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Science and Crime: Blood Splatter

This guide examines how science contributed to the conviction (and release) of criminals from the justice system

Forensic Magazine

Click the image above to view current developments and research in forensic science in this online magazine.



Background Information

Confirming the Accuracy of Bloodstain Pattern Examiners Crime scenes can present a variety of bloodstain patterns on assorted surfaces. To verify examiners’ accuracy in determining what happened at a crime scene based on a particular pattern, scientists asked analysts to review more than 700 patterns falling within six different pattern types. Generally, the results indicated that bloodstain pattern analysts had lower error rates when classifying patterns on rigid surfaces than when classifying patterns on fabric surfaces (13 percent vs. 23 percent). These rates varied by pattern type, and some patterns were more reliably classified than others. Researchers also found evidence of confirmation bias, meaning that when analysts were given a scenario that pointed deliberately toward the correct classification, they were more likely to select that classification for the bloodstain pattern. These results indicate that more work is needed to understand how the interaction of blood with different surfaces influences the observed patterns. NIJ has ongoing investments in fluid dynamics research with the goal of providing examiners with objective computational tools to assist in their analyses. In addition, the results of the bias study indicate that crime labs and law enforcement agencies should take steps to minimize extraneous information that analysts receive before they conduct an analysis.

Blood Splatter Analysis

Blood Typing

Blood Splatter

Forensic Science BLOG – Forensic Serology

Excellent site as entry point into an explanation with illustrations.

What Is Forensic Serology?
Online article from

Forensic Serology
Article from

Forensic serology - Blood
Slideshare presentation. Check accuracy of information against a ferified source

Forensic serology
Blood may be gross, sticky and smelly, but it one of the best methods of solving crimes, where there are no suspects, but there is blood reminisce on a surface.

Blood serology 1
The Thin Blue Line [NSW Police]. False identification and blood groups

Blood serology 2
Probably one of the most famous or infamous cases in which blood stains played a key role was that of Azaria Chamberlain.

Blood serology 3
The Thin Blue Line [NSW Police]. Blood stain pattern analysis

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis in Action: The Chamberlain Case
How blood stain pattern analysis works