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Analyzing the Dynamics and Morphology of Cast‐off Pattern at Different Speed Levels Using High‐speed Digital Video Imaging

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During a bloodstain pattern analysis, one of the essential tasks is to distinguish between different kinds of applied forces as well as to estimate their level of intensity. In this study, high‐speed digital imaging has been used to analyze the formation of cast‐off patterns generated by a simulated backswing with a blood‐bearing object. For this purpose, 0.5 mL blood was applied evenly over the last 5 cm of a blade simulant. Bloodstains were created through the controlled acceleration of a backswing at different speed levels between 1.1 m/sec and 3.8 m/sec. The flight dynamics of blood droplets were captured with an Olympus® i‐Speed 3 high‐speed digital camera with a Nikon® AF Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 D lens and analyzed using the Olympus i‐Speed 3 Viewer software. The video analysis showed that, during the backswing, blood droplets would move toward the lower end of the knifepoint and would be tangentially thrown off. These droplets impacted on the horizontal surface according to the arc of the swing. An increase in velocity led to longer cast‐off patterns with distinct morphological characteristics. Under laboratory conditions, bloodstain pattern analysis allows certain conclusions about the intensity of a backswing and provides instructions on the position of the offender. However, due to the number of unknown variables at a crime scene, such interpretation of cast‐off patterns is extremely limited and should be performed with extreme caution.
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Keywords: bloodstain pattern analysis; cast‐off pattern; crime scene reconstruction; criminalistics; forensic science; high‐speed digital imaging

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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