To determine the cause of death, a blood spatter analyst examines blood and its patterns at a crime scene. This specialized forensic scientist may physically visit crime scenes and analyze photos in a laboratory setting to learn more about the crime object and the perpetrator’s position relative to the victim. Blood spatter analysis, like fingerprint analysis, can reveal a lot about a person looking at their location and composition.
Typical crime scenes are secured to allow investigators to examine the evidence left behind after a crime, including any remaining blood. Using photographs and detailed notes, the blood spatter analyst will count the number of drops and record their shape. In fact, distances between each blood spatter drop are measured using either simple string measurements or electronic meters. These measurements aid the analyst in determining the force of the victim’s impact. In this way, the analyst can use the informative blood pattern shapes to help solve crimes faster.
The blood spatter analyst can examine the blood’s composition in a laboratory, visually inspecting the liquid for debris and possible deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis. Small skin cells and hairs may remain in the blood, which can provide clues to help solve a crime. To find minuscule debris, the blood spatter analyst will examine the blood sample under a microscope. Other analysts, such as a DNA expert, may be called in to determine the perpetrator’s gender and race.
Another important job responsibility for someone in this position is to testify in court. Rather than relying on speculation, investigators must have a credible scientist explain concrete crime scene facts. In describing forensic blood collection and testing parameters, the analyst must be precise and articulate. The majority of final verdicts may be based on an expert’s opinion of the event’s timeline, as deduced from the crime scene’s blood patterns.
To work as a blood spatter analyst, you’ll need a combination of education and experience. Analysts with a bachelor’s degree in forensic or biological science will be qualified. In addition, a college internship is typically required for graduation, allowing students to apply textbook techniques in a real-world setting. The intern will be mentored an experienced blood spatter analyst who will ensure that testing protocols are followed for the most accurate results. Analysts who want to direct a laboratory’s overall program, creating or changing testing strategies for successful blood examinations, usually need a doctorate degree.