396 The Production of Pseudo-High Velocity Impact Blood Spatter in Shooting Incidents

Friday, November 6, 2009: 9:25 AM
Kohlberg (Camino Real Hotel)
Edward E. Hueske, B.S., M.A. in Chemistry , Criminal Justice, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Sherry Bethune , Criminal Justice, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Brandy Thomas , Criminal Justice, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Abstract:  It is generally accepted in the forensic community that true high velocity impact blood spatter (i.e. droplets with diameters of less than 1 mm) resulting from bullet impacts, machine tool injuries, explosions and similar events have pretty limited airborne travel as a consequence of their small masses.  The horizontal distance of travel for these droplets has typically been reported to be no greater than approximately 6 feet.The primary author reviewed a death by gunshot case in which blood stains in the range of high velocity impact spatter were observed at significantly greater distances (i.e. out to approximately 14 feet).  This case involved a 50 caliber shot to the back of the head that resulted in massive tissue disruption and displacement.  This paper presents the results of a preliminary study as to a possible mechanism for the production of blood spatter resulting from contact gunshots that mimics high velocity blood spatter in appearance but is found at distances well beyond those typically encountered for this type of spatter.