Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Reconstruction of crimes by infrared photography

Vera Sterzik & M Bohnert

abstract Whenever blunt or sharp forces are used in a crime, analysis of bloodstain pattern distribution may provide important information for the reconstruction of happenings. Thereby, attention should be paid to both the crime scene and the clothes of everyone involved in the crime. On dark textiles, though, it is difficult or even impossible for the human eye to detect bloodstains because of the low contrast to the background. However, in the near infrared wavelength range, contrast is considerably higher. Many textiles reflect light beyond a wavelength of 830 nm and thus appear light-colored, whereas blood absorbs the light and appears dark. In our studies, a D7000 NIKON reflex camera modified for infrared photography produced high-resolution photographs visualizing even very small spatter stains on dark textiles. The equipment can be used at any crime scene or lab and provides immediately available and interpretable images. Thus, important findings can be obtained at an early stage of police investigations, as two examples (homicide and attempted homicide) illustrate.
citation Sterzik V, Bohnert M. Reconstruction of crimes by infrared photography. Int J Legal Med 2016;.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 1-3-2016
journal title Int J Legal Med
ISSN electronic 1437-1596
PubMed 26932868
DOI 10.1007/s00414-016-1343-2