Detecting Blood Patterns in Soil with Luminol Two Years after Deposition

Adair, T.W., Shimamoto, S., Tewes, R., and Gabel, R.


This is the second and final report on a two-year study conducted at the Highlands Ranch Law Enforcement Training Facility in Douglas County, Colorado (USA). The first report discussed the findings of the study through twelve months of observations (1). This report will discuss continued observations between the twelve and twenty-four month intervals. This study began in October of 2004 and was designed to last until October 2006. In the initial experiment six grid units were established on a hilltop at the research facility. Each grid unit measured twenty four inches square and the units were aligned north to south beginning with Unit #1. The grid units were exposed to full sun and other environmental conditions. No shade was available at the site. Five hundred milliliters (500 ml) of horse blood was poured in an “X” pattern in each grid unit during the first week of October 2004. Each arm of the “X” consisted of 250 ml of blood. There were no visible signs of the blood on the surface soil within one week of depositing the blood. Elevation at the site is approximately 1830m (6000 ft) above sea level and is comprised mainly of gently rolling hills of Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) with scattered stands of conifer. The site also consists of native grasses and low mesa topography. The site has been controlled by active law enforcement since 1985 and there is no history of blood letting or blood experimentation in the study location. Weather records for the two year study were obtained from the Colorado Climate Center at the Castle Rock station in the city of Castle Rock which was located approximately 10 miles to the south. A total of 33 inches of precipitation fell on the site during the two year study period. This is in line with the annual average of approximately 16.6 inches of precipitation recorded from 1948 to 2005 for the Castle Rock area as reported by the Colorado Climate Center.

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Open Access: The International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts Journal is an Open Access publication with all accepted and published manuscripts available at to members of the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts and the general public with permitted reuse. This license allows for the distribution of published manuscripts provided proper credit is given to the author(s).