    Scientific and Legal Applications of Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation will help attorneys who are questioning and cross-examining expert witnesses have a good working knowledge of bloodstain interpretation. Included is a full-color atlas of bloodstains, in conjunction with a glossary of terms and an outline of basic laboratory experiments that are commonly used in the discipline.

    Among the outstanding contributions in this volume you will find:

  • An excellent chapter by Carol Henderson discusses the legal and ethical aspects of bloodstain pattern evidence in detail.
  • A post-conviction analysis by Marie Elena Saccoccio evaluates how bloodstain evidence can play a role in the appeal process.

    Misinterpretation and overinterpretation of bloodstain evidence can occur in our courts of law-be prepared to effectively analyze the evidence and the testimony with Scientific and Legal Applications of Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation.
  • Defining the "Address" of Bloodstains and Other Evidence at the Crime Scene, William C. Fischer
    Two Angles and a Distance
    Surface Designation
    Establishing the Flight Path
    Solving for the Slope of the Flight Path
    Solving for the Point of Intersection
    Calculating the Value of the Third Coordinate
    Calculating the Distance from Stain to PO
    Other Objects and Surfaces
    Bloodstain Pattern Analysis with a Computer, Alfred L. Carter
    Part I-Computing the String Direction
    Part II-Actual Flight Paths Compared to Virtual Strings
    Part III-The Virtual String Analysis of a Bloodstain Pattern Using BackTrack/Win
    Utilizing Bloodstains in Accident Reconstruction, William C. Fischer
    Relative Motion
    Pattern Recognition
    Case Examples
    The Use of Presumptive Testing for Blood, T. Paulette Sutton
    Presumptive Tests for Blood
    Presumptive Test Mechanism
    Benzidine Test
    Benzidine Test Reagent-Single Stage
    Benzidine Test Reagent-Two Stage
    ortho-Toluidine Test
    Hemastix® Test
    Leucomalachite Green Test-Single Stage
    Leucomalachite Green Test-Two Stage
    Phenolphthalein Test
    Luminol Test
    Sensitivity of Presumptive Tests for Blood
    False Positives
    Results of Study
    Terminology and Color Atlas of Bloodstains and Patterns, Stuart H. James
    Approach to Case Evaluation and Report Writing, Paul Erwin Kish
    Approaching Bloodstain Pattern Cases
    Sequence for Approaching Bloodstain Pattern Cases
    Factors to Consider When Analyzing a Bloodstain Pattern Case
    The Bloodstain Report
    Legal and Ethical Aspects of Bloodstain Pattern Evidence, Carol Henderson
    Legal Issues
    Direct and Cross Examination of the Expert
    Ethical Issues
    Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation-A Post-Conviction Analysis, Marie Elena Saccoccio
    A Bit of History
    The Post-Conviction Attorney's Role-So Daunting a Task
    The Appeal
    The Collateral Attack
    Outline of Basic Laboratory Experiments for Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation, Stuart H. James
    The Volume of a Drop of Blood
    Diameter of a Bloodstain Produced by Single Drops of Blood of Constant Volume as a Function of Distance Fallen and Surface Texture
    Effect of Surface Texture on Spatter of Blood Drops and the Size and Edge Characteristics of the Resultant Bloodstains
    Bloodstain Shape vs. Angle of Impact
    Angular Impact Produced by Horizontal Motion
    Drip Patterns of Blood and Splashed Blood vs. Distance Fallen
    Projected Blood vs. Distance Fallen and Blood Projected on Vertical Surfaces
    Cast-Off Bloodstains
    Medium-Velocity Impact Blood Spatter
    High-Velocity Impact Blood Spatter
    Recognition of Blood Contact-Transfer Patterns, Swipes or Smears, Smudges and Wipes of Blood
    Blood Volume vs. Bloodstained Area
    Bloodstain Size vs. Horizontal Projection
    Clotting and Drying Time of Blood
    Presumptive Testing of Blood
    Appendix 1: Affidavit of Paul Leland Kirk (State of Ohio v. Samuel H. Sheppard
    Appendix 2: Illustrative Testimony-A Motion in Limine for the Admissibility of Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation
    Appendix 3: Court Decisions Relating to Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation
    Appendix 4: Court Decisions Relating to Presumptive Blood Testing
    Appendix 5: Trigonometric Tables


    Stuart H. James