Supported by a Crown Research Institute Capability Fund Grant from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR), New Zealand.
TECHNICAL NOTE ANTHROPOLOGY
Physical Components of Soft-Tissue Ballistic Wounding and Their Involvement in the Generation of Blood Backspatter*
Article first published online: 11 APR 2012
© 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 5, pages 1339–1342, September 2012
How to Cite
Davidson, P. L., Taylor, M. C., Wilson, S. J., Walsh, K. A. J. and Kieser, J. A. (2012), Physical Components of Soft-Tissue Ballistic Wounding and Their Involvement in the Generation of Blood Backspatter. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 1339–1342. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02143.x
- Issue published online: 5 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2012
- Received 19 April 2011; and in revised form 3 Aug. 2011; accepted 13 Aug. 2011.
- forensic science;
- bloodstain pattern analysis;
- blood backspatter;
- projectile wound mechanics;
- impact biomechanics;
- phenomenological model
Abstract: Gunshot backspatter comprises biological material expelled backward through bullet entry holes. Crime scene investigators analyze backspatter patterns to infer wounding circumstances. An understanding of the mechanism of backspatter generation, and the relationship between spatter patterns and bullet and tissue characteristics, would enhance the predictive value of such analysis. We examined soft-tissue ballistic wounding responses to determine the underlying components and how these might be relevant to the generation of backspatter. We identified five mechanistic components to ballistic wounding (elastic, viscous, crushing, cutting, and thermal), each related to mechanical disciplines (respectively, solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, fracture mechanics, rheology, and thermodynamics). We identified potential roles for these five components in backspatter formation and provide a scenario whereby a sequence of events incorporating these components could lead to backspatter generation and expulsion. This research provides a framework for the mathematical representation, and subsequent computational predictive modeling, of backspatter generation and pattern formation.