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For crime scene investigation in cases of homicide, the pattern of bloodstains at the incident site is of critical importance. The morphology of the bloodstain pattern serves to determine the approximate blood source locations, the minimum number of blows and the positioning of the victim. In the present work, the benefits of the three-dimensional bloodstain pattern analysis, including the ballistic approximation of the trajectories of the blood drops, will be demonstrated using two illustrative cases. The crime scenes were documented in 3D, using the non-contact methods digital photogrammetry, tachymetry and laser scanning. Accurate, true-to-scale 3D models of the crime scenes, including the bloodstain pattern and the traces, were created. For the determination of the areas of origin of the bloodstain pattern, the trajectories of up to 200 well-defined bloodstains were analysed in CAD and photogrammetry software. The ballistic determination of the trajectories was performed using ballistics software. The advantages of this method are the short preparation time on site, the non-contact measurement of the bloodstains and the high accuracy of the bloodstain analysis. It should be expected that this method delivers accurate results regarding the number and position of the areas of origin of bloodstains, in particular the vertical component is determined more precisely than using conventional methods. In both cases relevant forensic conclusions regarding the course of events were enabled by the ballistic bloodstain pattern analysis.
University of Bern, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Buehlstrasse 20, 3012 Bern, Switzerland; State Police Bern, Accident Service, Schermenweg 9, 3001 Bern, Switzerland.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Forensic science international
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Analysis based on the mathematical function first formulated by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier in 1807. The function, known as the Fourier transform, describes the sinusoidal pattern of any fluctuating pattern in the physical world in terms of its amplitude and its phase. It has broad applications in biomedicine, e.g., analysis of the x-ray crystallography data pivotal in identifying the double helical nature of DNA and in analysis of other molecules, including viruses, and the modified back-projection algorithm universally used in computerized tomography imaging, etc. (From Segen, The Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)
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