chapter  Chapter 4
19 Pages

Examination and interpretation of patterns for reconstruction

WithHoward A. Harris, Henry C. Lee

This chapter discusses ten major types of reconstruction patterns. They include bloodstain, glass fracture, track and trail, tire and skid mark, clothing and article, gunshot residue, projectile trajectory, fire burn, Modus Operandi (MO), wound, injury, or damage, and bloodstain patterns. The analysis of bloodstain evidence is the same as any pattern evidence and consists of four distinct processes: pattern recognition, pattern identification, pattern interpretation, and pattern reconstruction. There are several categories of pattern evidence that have the possibility of “individualization” as the primary goal. The major categories are fingerprints, palm prints, bare footprints, handwriting and other document patterns, and toolmarks and striae associated with fired bullets and casings. Many of the reconstruction patterns cannot be picked up, collected, or transported to the laboratory. More often, an expert in pattern interpretation will view photographs, documentation, or videotape that investigators have made at the scene or examine the actual evidence that bears the pattern collected from the scene.