Detecting blood, in the field and in the lab, is an important part of forensic work, but it is surprisingly difficult to establish unambiguously that a suspect stain is in fact blood. Even if obvious splatters or pools of blood-like material are found at a crime scene, it can’t be assumed that they are blood. More than one investigator has been fooled by paint, hydraulic fluid, or other liquids that resemble blood, sometimes quite closely. Furthermore, bloodstains are by no means always obvious. Bloodstains may have been washed away by the criminal, leaving only invisible traces, or the blood may have been deposited on foliage or other materials that make it difficult to see.
If the crime scene covers a large area, it may ...
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