William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Wednesday, 25, February, 2009

Test Your Blood Spatter Skills

Filed under: Forensics,Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 15:03

With this test in the New Scientist. Presented at the latest AAFS meeting (which is one of the meanest and snottiest groups I’ve ever had the misfortune to tangle with).  Evidently the experts were able to determine the mechanism for making a bloodstain correctly 91% of the time, as opposed to 21% by lay people.  Go look and see how you do.

(I missed one)

H/T Salome.


  1. The first 9 were easy (obvious), but I didn’t get the last one. I haven’t flung any blood at flat surfaces yet.

    Comment by Miz Minka — Wednesday, 25, February, 2009 @ 15:17 | Reply

  2. 70% The hair got me.

    You get to see some of these when you teach high school kids.

    Comment by carteach0 — Wednesday, 25, February, 2009 @ 15:53 | Reply

  3. The hair got me, too.

    Comment by Brandon — Wednesday, 25, February, 2009 @ 17:14 | Reply

  4. I’ll say that I achieved 9/10. It depends on how hard you were grading: exact wording or able to describe accurately. Thanks for the review!

    Comment by mholzmann — Wednesday, 25, February, 2009 @ 17:23 | Reply

  5. Out of curiosity, which did you miss?

    Comment by mholzmann — Wednesday, 25, February, 2009 @ 17:24 | Reply

    • I missed the hair, too.

      Comment by williamthecoroner — Wednesday, 25, February, 2009 @ 21:06

  6. That was just too easy. Last one I did have to think for a moment.

    Comment by Brigid223 — Wednesday, 25, February, 2009 @ 18:23 | Reply

  7. I had a wrong answer on the hair, it looked like slash marks from a knife that left spray on a flat surface. Managed to get something like that from a tool accident. Didn’t take much blood to get it, either.

    Comment by Phillip — Wednesday, 25, February, 2009 @ 20:34 | Reply

  8. On the hair trails, I was thinking along the same lines as Phillip.
    I’ve seen splatter like that from a freely bleeding wound on a hand that
    was being shaken. Thats what I thought it was.

    I also missed the first one, which should have been easy. I guess I haven’t
    seen that many puddles of blood. Splatters, yes. Puddles, no.

    Comment by Carteach0 — Wednesday, 25, February, 2009 @ 21:31 | Reply

  9. Got two partially wrong. Initially, I thought the hair one was something small and fine being dragged after being dipped in blood. As far as the gunshot spray, I got the spray part, but not the source. Pretty cool test of analytic ability.

    Comment by Liota — Thursday, 26, February, 2009 @ 04:44 | Reply

  10. I must have missed my calling – should have done dead (or partially live?) bodies as opposed to chemical safety. I did 9/10 if you’re counting accurate but not verbatim description. I’ll attribute it to all of the physics I had to have.

    Comment by H the IH — Thursday, 26, February, 2009 @ 16:24 | Reply

  11. 9/10 missed the hair one… I got most of them because of my Fire/Rescue experience.

    Comment by Old NFO — Thursday, 26, February, 2009 @ 23:17 | Reply

  12. I missed the last one – I thought it was another one of the “splatter on a wall, running down,” but with the picture turned sideways. I’m very much a non-expert (I’ve been through Florida’s law enforcement standards training, but that didn’t get very much into forensics), but as at least one other comment said, physics helps.

    Comment by Bob — Friday, 27, February, 2009 @ 09:53 | Reply

  13. That was tricky, not being able to see the blood samples in context. I got 9 right as well, although my answers were not quite as detailed as the experts. To me the gunshot spatter and the hair were the most obvious ones… what does that mean?

    Comment by Denise — Saturday, 28, February, 2009 @ 01:11 | Reply

  14. Ooh, fun! I got 8/10. (I missed the gunshot–to me it looked like someone had flicked blood off a paintbrush or their hair–and the late-wiped blood spot.) I think it was a bit harder than it would be in reality because of the total lack of context–I couldn’t even tell if I was looking at a wall or a floor sometimes.

    Comment by Holly — Wednesday, 11, March, 2009 @ 01:22 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: