Forensics : A digital compendium about how to stage a crime scene

Well, its not really a compendium, just some links about general crime scene opinions at the end. Not surprisingly, the resources are really anecdotal and little to none show empirical investigation. Hey, this is forensic “police science,” not CSI, right?

A local spousal-murder case in my town has brought up the vagaries of experts brought in to determine 1) whether the dead husband’s body “was moved” and conversely, 2) how the bleeding from multiple close-range headshots from a .22 cal Ruger revolver indicate that the man’s remains were not moved.

As of this date, no one agrees. Voila!

The issue of body movement at the murder scene seems to be important for the defense, although they readily admit the man’s wife was the shooter. “Why” it’s important seems to be a bit more difficult to determine from newspaper reports of the ongoing testimony from the pros and def experts. I think its got to do with……… I really do not know.

I have read the paper’s reporting of testimony about head wounds “bleeding against gravity,” wounds “first bleeding one direction and then another,” “projected blood from exhaling,” and even “a glancing gunshot throwing scalp tissue onto a trash can.”

One thing for sure, none of these witnesses could confirm how they knew if the victim was capable of bleeding, or exhaling, after being shot 5 (or 6) times in the head in quick succession.

All of this expertizing comes from looking at autopsy and crime scene photos. Amazing stuff of criminal investigation. Most of the experts never went to the backyard patio crime scene. “Testing” inquires from both defense and prosecution counsels came up empty for most.

All experts either work for government labs or used to.

A quick look via Google:

A case’s news report where the blood stain expert talks about all sorts of things like blood flow, blood stain and physical injuries which indicate “staging.” He is a true multi-disciplinary Sherlockian. 

The author talks about “red flags” and the FBI’s 1992 Violent crime manual on the subject is referenced.

1996 article from noted forensic author Vernon Geberth using “case histories” as substantiation. 

Someone selling their 2015 book on crime staging. 

An interesting ballistics and firearm article about staging a shooting. 




About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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