Updated 19 March 2014

Oscar: More on blood spatter analysis

The shape, size, pattern and location of blood stains can reveal a lot about a crime scene. Here's your handy guide to analysing blood spatter from a gunshot.

Blood spatter, whether found on the wall, ceiling, door, bed or floor, can reveal an awful lot about what happened at a crime scene. Blood Spatter Analysis (BPA) is an integral part of any violent crime scene investigation.

The pattern, size, shape, and the location of the blood stains, can reveal the clothing the person attacked was wearing, whether he or she was standing, sitting or lying down and also, looking at blood smears, flow patterns and drip trails, reveal whether they were moving during the attack or afterwards. It also reveals the weapon used and from which direction the victim was wounded.

Read more about how bloody clues help solve crimes.

The spatters also show the distance the blood spattered, the direction it flew in, and something about the nature of the struggle, if there was one. The analysis can support or refute evidence given in court and show what didn't happen during the crime. 

If you're a budding CSI and would like to better understand what forensic investigators at the Oscar Pistorius trial were analysing, carefully read through the infographic below and astound your friends and colleagues with your knowledge!

Below is a framegrab from the Sky News video that was aired shortly after the shooting on the night on Valentine’s Day 2013. Note the markings on the door which shows bullet entry points.

Since Reeva Steenkamp was shot, here's a little more info on blood spatter patterns caused by a gunshot, courtesy of Forensicsciences Simplified:

"Gunshot spatter includes both forward spatter from the exit wound and back spatter from the entrance wound.

Gunshot spatter will vary depending on the caliber of the gun (Oscar used a
 silver 9mm pistol ), where the victim is struck, whether the bullet exits the body, distance between the victim and the gun and location of the victim relative to walls, floors and objects.

Typically, forward spatter is a fine mist and back spatter is larger and fewer drops. 

Infographic below from Forensic Nursing



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