Cranial Backspatter Pattern Production Utilizing Human Cadavers

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Abstract

A backspatter pattern results from blood drops that travel retrograde to an applied external force. Historically, an array of animals and nonhuman objects have been used to create and study backspatter patterns. In this study, backspatter patterns captured on foam core targets that were placed 45.72 cm (18 in) behind the impact site (occipital area of the skull) were produced by cranial gunshots to human cadavers that were reinfused with fresh defibrinated bovine blood. These patterns were compared to the backspatter patterns produced by shooting blood-soaked sponges, a typical simulant used in controlled studies of backspatter pattern production and characteristics. The backspatter pattern produced by shooting an actual human head was found to be different than those of blood-soaked sponges in the number of stains produced, the size and size range of the stains, and the stain dispersion patterns.

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