Blood Spatter Lab (Awesome Story)

So this morning, in my blood spatter lab we had two different parts. During the first half of the lab, we had all different wood shapes on a spring board and we had to soak a tiny piece of sponge with blood and then let the spring board snap down onto so we could look at high and low velocity blood flow as well as the blood stain pattern. (This procedure works very much like a mouse trap). Of course nobody wanted to volunteer to go in there and hold the spring board because nobody wanted to get blood on them. Of course we had full body tivex suits on so even if you got blood on you you were covered from head to foot anyway. So we had seven different spring boards and we did that. It was fun and I ended up staying pretty much clean.

After everyone was done with that part we moved on to part two. In this part we had one demonstration where they soaked a regular sized sponge with blood and then someone took a lead pipe to the sponge to see how the blood stain pattern would occur. That went well, another girl in my class performed it. The sponge wasn’t staying on the setup very well which made it hard for her to hit it very hard. We did see some good stain patterns especially from blood flying into the air and then coming back down onto the wall. It makes a much different pattern that way then if it just hits the wall as soon as it shoots up and away from the victim or from this case the sponge.

Next was the final demonstration of the day… this is where I come into play. In this demonstration someone would stand in the locker type set up and they would hold their hand up as if they were a victim fighting for their lives. Brittany is the girl who decided to be the victim. The other person (me) was going to hold a sponge of blood and start punching it right in front of her face to see what it would be like if the person were being beat to death when attacked. She stood there back towards the wall, with her right hand up.

Now to interject into the story, I was wearing a tyvek suit that was a little too short for me. My arms were practically sticking all the way out because the sleeves were so short. Go figure. That always happens to me. So Chase, one of the kids in my class (a very funny individual) says, “Cassey, Let me fix you up so you are completely protected.” We immeditely start laughing, but I allowed him to fix me up.

So he puts paper towels on my arms and starts wrapping it up and duct taping me with bright blue tape. I mean this is hillarious. So I have a completely white, full body tyvex suit on, booties on my shoes, papertowels wrapped around my arms with bright blue tape, a face shield, a hood, and to top it off he tapped a paper towel to the front of the face shield and put a paper towel on my neck. How embarassing. It was so funny. Everyone was laughing so hard at what I looked like and of course they were all taking picures. They get me set up and I’m getting ready to go in there and do some damage when I had a great idea that I should take to the streets in this get up. I should get blood all over me and then just go outside and start screaming O MY, WE’RE ALL INFECTED. ITS NOT QUARNTINED! Everyone loved this idea except my lab instructor who said no. Then Chase had a great idea that I should go over to towers (a dorm that I lived freshman year) and I should go to the brew and gold cafe and just order food like nothing wrong. It was quite comical. We laughed about it for ummm like ten minutes. I probably would have done it to. Everyone said they would follow me around just to see everyone’s reaction. Thanks to Ryan my instructor, it was a no go.

Anyway, I got a little side tracked. Back to the bloody sponge. Ryan puts the sponge in my hand and pours an entire vial of blood onto it. He says okay let me do another one. So he pours another vial of blood onto the sponge. Finally he decides one last vial of blood. By this time it is just dripping down my hand (which I was wearing gloves I forgot to mention that) and when he decides that’s enough he steps back and says have at it.

I turned and just smiled at Brittany. Then I took the sponge, held it infront of her face, and punched it as hard as I could. As soon as I punched it the first time the blood sprayed out between my hands and splashed all over her face mask. Then I continued punching it and my hands were so slippery with blood that the sponge fell onto the floor. So I picked it up and punched it somemore. It was AWESOME. Finally I stepped back to assess the damage. We were both completely covered and that stupid paper towel that insisted I tape on my face probably did some good.

The class was laughing having a good time and they took many more pictures and some people even got a video. Now getting out of this mess was a little bit more complex than setting up for it. It was a double effort for both Brittany and I and taking off our bloodied clothes was difficult but after some soap I was pretty cleaned up. It smelled awful though. ugh. I loved it though. It was sooo fun. Soon I will post pictures. I don’t care how embarrassing it is. I’m easy going.

Confessions of a Writer<3

Forget the little stuff, Let’s burn a Car.

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img_1326Author’s NOTE: Please DO NOT try this at home. This was done in the presence of trained individuals and there was EMS staff on standby.

So, this is what I got to do Sunday with my forensic’s class 🙂 We lit a car on fire using a bag of potato chips as accelerate, we had the firefighters come in and put the fire out, and then we processed the scene like it would be done in a real life situation. There was a dummy in the car but I didn’t want to post pictures because people might think its a real dead body and that probably would not be good.

I was in charge of the narrative so I went and talked to all of the firemen at the scene and interviewed them for any importanat information. Surprisingly we found quite a few things in the car after the smoke died down. Proof that not everything goes right up in flames, like on tv.

Most importantly we found a gun in the bag of potato chips and that is a big piece of evidence. This could have been a suicide.

Can I just say one thing. It was absolutely positively freezing where we were and I was not prepared at all. I came straight from work and I had to drive up into the mountains and it was so cold I thought my fingers and toes were going to fall off. Ridiculous.

I survived though. One thing I do ask, please don’t die when I’m not prepared because it sucks. k thanks. haha.

Confessions of a Writer<3

Fingerprint Residue

New item of the week or the next month should I say… the new topic of my research paper. Petitioning to a judge (my teacher) that the techniques in fingerprint residue using Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometry, should be admitted into court on a certain case.

Wow. Mouth full. I know right. I’ve already started doing the research, and it is quite interesting. A nerd like me would say, anyway. haha. I had to get a head start on this paper, when normally I’m a slacker, because I have alot of things coming up in the next few weeks like Halloween and many more fun things, so I want to get the paper pretty much written and out of the way so I don’t have to stress while I’m doing the fun things. Get it?

Now the coolest part about this process, is that they are using it to analyze your fingerprints for drugs, nicotine from smokers, and explosives and bombs.

In case you didn’t know you leave natural compounds when you touch your fingerprints, such as cholesterol, amino acids, fatty acids, etc.

Using a complicated extraction method, you can extract residues that are left in fingerprints after you lift them, and using a mass spectrometer, you can analyze the residues and determine if the person was touching illegal substances prior to their arrest.

The best part, those substances mold to your fingerprint, so that even if you think you can fight it, how can you, your pattern, that is unique to you and no one else in the world, is now holding the evidence for you. Amazing! Yeah yeah, getting excited over all of the little things. I know.

P.S. I testify for real in court testimony tomorrow. AAHH. I just need to be confident, be confident, be confident.

Confessions of a Writer<3

R.F.I.D. Radio Frequency Identifiers: The new Crime Scene Future.

Today at crime scene lab we were introduced to our first look at R.F.I.D.’s [Radio Frequency Identifiers]. Very unique and if I must be like a child, very cool. We were each given a badge with an R.F.I.D. chip in it and of course our pictures and names. The pictures were absolutely terrible. As soon as I got home today I switched it out because it was that bad.

These chips, when placed directly onto a radio frequency will tell you all the information they contain. On our chips they have our information. Quite creepy I know, but it is so interesting

This is a picture of the chip that is now our badge.

When we collect evidence and information at crime scenes we can take an RFID chip, input all of the evidence information such as the time it was collected, the day, by whom, what evidence number it is, all of the important information that we used to have to fill out on forms previously.

Now, you simply type in that information slap one of these babies right onto the bag that contains the evidence, and away you go.

This is crazy. They have even attached all of these tags to our Nikon D80’s so that they will be able to keep track of who has cameras so no more will be stolen. [There was an incident last year when one of the cameras disappeared and they still haven’t located it yet.]

The best part about the chips is assigning something under ID badge. What you do is put the chip of whatever you are checking out, ex. a piece of evidence, one of the forensic laptops, or a camera, put your badge onto the Radio frequency plate with it and it automatically puts your name as the person in charge of that piece of evidence.

Think about this in terms of chain of custody. We will be able to transfer evidence easily and efficienly while still establishing the basic principles of forensic science. This is definatley going to be something that will become much more wide spread in the future. I do believe that we are one of the first universities to even try out the radio frequencies.

I love being able to test out new technology. Understanding something that inadvertantly is very complex, but can be so simple, as I just explained the whole gist of it to you, is both scary and exciting.

Confessions of a Writer<3