Bloodstain Pattern Identification
Forensic Science Period 4 Julia Davis
What exactly is Bloodstain Pattern Analysis?
- A discipline of Forensic Science that deciphers how the blood was shed, and the events leading up to the crime.
- Examines the characteristics of blood stains left behind at the crime scene.
- Can determine the weapon used, how fast the blood left the body, movement of the victim, and the amount of wounds caused.
Minimum Schooling Required (Set by The Federal Bureau of Investigations)
- A bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) in an area related to bloodstain pattern analysis from an accredited college or university.
- An associates degree in an area related to bloodstain pattern analysis from an accredited college or university, in addition with two years of BPA related experience.
- A high school diploma (or its equivalent) and four years of career-related experience.
- Career-related experience meaning:
- Crime scene investigator
- Criminal investigator
- Forensic Science technician
New bloodstain pattern analysts are also required to go through particular training in addition to schooling
- To work independently, analysts must pass an exam demonstrating competence in the field.
- Workshops, conferences, and classes are available for required 8 hours of continued BPA-related education for bloodstain pattern analysts.
Bloodstain Pattern Analysts can earn an annual salary of $30,000 to $83,000.
- However, all forensic science technicians earn an average salary of approximately $55,000.
A strong background in a scientific discipline is vital to becoming a bloodstain pattern analyst.
- Due to the discipline's emphasis on physical laws, (such as the trajectory of a bullet, knife, etc., location/direction of the victim/killer), a strong background in physics is highly recommended, as well as mathematics.
- It is also important for a bloodstain pattern analyst to have backgrounds in natural sciences such as physics, biology, chemistry, and be knowledgeable in anatomy and criminology.
The Bloodstain Pattern Identification discipline is found in states with large cities, and analysts work together with the police department.
- Bloodstain pattern analysts work together with criminal investigators at crime scenes, and also work in local and state-run laboratories.
- Newly hired bloodstain pattern analysts must work under a mentor's instruction.
History of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
- Brought attention to the significance of bloodstains by observing the bloodstains created from beating rabbits to death.
- Published a study called "On the formation, form, direction and spreading of blood stains resulting from blunt trauma at the head"
- Prompted the realization that from blood spatters, the impact of and the events that lead up to the crime can be recreated.
- Found that one can determine the location at which the blood was spilled by calculating the point where the bloodstains converge.
Samuel Sheppard Case--Samuel Sheppard was convicted of murdering his wife, yet was not found guilty due to a lack of evidence.
- Murder case still remains unsolved
- Called attention to the significance of bloodstains
- P.L. Kirk from the University of California at Berkeley began a research project to further explore the case.
- The International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts was created to support the BPA field.
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