Lose the “L” in Blood Splatter Analysis

There are certain phrases or buzz words that catch the attention of those in the know and can diminish the credibility of your writing. One such word is “splatter” used in conjunction with field of bloodstain pattern analysis (such as saying so-and-so is a “blood splatter analyst”). It is a dead giveaway that the writer has not researched the topic well.  That’s because every notable text and every examiner, in the first five minutes of the first day of their basic bloodstain pattern analysis (BSPA) course is told not to use that term.  It’s a trivial and nit picky thing but it exists nonetheless. The main reason is that it just isn’t accurate. Technically, BSPA defines “splatter” as a verb; not a noun.

In fact, organizations like the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA) and the Scientific Working Group on Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (SWGSTAIN) don’t even include “splatter” in their recommended terminology. I know how trivial that seems but BSPA’s have been conditioned to cringe at the use of the word “splatter”. It’s not like blood pours out of our ears but it definitely triggers a reaction and you should be aware of that.  In fact, if someone like me were to use that phrase, even among friends & colleagues, I would like be subjected to the nerdy equivalent of a BSPA wedgie.

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About forensics4fiction

Hi there. Thank you for visiting my BLOG for crime writers. I hope you will find it interesting. I would love to hear your questions and thoughts regarding forensics and criminal investigations. I hope that the information here will help answer your questions or ignite your imagination. I am a retired senior criminalist with 15 years of forensic experience. I have served as the president of the Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction, Rocky Mountain Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts, and the Rocky Mountain Division of the International Association for Identification. I am triple board certified in forensic related fields and one of only 40 board-certified bloodstain pattern analysts and 80 board-certified footwear examiners worldwide In addition to writing over 60 scientific papers, I have worked as the editor of the Journal of the Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction, been interviewed by and consulted for television, books, magazines, and newspaper articles including documentaries on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic.

Posted on June 5, 2011, in Characters, General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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