Solving crime using the bleeding obvious

blood1Forensic experts are helping to solve crime with equipment that they always carry with them and that doesn’t rely on expensive gadgetry – their eyes.

Professor Adrian Linacre, South Australia Chair in Forensic Science at Flinders University will explain at a seminar on Thursday, 1 July how blood pattern analysis is a relatively simple yet underused means of gathering valuable information about a crime.

“Blood pattern analysis requires no more than looking at the pattern of blood on items and at crime scenes,” Professor Linacre said.

“We know there is a direct relationship between the size of blood spots and force, namely, the greater the force, the smaller the spot,” he said.

“The highest impact, usually involving a gunshot or another mechanical device, creates a fine mist of blood.

“Equally, we know spots of blood can only travel certain distances. A fine mist of blood will normally travel a maximum of one metre.

“Using simple laws of physics and trigonometry, it is possible to determine the possible forces involved in blood loss and from where it most likely originated.”

Professor Linacre, who has presented evidence in a number of high profile murder cases in the UK, said blood pattern analysis is an additional tool in establishing the facts surrounding a crime.

“While DNA may identify whose blood it is, analysis of blood patterns on clothing or on a wall or floor can give critical information about how the blood got there,” he said.

Professor Linacre presents Blood Pattern Evidence Analysis: Tales from Taggartland and Beyond, on Thursday 1 July at a meeting of the Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society (SA Branch Inc).

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