A New Look at Bloodstains is Changing ForensicsOct 14, 2012
By Frank Thadeusz
|Dr. Silke Brodbeck heads Germany's only institute specializing in bloodstain pattern analysis. Brodbeck thinks that insights into the field of blood stain analysis could force closed murder cases to reopen. Courtesy of Spiegel Online
Bloodstain analysis is gaining new ground thanks to research of forensic scientists in Germany. Their insights shed light on how investigators can analyze blood spatters left behind at crime scenes and could force closed murder cases to be reopened.
The rolling pin is traditionally seen as a woman's tool. She can use it to roll out dough — or to smash her husband's skull.
The latter tends to be rather bloody, so it's no surprise that the seemingly harmless kitchen utensil is part of the equipment at Germany's only institute specializing in bloodstain pattern analysis, where it's stored between blood-splattered pieces of paper.
The lab uses very little high-tech and modern equipment. Inside the old barn in Usingen, a town in the western German state of Hesse, the creative chaos of a workshop prevails. Much of the equipment seems to have come directly from a hardware store.
Dr. Silke Brodbeck, the director of the institute, turns out not to be a morbid forensic scientist but a tidy and introspective woman. Brodbeck regularly assembles medical experts and criminologists in the barn for demonstrations in the art of interpreting bloodstains and blood splatters at crime scenes. Blood drop patterns can provide important clues on how a murder unfolded. Brodbeck reconstructs the course of events at crime scenes for police and public prosecutors throughout Europe.
Source: Spiegel Online