U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Black Box Evaluation of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Conclusions

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $1,086,976)

The accuracy, reproducibility, and repeatability of conclusions by forensic bloodstain pattern analysts have never been rigorously assessed. The objective of this study will be to assess the scientific basis of bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) by conducting a black box study measuring the accuracy, reproducibility, and repeatability of bloodstain pattern analysis conclusions, and associating these results with the education and training of participants. The results of the study will provide necessary information about the discipline to laboratory managers, to practitioners, and to the legal system. Participation will be open to bloodstain pattern analysts who have conducted operational casework within the past two years. Participation will be welcome from U.S. or non-U.S., full-time or part-time BPA practitioners. In addition to the primary objective, an additional benefit of the project will be a rich dataset of BPA imagery with the associated examiners’ conclusions, which can then be used by NIJ for subsequent BPA “white box” analyses. The work will be based on Dr. Hicklin’s extensive experience and lessons learned from conducting multiple black box tests (latent print, footwear, handwriting) and other biometric and forensic evaluations, Mr. Kish’s experience in conducting reliability tests of bloodstain pattern analysis, and Mr. Kish and Mr. Winer’s extensive experience as bloodstain pattern and crime scene reconstruction experts. This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law, and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF
Date Created: September 27, 2018