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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: CJAD 413
Course Title: Bloodstain Evidence
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: A practice-oriented class on the techniques and methods of identifying and interpreting blood spatter evidence. Topics include fundamentals of bloodstain evidence, low velocity impact and angular bloodstains, medium and high velocity bloodstains, significance of partially dried, clotted, aged, physically altered bloodstains, and others. Prerequisite: CJAD 101.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): CJAD 101.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Occasional offering.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many suitable textbooks are available from various publishers and the following list is not comprehensive. Other textbooks may be judged by individual instructors to be more suitable in meeting course objectives. Given the nature of the course, the instructor may want to adopt more than one textbook or use a manual. Many current textbooks have companion websites, and the instructor is encouraged to enhance the course experience for the student by utilizing available technology.

Interpretation of Bloodstain Evidence at Crime Scenes
By James, S. H., and W. G. Eckert (CRC Press)
Principles of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: Theory and Practice
By James, et. al (CRC Press)
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: With an Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction
By Bevel and Gardner (CRC Press)
Course Objectives The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a general introduction to the mechanics of interpreting bloodstain evidence. The material is presented from a theoretical, legal and practical perspective so the student will develop an understanding of the mechanical operation of each phase of the identification, collection and interpretation process.

  • To understand and appreciate the history and evolution of bloodstain pattern interpretation as an accepted technique in criminal and legal investigations.
  • To understand the role of law enforcement and crime scene technicians in collection, preservation and interpretation of bloodstain evidence.
  • To examine the relationship and interactions between law enforcement, crime scene technicians and other entities in the criminal justice system.
  • To gain experience with common terminology, equipment, methods and procedures connected with collection, preservation and analysis of bloodstain evidence.
  • To examine the practical, theoretical and ethical dilemmas faced by individuals involved in crime scene investigations involving bloodstain evidence.
  • To enhance critical thinking and practical skills on issues relevant to crime scene processing.
    Measurable Learning
  • Describe the history and evolution of bloodstain pattern interpretation in criminal and legal investigations.
  • Explain the role of law enforcement and crime scene technicians in collection, preservation and interpretation of bloodstain evidence.
  • Describe the methods and importance of proper crime scene response in an investigation involving bloodstain evidence.
  • Describe and compare the various patterns of blood stains typically available at a crime scene involving bloodstain evidence.
  • Identify, compare and evaluate relevant terminology, equipment and methods for collection, preservation and interpretation of bloodstain evidence.
  • Apply relevant terminology, equipment and methods involving bloodstain evidence to real and hypothetical issues, problems and case studies investigations.
  • Appraise and interpret relevant literature, case studies, materials and developments regarding bloodstain evidence.
    Topical Outline:
  • Fundaments of bloodstain evidence
  • Low-velocity impact and angular bloodstains
  • Medium and high velocity bloodstains
  • Significance of partially dried, clotted, aged, and physically altered bloodstains
  • Medical aspects of blood at crime scenes
  • Documentation, collection and evaluation of bloodstain evidence
  • The use of luminol
  • Case studies in bloodstain patterns interpretation

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Barry Langford Date: September 21, 2005
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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