WHAT IS BLOODSTAIN PATTERN ANALYSIS (BPA)?
BPA is the scientific examination and interpretation of bloodstains at crime scenes. It establishes events which could or could not have occurred during and after bloodshed. BPA provides answers to the “What”, “Who”, “When”, “Where” and “How” of a crime, and is essential for the reconstruction of violent crime scenes. It establishes linkages in an incident, and uncovers details of individual responsibilities.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT BPA?
This question is best answered by Professor Andre A. Moenssens in his 1993 article “Novel Scientific Evidence in Criminal Cases”: “If the attorneys who are questioning and cross-examining the expert witnesses have a working knowledge of BPA, they will be better equipped to distinguish between those experts with sufficient qualifications and those without them. Also, attorneys will be able to more capably critique an expert’s testimony and limit or eliminate conclusions that are speculative or over-stated. Unless attorneys know what questions to ask during cross-examination, much of what the witness testifies to will go unchallenged.”
WHEN AND WHERE ARE BLOODSTAIN PATTERNS ENCOUNTERED?
Bloodstain patterns are commonly associated with assaults, homicides and traffic collisions. They are found on floors, ceiling, walls, furniture and objects, and on the clothing and bodies of persons present at the scene. The amount of bloodstain evidence present depends on the circumstances of the crime: the type and intensity of the activities, the type of bleeding wounds, and whether clean-up was carried out after bloodshed.
VALUE OF BPA
Bloodstain patterns are invaluable for identifying persons involved in the bloodshed, establishing possible criminal events, and providing crucial investigative leads. They indicate direction and speed of movement of a bleeding person between different locations, the type of weapon used, the direction and minimum number of blows delivered, and the area of origin of an impact spatter.
While the DNA profiles identify the “Who” in the incident, BPA corroborates, refutes or clarifies the statements of the eye witness, victim and suspect by independently uncovering critical information on the four W’s and H of events and actions:
- Who were present?
- What occurred and what did not occur?
- Where did the events occur?
- How were the bloodstain patterns made?
- When did the events occur and in what sequence?
- Where were various persons positioned relative to each other and to the scene during bloodshed?
Examples of cases by our Experts:
- PP v Wang Zhijian (three deaths at a flat in Yishun)
- PP v Wang Wenfeng (robbery and killing of taxi driver Yuen Swee Hong)
- Coroner’s Inquiry into the death of David Hartanto Widjaja (fall from a height)
To find out more, read about selected cases involving bloodstain pattern analysis.
To find out more about bloodstain patterns analysis, read our article “Bloodstain Patterns – A Primer for Lawyers” featured in the January 2016 issue of the Singapore Law Gazette.
WHAT OUR EXPERTS CAN DO FOR YOU FOR BPA
Our findings and opinions are stated in a formal report that can be tendered in Court as evidence. Our forensic consultants can guide you through the maze of evidence and other facets of your case preparation. We can also independently perform a case review and evaluate an expert report on BPA to ascertain its reliability and shortcomings.
We also produce the Kastle-Meyer Blood Screening Kit, which is a rapid, simple and cheap test kit investigators use in the field and forensic scientists use in the laboratory to examine suspicious brown or reddish brown stains for the presence of blood. We have put together our knowledge and expertise to customise and produce a Kastle-Meyer Blood Screening Kit that is easy to use in the field and minimises contamination. Read more here.
Please drop us an email at email@example.com.
WHY THE FORENSIC EXPERTS GROUP?
TFEG’s senior forensic consultants developed and instituted BPA as a distinctive forensic discipline in Singapore, successfully applying the expertise to many high profile local cases. Our forensic scientists are well recognised by the Singapore Courts for their expertise in this forensic discipline.