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GOVERNMENT COLLEGE UNIVERSITY , LAHORE

Evidentiary Value Of Crime Scene


Evidences With Special Reference To
Bloodstain Spatter Analysis
Crime Scene Investigation
MUJAHID AMEEN

ROLL NO. 10

SUBMITTED TO: DR. MUHAMMAD ASHRAF TAHIR


D.G. PUNJAB FIORENSIC SCIENCE AGENCY , LAHORE
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CRIME SCENE EVIDENCE-BLOODSTAIN PATTERN ANALYSIS
Contents
1.0 Abstract ................................................................................................................................................... 3
2.0 Evidence: ................................................................................................................................................. 4
2.1 Types of Forensic Evidence ................................................................................................................. 4
2.2 Probative Value of Forensic Evidence ................................................................................................. 5
3.0 Reconstruction of the Crime Scene: ....................................................................................................... 6
4.0 Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: ................................................................................................................... 7
4.2 Evidentiary value of Bloodstain patterns: ........................................................................................... 8
4.3 Types of Bloodstains: .......................................................................................................................... 9
4.3.2 Transfer/contact pattern: .............................................................................................................. 10
4.3.3 Projected/Impact bloodstains: ...................................................................................................... 11
4.3.4. Differentiation on the basis of Velocity: ....................................................................................... 12
5.0 Bloodshed Events .................................................................................................................................. 14
6.0 Techniques for Blood Detection (Luminol) : ......................................................................................... 14
6.0 Examination and reconstruction of the crime scene: ........................................................................... 15
7.0 Documentation and evaluation ............................................................................................................ 16
8.0 Conclusion: ............................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
9.0 References ............................................................................................................................................ 16

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1.0 Abstract

Forensic science is the art of observation governed by the rules of science. The field of
Forensic Science begins at the crime scene which includes collection and preservation
of evidences found at the crime scene and ends at court of law via giving testimony.
Proving or disproving theories with the help of evidences to aid in describing the
involvement of a suspect in the crime or the factual reconstruction of the crime scene is
the essence of Forensic Science. Forensic Scientists analyze evidences found at the
crime scene and play very important role in determining the facts of the crime
occurrence. For Forensic Scientists to perform their job ethically, evidence from the
crime scene must be collected, preserved and brought to the crime laboratory strictly
following the chain of custody. The importance of crime scene evidences depends upon
the type of the crime, nature of the crime, crime scene. Each evidence depicts a story of
how it got at the crime scene or how it was involved in the crime etc. The potential
importance of the evidence is figured out by the crime scene investigator. It is CSI
team’s job to differentiate among the artifacts and potential evidence at the crime
scene. Some evidences enable the forensic scientists to reconstruct the crime scene.
Among those evidences, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA) is most important.
Bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) is the examination of shapes and the categorization
and distribution of bloodstain patterns in order to provide an interpretation of the
physical events of a crime which gave rise to their origin. The bloodstain patterns can
give valuable information concerning the events which lead to their creation when
examined by a qualified analyst. The information gained can then be used for the
reconstruction of an incident and the evaluation of statements of witnesses and crime
participants.

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2.0 Evidence:

Any piece of material, found at the crime scene, physical or latent which can prove or
disprove a hypotheses or theory about the reconstruction of the crime scene or the
involvement of the any suspect in the crime could be called as evidence more
specifically crime scene evidence. All of these evidences are first analyzed in the crime
laboratory to be acceptable in the court of law while an eyewitness is an example of
direct evidence which can testify the truth in the court of law directly.

2.1 Types of Forensic Evidence

The typologies cover the variety of forensic evidence collected at crime scenes:
 Biological Evidence: The two most common types of biological evidence are
blood and saliva. Blood evidence comes in the form of wet blood (e.g., a tube of
blood from an autopsy) or swabs of bloodstains collected at crime scenes. Buccal
swabs are the most common way of collecting saliva evidence, usually from a
victim or suspect. Other types of biological evidence include seminal stains,
urine, and perspiration. In each case, the aim is to provide sufficient samples of
biological evidence to allow DNA profiling.
 Weapons Evidence: Weapons evidence consists of firearms (handguns, rifles,
assault weapons, etc.), ammunition (e.g., spent casings, fired projectiles, bullet
fragments, and unfired bullets), gunshot residue (GSR) tests, and knives. The
purpose of a GSR kit is to determine whether an individual was close to a firearm
at time of discharge.
 Fingerprint Evidence: Fingerprint evidence will be divided into complete 10-
prints (fingerprints are available for both hands and palms as in the case of

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fingerprinting a victim or suspect) and latent prints (only partial prints of one or
more fingers are available, usually through a powdering technique on physical
evidence such as a weapon or vehicle).

 Drug Evidence: Drug evidence includes drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine,


methamphetamine, and others), and drug paraphernalia (pipes, spoons, etc.)
found at a scene.
 Impressions Evidence: Impressions evidence includes shoeprint impressions,
tire tracks, and tool marks.
 Trace Evidence: Trace evidence is a generic term for small, sometimes
microscopic, material. It covers a wide variety of evidence, including fibers, hair,
building materials (asbestos, paint, etc.), cigarettes, tobacco, glass, and others.
 Natural/Synthetic Materials: Natural and synthetic materials include clothing,
bed and bath material, carpet cuttings, metal objects, plastic, and paper.
 Generic Objects: Generic objects include vehicles, bicycles, containers, doors,
wood, and concrete.

 Electronic/Printed Data; Electronic and printed data include documents and


electronics (computers, cell phones, etc.).

2.2 Probative Value of Forensic Evidence

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In law, evidence has probative value if it is sufficiently useful to prove something in a
trial. Thus, testimonial evidence (i.e., testimony by a witness under oath) that is not
probative is immaterial and not admissible or will be stricken from the record by
defense‘s objections. Similarly, the analysis of forensic evidence must be relevant to
have probative value; it must establish evidentiary facts to be beneficial. For example, a
latent print has probative value when, for example, a hit is obtained through AFIS
identifying a person of interest, the latent print matches the fingerprints of someone
from the scene, or the latent print excludes someone from the scene (i.e., the latent
print does not match a suspect believed to have been at the scene). Similarly a DNA
profile from evidence collected at the scene has probative value when, for example, it
matches the DNA profile of a suspect, a CODIS hit is obtained, or the profile excludes
someone from the scene (i.e., the DNA profile does not match a suspect believed to have
been at the scene). Scenarios for firearms evidence, drug evidence, and other evidence
can be developed to establish whether an item of forensic evidence has probative value.
Probative evidence is a reasonable measure of the utility of forensic evidence in
investigations and prosecution. Even though an item of forensic evidence has probative
value, it may not be good news for an investigator or prosecutor because it does not fit
their theory of the crime. The DNA profile may not match the suspect, thereby
exonerating the suspect from the crime. A latent print can match a suspect but further
investigation may reveal that the suspect can explain why the prints were at the scene
and give proof that he or she was not at the scene when the crime occurred.
Nevertheless, the forensic evidence has probative value because evidentiary facts have
been established.

3.0 Reconstruction of the Crime Scene:

Crime scene reconstruction is the use of scientific methods, physical evidence, deductive
reasoning, and their interrelationships to gain explicit knowledge of the series of events
that surround the commission of a crime. Examination of evidence may assist the
investigator in determining how a crime has been committed. Such evaluations may
indicate the movement and interactions of suspects and victims that may corroborate
or refute statements by witnesses, suspects and victims. Explaining the order in which
actions took place and the location of principals of the crime (particularly crimes of
violence) is particularly helpful in explaining all evidence gathered. Reconstruction aids
the investigator and prosecutor in hypothesizing the order of events, the relative
position of actors to one another, and how the crime in question unfolded. Among
many, one of the most important evidence one might found at the crime scene is
bloodstain pattern. Bloodstain pattern analysis may enable the investigator to
reconstruct the crime via unfolding vital questions such as the position of the suspects
and victims, weapon used, intensity of hit, number of hits etc.

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4.0 Bloodstain Pattern Analysis:

Bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) refers to the collection, categorization and


interpretation of the shape and distribution of bloodstains connected with a crime.
They offer extensive information and are an important part of a functional, medically
and scientifically based reconstruction of a crime. The following groups of patterns can
essentially be distinguished: dripped and splashed blood, projected blood, impact
patterns, cast-off stains, expirated and transferred bloodstains. A highly qualified
analysis can help to estimate facts concerning the location, quality and intensity of an
external force. A sequence of events may be recognized, and detailed questions
connected with the reconstruction of the crime might be answered. In some cases, BPA
helps to distinguish between accident, homicide and suicide or to identify bloodstains
originating from a perpetrator. Bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) is the examination of
shapes and the categorization and distribution of bloodstain patterns in order to
provide an interpretation of the physical events of a crime which gave rise to their
origin. The bloodstain patterns can give valuable information concerning the events
which lead to their creation when examined by a qualified analyst. The information
gained can then be used for the reconstruction of an incident and the evaluation of
statements of witnesses and crime participants. BPA is an important forensic method in
addition to autopsies, basic crime scene work, and molecular biology. The genetic
examination especially is an essential part and an important requirement for a solid
analysis of bloodstain patterns. The use of these scientific methods, physical evidence,
deductive reasoning, and their interrelationships are the main keys to gaining explicit
knowledge of the series of events that surround the commission of a crime.

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4.1 History and Background of the Technique:

The first methodical study of blood spatters, titled "Concerning the Origin, Shape,
Direction and Distribution of the Bloodstains Following Head Wounds Caused by
Blows," was published in 1895 by Dr. Eduard Piotrowski of the University of Krakow in
Poland. This early research influenced pioneering investigators in early
20thcentury.The field saw vast expansion and modernization through the work of
innovative forensic scientist Herbert MacDonell, who published "Flight Characteristics
of Human Blood and Stain Patterns" in 1971. MacDonell also trained law-enforcement
personnel in blood spatter analysis. In 1983, he and other attendees of the first
Advanced Bloodstain Institute founded the International Association of Bloodstain
Pattern Analysts (IABPA). Dr. Paul Kirk studied the effect of velocity, angle of impact
and the combination of both in depicting the positions of victims and perpetrator.
Since then, the field of bloodstain analysis has continued to grow, develop and become
standardized. However, detailed systematic differentiation and documentation of
various bloodstains and their origin on the crime scene is fundamental for reliable
subsequent interpretations. There are existing computer-based programs offering a
specific documentation and analysis of bloodstain patterns.

4.2 Evidentiary value of Bloodstain patterns:

The information we are likely to discover through an examination of the bloodstains


includes:

• The direction a given droplet was traveling at the time of impact


• The angle of impact
• The probable distance from the target from which the droplet originated
• The nature of the force involved in the bloodshed and the direction from which that
force was applied
• The nature of any object used in applying the force
• The approximate number of blows struck during an incident

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• The relative position in the scene of the suspect, victim, or other related objects
during the incident
• Sequencing of multiple events associated with an incident
• In some instances, which hand delivered the blows from a beating

4.3 Types of Bloodstains:

Blood can leave the body in many different ways, depending on the type of injury inflicted. It can flow,
drip, spray, spurt, gush or just ooze from wounds. A standardized scientific approach of blood stain
pattern interpretation has been defined by “The Scientific Working Group on Bloodstain Pattern
Analysis” (SWGSTAIN).Three basic types have been described:

 Passive drop
 Transfer/contact pattern
 Projected bloodstains

Fig: Different Patterns of bloodstains

4.3.1 Passive drop (bleeding) is a flow pattern or


bloodstain drop(s) caused or formed by the force of gravity acting
alone: blood clot, drip stain, flow stain, blood pool and serum
stain. A drip stain is a droplet falling through air without any
disturbance. Bloodstains caused by spherical free-falling blood are
circular in shape when landing on a smooth homogeneous
surface. Depending on the volume of the drop, the distance fallen
and the surface texture it lands on, the shape and size of the droplet varies. A blood drop hitting a rather
smooth horizontal surface in a 90_ angle results in an almost round drip stain whereas a fall at an angle
less than 90_ leads to a more elliptic mark. The more crooked the angle of impact of the falling blood
drop, the larger the degree of elongation of the resulting bloodstain becomes as the width of the

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bloodstain decreases and its length shortens. Exclamation marks or thin, comma like structures can be
seen at very low angles

4.3.2 Transfer/contact pattern:

This bloodstain pattern created when a wet, bloody surface comes in contact with a second surface. The
original surface may be observed within the pattern, as a whole or as a recognizable image: contact
pattern, wipe pattern (primary and secondary), insect stain (fly spots). A blood pool is an accumulation
of blood which can be found at the lowest point of flow patterns. This pattern is an important static part
of blood stain analysis and is often the basis of transfer stain.
Transfer/Contact pattern is formed when one bloody surface comes into contact with another and
blood is transferred as a result of compression or lateral movement. Because of its strong adhesive force
a blood transfer like this happens easily, especially when the blood has not yet dried. Contact patterns
can give a good impression. About the shape and size of the objects in question (i.e. hard object, finger
prints, hair, body parts or shoe sole’s). Depending on the structure of a (shoe) sole, the ground and the
intensity of the steps (slow, careful steps vs. fast, intensive running).
Wipe pattern (Primary) is created when a bloody object is moved tangentially on a surface leaving a
trace (so called swipe pattern). Secondary wipe patterns occur when an uncontaminated, clean surface
or object is tangentially drawn over a pre-existing bloodstain (so called swipe pattern). Wipe patterns
can be helpful to determine a chronological order of various incidents.

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4.3.3 Projected/Impact bloodstains:

These are created when a blood source is exposed to a force greater than the force of gravity: arterial
spurting pattern, cast-off pattern, spatter stain, expiration pattern, spine pattern, void pattern,
perimeter stain. Projected patterns are blood spatter, which are caused by a force other than impact.
Arterial pattern is caused by a wound revealing an arterial blood vessel. Blood which is not only
affected by gravity alone, but also accelerated by arterial pressure. The arterial pressure first propels
blood upwards and then allows the blood to drop downwards, leaving a zigzag-like formation.
Cast off patterns appear when blood is projected or thrown onto a surface from a blood-bearing source
or object in motion such as blunt or sharp melee weapons (a hammer or knife). In these cases an almost
linear cast off pattern is produced by quickly reaching backwards, generating a centrifugal force which
allows adhesive blood drops to leave the object in motion. The more forceful the swing is the smaller
are the resulting drops. Stains representing a low angle have the longest distance to their source, while
regular round patterns can be seen as a direct hint to the positioning of the offender, right-angled
towards the pattern. Cast off patterns are commonly smaller (6-7 mm) than passive drop patterns.
Exhaled or Expirated patterns occur when blood is forcefully expelled from the mouth, nose or an open
wound as a result of air pressure. Often these patterns show bubble rings as an effect of an exhaled
blood-air mixture. The reasons for expirated blood can be manifold, for example skull injuries, bleedings
in the neck-region or lung injuries.
Splash patterns are produced when a large amount of blood comes in contact with an even surface at
minor or low velocity. These patterns usually have a large central area with peripheral elongated
bloodstains. They normally imply a cohesive impression with a slight separation in smaller, spike-like
patterns.
Spatter stains are the result of blood which has been spread as a result of force applied to a source of
fluid blood. Forward spatter, caused by a movement in the direction of the force and back spatter,
created by an opposite movement, can be differentiated. In this context, an impact is any kind of blunt
trauma strong enough to disturb a homogeneous pattern by overcoming its surface tension and forming
smaller, finer stains. The higher the energy level, the smaller are the resulting spatter stains.

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4.3.4. Differentiation on the basis of Velocity:

It is possible to differentiate between low, medium and high velocity impact spatter.

 Low velocity impact spatter


At low velocities the resulting force or energy meets the average gravitational force at
velocities up to 1.5 m/s. The outcomes are relatively large (4 mm), often irregular
spatter stains within a rather small area. Centrally pointed or elongated stains can be
detected (also called spines).

 Medium velocity impact spatter


Medium velocity impact spatter are bloodstains between 1 and 4 mm in diameter,
which are produced on a surface due to a medium velocity force between
approximately 1.5-7.5 m/s to a blood source. Beating with a solid object is a typical
example for a medium velocity impact. In these cases irregular shaped patterns with
sometimes larger volumes and overlapping patterns, such as splash-patterns (a low
velocity impact upon a quantity of blood) can be seen.
 High velocity impact spatter
When the source of blood is subjected to a force with a velocity of approximately 35
m/s or more the major part of the resulting spatters are less than 1 mm in diameter,
even though larger stains can be observed within the pattern. Usually high velocity
impact spatters are associated with gunshot injuries, where high quantities of energy
affect a fairly small area. The direct result of surface tension and the adhesive forces of
liquids when in contact with hard objects and may cause blood to be drawn towards an
object, opposing gravity. This attraction may result in blood stain patterns for which
there is no matching defect. Linear stains or linear accentuations within an area of
bloodstain pattern are typical examples for this phenomenon.

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4.3.5. Void pattern:

If an object is placed between the blood source and


projection area, it is likely to receive some of the
stains, which consequently leads to an absence of
stains in an otherwise continuous bloodstain pattern.
A void pattern always indicates that another object
was present and/or involved in the incident. If the
object in question has been removed, it might still be
possible to reconstruct its shape by examining the
outskirt of the void.

4.3.6 Skeletonized stain/perimeter stain

If a blood stain is disturbed before having dried


completely its original shape and size can still be
seen. This resulting effect is referred to as
skeletonization. Blood will usually begin to dry from
the outer parts inwards toward the center of the
stain. The time a blood drop takes to dry depends
mainly on the surrounding temperature, air and Secondary changes.

4.3.7 Insect stain

Fly artifacts are small, spatter-like stains of blood as a


result of fly activity, which easily can be mistaken as drip
pattern, expired blood or high velocity spatter. Benecke
and Barksdale examined irregular bloodstains at crime
scenes and validated their logical relationship to the
scene. In their research they established criteria such as

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geometric patterns, lack of spiny edges, logical convergence, etc., for distinguishing fly
artifacts from human bloodstains.

4.3.8 Capillary action


Capillary suction of objects or edges leads to an additional, mostly mechanical
distribution of blood patterns.

4.3.9 Diffusion

When blood comes into contact with clothing and fabric it spreads via diffusion, often
leaving an irregularly shaped pattern which is difficult to interpret, especially if the
clothing has not been secured properly.

5.0 Bloodshed Events

A crime scene where bodily injury has occurred is likely to have some amount of
bloodstain evidence present; however, the amount will vary depending on the
circumstances of the crime. The type of injury inflicted and the amount of force used
will determine the volume and pattern of bloodstains:
Sharp force injuries (stabbing) - these injuries are caused by an object with a relatively
small surface area, such as an ice pick or a knife. Less blood is deposited on the
instrument, resulting in a smaller, more linear pattern of stains.

Blunt force injuries (hitting or beating) - objects inflicting this type of injury are
usually larger, such as a bat or hammer. If the object impacts liquid blood, the larger
surface area will collect more blood, producing drops of varying sizes.

Gunshot injuries - mist-like spatter caused by bullets entering and exiting the body.

6.0 Techniques for Blood Detection (Luminol) :

Luminol is used to identify minor, unnoticed or hidden bloodstains diluted to a level of


up to 1:106 (1 ll blood in 1 l of solution)Unlike a number of presumptive chemical tests
for blood (Phenolphthalein, tetramethylbenzidine, leucomalachite green), Luminol is
unique in that its reaction with blood results in the production of light as blue white
luminescence. When used, luminal reacts to the peroxidase in the hemoglobin of blood
tpo produce the luminescent glow for several seconds after the initial spraying. Apart
from luminol, there are other substances that are able to detect hidden blood stains, for example Blue
Star.

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6.0 Examination and reconstruction of crime scene:

An initial review of the crime scene should be the first approach of an analyst in order to get an
overview of the layout of the scene, bloodstain location, physical evidence, the victim’s location, etc. A
written and photographic documentation of the scene and bloodstain-complexes is necessary.
When reconstructing a crime scene, certain aspects have to be taken into account. If blood stains are
not fresh, i.e. completely dried, a temporal allocation of the incidents is difficult. With the course of
time, the color of the dried blood will darken from a dark red to dark red-blackish to a brownish coloring
with possible fragmentation within larger adhesions. Smaller or very thin stains often don’t show
fragmentations. This can be of importance at crime scenes where there have been a number of physical
arguments with possible bleeding injuries some time before the deadly incident. Blood stains do not
necessarily have to be from the victim. Blood stains which don’t fit the pattern and cannot be associated
with the injuries of the victim could be seen as possible stains from the offender. These spots should be
examined further (e.g. via. molecular biological methods). Sharp force in particular is often related to
injuries on both sides, the victim and its perpetrator, so that a detailed separation of blood stains can be
very helpful. Blood and bloody liquids can enter the smallest gaps or crannies due to the already
mentioned capillary suction, especially after a cleaning process (diluting effect). If necessary it might be
helpful to remove carpets or floorings, primarily wooden flooring such as parquet in order to be able to
estimate the extension of the original blood stains. Sensitive pretesting of hard accessible areas such as
drawers, under window boards or in cupboard gaps can give important hints where to investigate
further (e.g. with the help of luminol).

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7.0 Documentation and evaluation

If a crime scene is not accessible, a blood stain pattern analysis might be possible by photographs alone,
but with the correlative limitations (photographic angle, exact measurements, etc.).
Secondary alterations by emergency physicians or first aid personnel have to be noted and taken into
account. A sketch or diagram of the scene with correct measurements, accurate distances and relative
proportions is a valuable complement to the photographs taken at the scene. As an additional tool it
helps explaining investigative data to make the whole situation easier for everyone to understand.
The use of computer based blood stain pattern analysis such as Back Track_ is currently mainly
experimental. To our knowledge the available computer programs are rarely used in routine work. Since
this part of blood stain analysis is fairly new, recent studies and developments are promising and one
can expect these programs to be of great assistance in the future

9.0 References

 MacDonell HL. Bloodstain patterns. New York: Laboratory of Forensic Science; 1993.
 James SH, Kish PE. Sutton TP principles of bloodstain pattern Analysis theory and practice. Boca
Raton: CRC Press; 2005.
 Bevel T, Gardner RM. Bloodstain pattern analysis. 2nd ed. With an introduction to crime scene
reconstruction. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2002.
 MacDonell HL. Bloodstain pattern interpretation. New York: Laboratory of Forensic Science
Publishers; 1982.
 http://www.swgstain.org/.
 Gardener RM. Directionality in swipe patterns. J Forensic Ident.
 Benecke M, Barksdale L. Distinction of bloodstain patterns from fly artefacts. Forensic Sci Int.
 Carter AL. The directional analysis of bloodstain patterns theory and experimental validation.
 Lytle LT, Hedgecock DG. Chemiluminescence in the visualization of forensic bloodstains. J
Forensic
 Grodsky M, Wright K, Kirk PL. Simplified preliminary blood testing. An improved technique and a
comparative study of methods. J Crimin Law Criminol Police Sci.
 Barni F, Lewis SW, Berti A, Miskelly GM, Lago G. Forensic application of the luminol reaction as a
presumptive test for latent blood detection. Talanta.
 Laux DL. Effects on luminol on the subsequent analysis of bloodstains. J Forensic Sci.
 Laux DL. The detection of blood using luminol. In: James S, Kish
 PE, Sutton TP, editors. Principles of bloodstain pattern analysis: theory and practice. Boca
Raton: CRC Press; 2005.
 Creamer JI, Quickenden TI, Crichton LB, Robertson P, RuhayelRA. Attempted cleaning of
bloodstains and its effect on the forensic luminol test. Luminescence. 2005.
 Wolson TL. Documentation of bloodstain pattern evidence. J Forensic Ident.
 Carter AL, Laturnus PL, Yamashita AB. Use of the BackTrackTM Computer Program for bloostain
pattern analysis of stains from downward-moving drops. Can Soc Forensic Sci.
 Carter AL, Forsythe-Erman J, Hawkes V, et al. Validation of the BackTrack suite of programs for
bloodstain pattern analysis. J Forensic Ident. 2006.

Punjab Forensic Science Agency, Lahore