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Blood Secrets

Cover of Blood Secrets

Blood Secrets

Chronicles of a Crime Scene Reconstructionist
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Blood Secrets reveals how forensic experts read the story of a murder told in the traces of blood left behind, providing crucial evidence that has helped convict criminals who might have otherwise...More
Blood Secrets reveals how forensic experts read the story of a murder told in the traces of blood left behind, providing crucial evidence that has helped convict criminals who might have otherwise...More
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Description-
  • Blood Secrets reveals how forensic experts read the story of a murder told in the traces of blood left behind, providing crucial evidence that has helped convict criminals who might have otherwise walked free.

    When Rod Englert began his career in law enforcement, virtually no police force in the world knew how to correctly examine blood spatter. He spent years studying and testing how blood behaves, pioneering a vital new tool that is now a part of any criminal investigation. In Blood Secrets he demonstrates how detectives and forensic experts use blood-spatter analysis to solve real cases.

    How can the police tell what type of murder weapon was used when the body is missing and all that's left is a trace of gore? How can they tell if a victim was moved, or which person in a room fired the fatal shot? Englert lays out what he's learned on a variety of intriguing cases, from puzzling murders in tiny, remote towns to the highest-profile celebrity trials--including O. J. Simpson, Robert Blake, and many others.

    Filled with fascinating details of forensic science and real-life CSI stories, Blood Secrets shows the techniques and tools used to decipher blood spatter's code.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One
    Early Days
    THE FOG WAS ALREADY getting thick before I reached the station for roll call at eleven-thirty P.M. It meant the roads would be dangerous, so I drove slowly and kept an eye peeled for the inevitable drunks behind the wheel at that hour. I was coming down with the flu, and the dampness hanging in the air didn't help. It blanketed everything with a clammy mist more typical of Seattle than Southern California.
    I'd been a uniformed officer on patrol for almost two years in Downey, a bedroom community of Los Angeles, and though I was hardly a seasoned veteran, I no longer considered myself a pup. That night would prove how wrong I was. It would also change the course of my future.
    No sooner had I arrived than I got pulled out of roll call to respond to a suspicious circumstances complaint: A woman suspected there might be a dead body at an apartment building in south Downey, the seedy side of the town's main street and unofficial dividing line. The guys who were going off duty at midnight could have responded themselves--technically the call came in on their shift--but a dead body takes hours of work to process, so they'd left this one for me.
    The woman who'd made the call was waiting for me when I pulled into the parking lot. This was 1964, and in those days in Downey we worked solo, so I was by myself.
    "He's up there," she said tersely, pointing to a dingy stairway and then retreating. It was obvious she wanted to stay as far away as possible.
    As I made my way up to the second floor, the entire place seemed eerily quiet. Aside from the shabby stairs creaking under my footsteps, I heard nothing--no voices, no movements, no blaring TV sets sounded from behind the closed doors lining the hallway. Soon I found the room number the woman had given me and cautiously pushed the door open.
    The apartment beyond was pitch-black and stuffy. Without stepping inside, I switched on my flashlight to get a better sense of the surroundings and saw a single room furnished with little more than a bed and dresser. As I moved the beam over the walls, the procedure I'd learned in the police academy ran through my mind: Disturb as little as possible of the crime scene, don't turn on lights because touching a switch might destroy potential evidence or blow you sky-high if there's a gas leak. And that's when I saw it.
    Blood was everywhere--spattered over the walls, pooled on the floor, soaking into the sheets of the bed, smeared on the dresser and a small vacuum cleaner standing next to it. Lying in the middle of all this, half on the bed and half off, was the body of an emaciated, balding middle-aged man clad only in boxer shorts. Like everything around him, he was covered in blood.
    My mind cast frantically through a cata log of possible scenarios. What could cause a body to lose all that blood? A hatchet? A machete? An ax? The man must have been murdered--and put up quite a fight, judging from the bloody handprints all over the walls.
    I switched off my flashlight, closed the door, and hurried back down to my patrol car to alert the detectives. "Murder victim," I announced confidently over my radio. "Looks like he's been assaulted with an ax."
    I waited until the detectives and medical examiner arrived, then left the scene. The rest of my shift passed uneventfully, and I headed home from work in the morning still fighting off the flu, but congratulating myself on a solid night's police work.
    It wasn't until a few days later that I noticed the telltale grins breaking across the faces of my fellow officers whenever I walked into the room.
    "What's so funny?" I demanded.
    "Your murder victim," one of the detectives said, barely able to stifle his...
About the Author-
  • ROD ENGLERT, a fourty-four-year veteran of law enforcement, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, where he was president of the 159th Session. He is a member of the International Homicide Investigator's Association; a past president of the Association of Crime Scene Reconstructionists; and a past president of the International Association of Blood Pattern Analysts. He lives in Oregon. For more information visit his Web site at englertforensics.com.KATHY PASSERO is an award-winning writer and reporter and is the author of five non-fiction books on a variety of subjects.

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    St. Martin's Press
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Chronicles of a Crime Scene Reconstructionist
Rod Englert
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Chronicles of a Crime Scene Reconstructionist
Rod Englert
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