HemoSpat News

Bloodstain Search and EnchanceMartin Eversdijk [Loci Forensic Products] and Paul Kish [Forensic Consultant & Associates] are conducting a Visualization of Latent Bloodstains course at Elmira College in Elmira, NY, USA. There are two sessions: 6-10 June, 2011 and 13-17 June, 2011. Each session is limited to 16 participants.

This course will provide the participants with first-hand knowledge of how and when to employ searching and enhancement techniques to locate and visualize latent bloodstains. Students will acquire first-hand knowledge of the benefits as well as the limitations of commonly used chemical searching and enhancement techniques.

Upon completion of this course, the participants will have acquired a basic understanding of how and when to use blood searching and enhancing chemicals to assist in their investigation where latent blood is suspected.

This course is recommended for investigators, crime scene technicians, and forensic scientists who routine search for blood at crime scenes as well as on articles of physical evidence.

Some of the topics include:

  • Searching vs. Enhancing Techniques
  • Blood Searching Techniques using Luminol, Lumiscene, and Fluorescein
  • Blood Enhancement Techniques including Amido Black, Acid Fuchsin (Hungarian Red), Aqueous Leucocrystal Violet (ALCV), Titanium Dioxide, and others
  • Photographic Documentation
  • Introduction to IR Photography
  • Health and Safety Issues

For more information, you may download the brochure at the Loci Forensic Products Lumiscene page.

I attended the 2010 IABPA conference in Atlantic City, USA last week. I was fortunate enough to have been invited to give workshops on HemoSpat at the conference. Thanks to Jeff Scozzafava [Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey, USA] and his team for organizing it and for inviting me to give workshops. Special thanks to Kevin Parmelee [Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey, USA] and Anthony Mangione [Hamilton Police Division, New Jersey, USA] for their help setting up and tearing down the workshop.

I think the workshops went fairly well and I enjoyed the interaction with the attendees. Thanks to Brian Allen [Ontario Police College, Canada] who sat in on one of them and helped out answering questions, fostering discussion, and providing some one-on-one tutoring for the other participants. My favourite quote from the workshops: “I’ve never used a computer this long without swearing!”

The most interesting talks for me this time were the double murder case presented by DeWayne Morris of the Illinois State Police, the research presented by Victoria Richards of Cedar Crest College entitled An Investigation of the Effects of Different Laundering Treatments On Commonly Used Fabrics In Regards to Bloodstain Pattern Formation and Analysis, and the two presentations by Mark Reynolds of the Western Australia Police on (1) bloodstain formation and (2) the Australian fabrics course and how different fabrics effect bloodstains.

A lot of case presentations at these conferences are the same one-way dump of information: this is a photo of X, this is what the suspect said, this is what I concluded, etc.. What made DeWayne’s interesting was the way he engaged the audience, challenging them with questions. At best it was a two way exchange with the audience and at worse it was one-and-a-half: he made everyone think. In my opinion, this is a much more useful and effective way to approach this kind of presentation.

It wasn’t all work of course – the conference was held in a gargantuan casino. Some people gambled. Some won. Some lost. And unfortunately on Thursday evening Karaoke with “Sarge” was on the books for some. Land Down Under and Bohemian Rhapsody will never be the same…

Next up: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA in 2011 and Nantes, France in 2012 – see you there!

Andy Maloney

Lead Developer, HemoSpat

Brian Allen of the Ontario Police College (OPC) is accepting applications for an Advanced Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Course taking place at OPC in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada from 30 August – 04 September 2010.

This course is designed for those wishing to become Bloodstain Pattern Analysts. It is expected that students will have previous bloodletting crime scene experience. Emphasis is on presenting BPA expert evidence, report writing and the analysis of complex bloodletting scenes. Students will be exposed to the latest computer analysis technology.

Further information may be obtained at the Ontario Police College or by contacting Brian Allen:

Brian Allen - Instructor
Forensic Identification Training
Ontario Police College
10716 Hacienda Rd., Box 1190
Aylmer, Ontario
N5H 2T2

Phone: (+1) 519-773-4258
Fax:   (+1) 519-773-5762

email: Brian.Allen@ontario.ca

IABPA Conference 2009 Lisbon, PortugalA couple of weeks ago I attended the third European IABPA conference in Lisbon, Portugal. As with the last conference in Porland, Oregon, it was a busy one for me. Thanks to Lino Henriques [Policia Judiciária, Portugal] and his team for organizing it and inviting me to give workshops.

I had the opportunity to present two 2-hour workshops again at this conference and based on the feedback I received I think they went well. I still have some work to fit it in to the 2 hour slots, but I think it’s getting there. Thanks to all the participants for taking the time to attend and gave me feedback.

The talks which stood out for me – ones I hadn’t seen before – included Michael Taylor’s [Environmental Science and Research, New Zealand] demonstration of high speed video to study backspatter associated with ballistic impacts, Maurice Aalders’s [Academisch Medisch Centrum, The Netherlands] talk on using optical spectroscopic techniques to detect, recognize, and age blood, and of course Karla de Bruin’s [Netherlands Forensic Institute, The Netherlands] talk on how to improve area-of-origin calculations in BackTrack and HemoSpat.

In the first part of Karla’s talk, she showed that the results produced by BackTrack and HemoSpat are equally good [which is a good thing since they’re based on the same mathematics!]. The second part of the talk on stain selection, though, was more interesting. I think her work on stain selection is very important as it has never been studied in depth – the textbooks are all vague on what constitutes good “size, shape, and location” – and it seems to be taught differently depending on who’s doing the teaching. I look forward to seeing her paper on this.

As usual it was great to see old friends and make new ones. Glad to see a couple of students there – one from the UK and one from Poland. Their enthusiasm showed and they added a bit of life to it. I had some interesting dinners and talks over drinks with the ladies from Scotland – who I hear are organizing a whiskey tour followed by a bit of conference – and with some of the Dutch, French, Swedish, Danish, and Swiss participants. How do you tell if green wine is corked, anyways?

Thanks to everyone and I look forward to seeing you in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA in October 2010, or Nantes, France in 2012!

Andy Maloney

Lead Developer, HemoSpat

Last week I attended the IABPA conference in Portland, Oregon and it was quite a busy one for me. The organizers and hosts from the Oregon State Police – Pam Bordner, Nici Vance, John Amish, Dan Alessi, and others [I know I missed some…] did a great job.

I had the opportunity to present two 2-hour workshops on HemoSpat and I think they went quite well. It was the first time I’d presented them, so I ended up having too much material and was a bit rushed, but overall I think the attendees got a good feel for the software. I’ll know better for next time how to set things up time-wise. I have to thank Jason the IT guy for setting up all the computers and projector, as well as installing additional software.

The conference was also a great chance to interact with some of my clients and very valuable for direct feedback from people such as Norm Reeves [BPA Consulting], Ross Gardner [Bevel, Gardner, & Associates], Michael Maloney [Bevel, Gardner, & Associates], Silke Brodbeck [Blutspureninstitut], Ken Jones [Portland Police Bureau], Ray Kusumi [Washington State Patrol], E. Toomer, and K. Griffey.

Some of the talk highlights for me were the exchanges about the Phil Spector case by Lynne Herold [L.A. County Sheriff’s Department], Stuart James [James and Associates Forensic Consultants, Inc.], and Jim Pex [Pex Forensic Consulting, Inc.], the case presentation by Mark Reynolds [Western Australia Police] on the Andrew Mallard case, Paul Kish’s [Forensic Consultant & Associates] talk about preparing for expert testimony, and Scott Hlady’s [Ontario Provincial Police] talk about conducting BPA investigations in remote communities.

All-in-all a very good conference and as usual it was great to see old friends and make new ones. I look forward to seeing everyone in Lisbon, Portugal and Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA in 2010!

Andy Maloney

Lead Developer, HemoSpat