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A Blind Trial Evaluation of a Crime Scene Methodology for Deducing Impact Velocity and Droplet Size from Circular Bloodstains

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In a previous study, mechanical engineering models were utilized to deduce impact velocity and droplet volume of circular bloodstains by measuring stain diameter and counting spines radiating from their outer edge. A blind trial study was subsequently undertaken to evaluate the accuracy of this technique, using an applied, crime scene methodology. Calculations from bloodstains produced on paper, drywall, and wood were used to derive surface-specific equations to predict 39 unknown mock crime scene bloodstains created over a range of impact velocities (2.2–5.7 m/sec) and droplet volumes (12–45 L). Strong correlations were found between expected and observed results, with correlation coefficients ranging between 0.83 and 0.99. The 95% confidence limit associated with predictions of impact velocity and droplet volume was calculated for paper (0.28 m/sec, 1.7 L), drywall (0.37 m/sec, 1.7 L), and wood (0.65 m/sec, 5.2 L).
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Keywords: blood drop; bloodstain pattern analysis; forensic science; spines

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre of Forensic Sciences, 25 Grosvenor Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M7A 2G8. 2: Ontario Provincial Police, 453 Landsdowne Street East, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 6X5.

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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