By: Dante Turiano
Did you know that blood is the most common, well-known, and perhaps the most important evidence in the world of criminal justice today!
A forensic serologist seeing how the blood got where it did in the crime scene
A forensic serologist studying the blood found in a crime scene
A forensic serologist about to test the blood type of the blood in the vial
How is Serology used in forensics?
Serology allows the forensic scientists to segregate bodily fluids when found at the scene of the crime and then perform a variety of tests on them in order to identify where these fluids originated from - or most importantly - who they came from.
How do you get to be a Forensic Serologist?
Forensic serologists need at least an undergraduate degree in biology, preferably with additional coursework in math and criminal investigation. Some law enforcement agencies may require advanced degrees as well, either in biology or in forensic science or criminal justice. Though not required, an internship offering hands-on experience can improve employment chances and prepare students for full-time work. Some employers also require continuing education courses. In addition, forensic serologists can earn certification in forensic investigation or biology, though most employers don't require this.
Real Life Criminal Case
In August 2001, a man walking his dog in Lindley Woods, near Otley, in West Yorkshire, found the body of 16-year old Leanne Tiernan, buried in a shallow grave. This was about ten miles from her home in Landseer Mount, Bramley, Leeds. She had been walking home from a Christmas shopping trip with her best friend in November 2000 when she disappeared. The scarf tied around Leanne Tiernan’s neck had a few hairs caught in the knot. Unfortunately, there was not sufficient DNA in the roots for standard DNA profiling. However, the scientists found very small amounts of DNA in the hair shaft and used mitochondrial DNA testing to match it to John Taylor. Forensic scientists found a strand of pink carpet fibre on her clothes, with specific patterns of dye. Though John Taylor had destroyed the carpet by burning it, police found strands around a nail that matched the fibre on her jumper. Searching under the floorboards, police found bloodstains that the forensic scientists identified as belonging to Leanne Tiernan. This realization would not have been done if forensic serologists were not in on the case!
Forensic Biology (DNA and Serology) Evidence
My Cited Sources
"Forensic Serology." Forensic Serology. Web. 1 Sept. 2015.
"Serology: Bodily Fluids." Serology: Bodily Fluids. Web. 2 Sept. 2015.
"Forensic Cases: The Murder of Leanne Tiernan." Forensic Cases: The Murder of Leanne Tiernan. Web. 2 Sept. 2015.