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Using Hemospat to Determine the Origin of Shotgun Blasts

NCJ Number
Identification Canada Volume: 36 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2013 Pages: 78-89
Adrian Chow; Jeff Ward
Date Published
December 2013
12 pages
This study investigated HemoSpat's ability to determine the origin of a shotgun blast pattern on different substrates at varying distances.
This study examining HemoSpat's ability to determine the origin of a shotgun blast pattern on different substrates at varying distances found that the program's ability to predict target-to-muzzle distance was affected by the distance from the target but not the material of the target. While the program was able to estimate the point of origin of the actual blast, the target-to-muzzle distance was consistently underestimated. This study was conducted to determine HemoSpat's usefulness as a predictor of shotgun blast origins. HemoSpat is a computer program designed for the directional analysis of bloodstain patterns. The program analyzed the blast patterns of several rounds of birdshot discharged from a 12 gauge shotgun into 7 drywall panels and 3 sheet metal panels at distances of 3.00 meters, 6.00 meters, and 9.00 meters. The findings from the analysis of the patterns suggest that HemoSpat is not effective at determining shotgun blast origins. The inconsistencies in the target-to-muzzle measurements is thought to be the result of the program's design. One of the program's features is the directional tail component which is produced by fluids upon impact with a surface. This component is lacking with shotgun blasts it is thought to have affected the point of convergence, leading to inconsistent distance measurements. The need for further research in this area is discussed. Tables, figures, and references


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