Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter


Blood in Murder Investigation

Sinisa Franjic

Finding and correctly interpreting blood traces can be of utmost importance in solving the circumstances surrounding the perpetration of the crime, the actions of the victim and the perpetrator at the scene, their contribution to the perpetration of the crime, their behavior after the perpetration of the crime. Unless the perpetrator is not known in the first stages of criminal investigation, blood traces, together with other material traces at the scene, can be a significant controlling factor in assessing the credibility and truthfulness of the statements of the event participants. In criminal and judicial practice, cases have been reported in which a thorough qualitative and quantitative analysis of traces of the blood was crucial for identifying the perpetrators, participants, as well as proving their role in the perpetration of the crime.

The first few minutes of a crime scene's processing can be the most critical moments of an entire investigation. At no other period will the investigators be closer to the moment the crime was committed. Investigators will never have the area more pristine or more unfettered from contamination. In those first few minutes, fingerprints, shoe prints, tire prints, trace evidence, and the state of the victim are all at their most informative. And yet, at no other time are mistakes more likely made that can potentially jeopardize successful prosecution of the crime's perpetrator.

Crime scene processing is an inherent task and duty associated with most criminal investigations, for rarely does one encounter a crime without some kind of crime scene. Crime scene processing consists of an examination and evaluation of the scene for the express purpose of recovering physical evidence and documenting the scene's condition in situ, or as found. To accomplish this, the crime scene technician engages in six basic steps: assessing, observing, documenting, searching, collecting, and analyzing. These steps, and the order in which they are accomplished, are neither arbitrary nor random. Each serves an underlying purpose in capturing scene context and recovering evidence without degrading the value of either. Any way you look at it, this is not an easy task, since the mere act of processing the scene disturbs the scene and evidence. From these efforts however, the investigator will walk away with important items of physical evidence and scene documentation in the form of sketches, photographs, notes, and reports. All of this information plays a significant role in resolving crime by providing objective data on which the investigating team can test investigative theories, corroborate or refute testimonial evidence, and ultimately demonstrate to the court the conditions and circumstances defined by the scene. This is a task that is easily said, but it is not so easily done.

Action without purpose is folly and, simply put, becomes wasted effort. This is true in any endeavor, so it is imperative that before pursuing the actions an investigator conducts in the crime scene, the investigator must understand his or her mandate. Crime scene processing is a duty in every sense of the word. Crime scene processing is not something the technicians do because "they were told to," but rather because they have a responsibility to do so. If the investigator fails to recognize this duty and its ultimate purpose, many of the procedures used at the scene might appear meaningless and therefore unnecessary.

Saliva is sprayed, hair is yanked from its roots, skin is scraped off, and flesh is torn. Violent crime inevitably leaves a number of different types of biological materials behind as witness to the attack. With the possible exception of semen in the case of sexual assault, no type of biological fluid or tissue is consistently more revealing about the victim, the attacker, and the circumstances of the assault than blood. Blood can yield DNA that identifies the crime's participants. Its splash patterns can reveal the site and mode of the attack. Blood can make an attacker's fingerprints or shoeprints readily visible.

We can all recognize a bloodstain. If it's fresh, it's red. Older bloodstains are a reddish brown. But not all stains having the color of blood are blood. A

< read the complete article >

Blood in Murder Investigation Copyright: © 2019 by Sinisa Franjic. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Based on a work at: Journal of Law and Judicial System, 2(3), 2019, pp. 18-22.

Related Content

25% OFF

Shirts by

25% OFF

With coupon code
"CLEARANCE" at checkout
Limited to styles and sizes on hand.
Orders are shipped to
USA addresses only.

Learn How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator
Learn How to Become a
Crime Scene Investigator
or Forensic Scientist

This Month's Featured Resource on the Crime Scene Investigator Network Website

Best Practices For Seizing Electronic Evidence, v.3
A Pocket Guide for First Responders

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
United States Secret Service

This third edition of the Best Practices for Seizing Electronic Evidence was updated as a project of the United States Secret Service and participating law enforcement agencies. A working group of various law enforcement agencies was convened to identify common issues encountered in today's electronic crime scenes.          <View the Pocket Guide>

New CSI and Forensic Job Announcements

The most comprehensive listing of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic
employment opportunities on the internet! We typically have over 150 current listings!

To be notified of job openings as they are posted, follow us on Twitter: Job Posting Alerts
or sign up for daily email alerts: Daily Job Posting Alert Emails

Crime Scene Investigator
Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Final Filing Date: September 25, 2020
Photographs and videotapes major crime scenes using 35 mm cameras, video cameras, and digital camera imagery; develops and prepares photographic enlargements for latent prints, shoe impressions, etc. Collects, packages, transports and submits evidence within prescribed standard operating procedures; transports evidence to appropriate crime labs...
<View complete job listing>
Forensic Specialist I (Crime Scene)
Virginia Beach Police Department, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Final Filing Date: September 30, 2020
Perform work in the recognition, collection, documentation, preservation and processing of physical evidence associated with criminal activity under investigation; process crime scenes; develop latent finger and palm prints at crime scenes and on evidence recovered at crime scenes; identify and recover all forms of evidence,
<View complete job listing>
Forensic Science Specialist Intern (Crime Scene)
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Largo, Florida, USA

Final Filing Date: October 15, 2020
Takes photographs of crime scenes and suspects; photographs scenes of accidents; takes casts of shoe prints, tire marks, and other impressions as directed; Identifies, collects, and preserves all matters of evidence as directed or released to his/her custody; prepares evidence for submission to laboratories; Processes crime scenes and related evidence for latent fingerprints for use in criminal proceedings;
<View complete job listing>
Latent Print Examiner
St. Petersburg Police Department, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Final Filing Date: September 28, 2020
This is important criminal identification work involving analysis and comparison of latent prints and related clerical functions. Work includes maintaining fingerprint card files, evaluating latent prints submitted by technicians, obtaining and comparing latent prints with known prints, preparing latent prints for use as evidence in criminal procedures,
<View complete job listing>

Crime Laboratory Technician I
Baltimore Police Department, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Final Filing Date: September 22, 2020
A Crime Laboratory Technician I learns to perform specialized crime laboratory work such as evidence detection, criminalistics, firearms, latent print examination or crime laboratory and crime scene photography.
<View complete job listing>
Crime Lab Scientist 1 (Serologist)
Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Division of Forensic Science, Decatur, Georgia, USA

Final Filing Date: September 25, 2020
Performs serology analyses of physiological fluids for the purpose of identification and individualization. The type of material typically examined includes, but is not limited to semen and saliva collected at crime scenes or from articles of physical evidence.
<View complete job listing>
Criminalist Supervisor
Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach, California, USA

Final Filing Date: September 25, 2020
Supervises and participates in physical and chemical analyses in the scientific detection and investigation of crimes, enforces procedures and practices of the Long Beach Police Department; Assigns and prioritizes casework and assignments for employees;
<View complete job listing>
Medicolegal Death Investigator
Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Final Filing Date: September 25, 2020
Performs death scene investigations and collects evidence and reports from a variety of agencies to supplement external examinations and autopsy reports regarding the cause and manner of death.
<View complete job listing>

Search for more job listings in Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics
<Crime Scene Investigator Network Employment Listings>

To be notified of job openings as they are posted, follow us on Twitter: Job Posting Alerts
or sign up for daily email alerts: Daily Job Posting Alert Emails

Other Resources on the Crime Scene Investigator Network Website
Not Subscribed to this Newsletter?

If you are not subscribed to this newsletter, you may subscribe with this link: SUBSCRIBE via email
or on our website by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE on our website.

To Unsubscribe

To unsubscribe from future e-mail alerts, please click here: UNSUBSCRIBE
or email with your request to unsubscribe.

Copyright ©2020 Crime Scene Resources, Inc.

Crime Scene Investigator Network
PO Box 1043
Wildomar, CA 92595-1043