Ross recently completed a month in Australia, teaching courses in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.Read More
Bevel Gardner & Associates forensic consulting and education providing instruction across the country and around the world. Located in Oklahoma, we are the largest independent forensic consulting company in the US. Follow our blog.
Would you like to know how to evaluate physical evidence and its context in a scene in an attempt to define objective actions that occurred during an incident? Join us in North Las Vegas June 5th - June 9th for the Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation course, and learn the six basic activities of crime scene processing, different scene mapping methods, recognize basic blood stain patterns and more. Click the link below to register and for more information!
Join us in North Las Vegas on March 6th-10th for the Crime Scene Reconstruction I course hosted by the North Las Vegas Police Department. Take the opportunity to learn how to use a methodical approach when examining crime scenes. The course is intended to develop a fundamental knowledge of appropriate hypothesis development and testing procedures and provide an objective form of defining the events associated with a complete crime. For more information and to register click the link below! Cant wait to see you there!
Would you like to know how to evaluate physical evidence and its context in a scene in an attempt to define objective actions that occurred during an incident? Join us in North Las Vegas February 27th - March 3rd for the Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation course, and learn the six basic activities of crime scene processing. Click the link below to register and for more information!
Looking to develop a basic understanding of the discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis? Sign up for the Bloodstain Pattern Analysis I course going on February 13th-17th in Salt Lake City,UT, and learn how to evaluate and document a bloodstain pattern scene. Click the link below for more information and registration. Can't wait to see you there!
At Bevel, Gardner and Associates we are dedicated to being the best source for forensic education and consulting. We are looking forward to 2017 and happy to announce we are still taking students for a few of our training courses. If you are interested in taking any of the following courses, please sign up and reserve your spot! The following is a list of available classes and locations.
- Denton, Texas – 2/27/2017
- Midwest City, OK – 4/3/2017
- Franklin, MA – 4/24/2017
- Melbourne, FL – 2/6/2017
- Denton, Texas – 10/2/2017
- North Las Vegas, Nevada – 3/6/2017
- North Las Vegas, Nevada – 2/27/2017
Want to learn more about our courses? Click here!
Join us for the Bloodstain Pattern Analysis II course in Melbourne, Florida on February 6th-10th hosted by the Melbourne Police Department. The course will enhance your basic skills and develop the novice to core competency level required for independent bloodstain pattern analysis. By the end of the course you will be able to present bloodstain pattern analysis conclusions in a logical written format. Click the link below for more information and to register!
Ross and Grif closed out the month of November with their new friends in Dubai. Read on to learn about the rest of their time in the desert:
The second week we spent in Dubai was devoted to covering advanced bloodstain pattern analysis topics. The week was shortened due to the upcoming national holiday commemorating the 45th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Sunday and Monday were focused on experimental design; each team implementing its design; peer review of another team’s documentation by photos and notes; conducting experiments in bloodstain size and distance droplets traveled; practicing the tangent method for determining two areas of origins for two impact patterns on the same surface; and looking at bloodstained clothing to evaluate the patterns to see if the bloodstain evidence supported or refuted a potential suspect’s statement.
The final morning, Tuesday, the class presented their peer reviews; offered reconstructions of the mock scenes they had examined on Monday; took the final test; and saw a case presentation to close out the class portion. We all then went to the auditorium of the Dubai Police Department Training headquarters where the brigadier general in charge of training presented certificates to the students and certificates and medallions of appreciation to us. On the way to the graduation ceremony, Grif unintentionally tried to make a lasting impression with respect to the BGA presence by walking into (but not through) a locked glass door. That action initiated a source of fresh blood that went to waste as all of the class experiments were completed.
The world travelers headed back to the U.S. on November 30th but have brought back memories and pictures to last a life time. Both Ross and Grif appreciate the opportunity to put their expertise to work on a global level and look forward to their next international adventure.
Ross and Griff were working while the rest of us feasted on Thanksgiving, however, they were able to have a change of pace once the weekend rolled around. Read on to hear about their unique desert experience:
Friday and Saturday are the weekend days here in the UAE. We signed up for a desert safari program for Friday afternoon and evening. The company uses SUVs which can transport 6 tourists and the driver and there were 10 vehicles out this day. Our first desert stop was to watch a falconry demonstration and then four-wheeling in the sand dunes. Walking in the fine sand took some effort and used leg muscles not normally called into action. For those wanting technical data, the tire pressures are reduced from 35 psi to 20 psi to move in the extremely fine sand. Some parts were reminiscent of turbulent air travel. We were in the far back seat for this part of the adventure and had to slouch to keep the tops of our heads from hitting the headliner. The presence of padded roll bars was in interesting touch! We saw a few gazelles and a herd of over two dozen oryx. From the dunes our caravan went to a campsite at which a traditional dinner was served, camel rides were available, and belly dancing closed out the evening.
Ross and Griff are over half way through their desert teaching expedition. Last week they continued instructing the Bloodstain Pattern Analysis I Class and had these reflections:
Day 3: Involved a morning discussion of the experiments conducted on Day 2. The afternoon had its own labs including drying times; horizontal motion of dropping blood; stringing for area of origin; documentation of bloodstain patterns
Day 4: Discussion of the lab experiments from Day 3 and exercises to practice measuring the widths and lengths of stains for calculating impact angles.
Day 5: In addition to new lecture topics, the class had a paper exercise to apply the use of the tangent method to calculate area of origin. They'll have more practice next week.
Two of our BGA folks will be spending Thanksgiving this year across the Atlantic. Ross and Grif are in Dubai for almost two weeks instructing BPA I and BPA II as back-to-back classes for the Dubai P.D. They left the U.S. last Friday and arrived in Dubai on Saturday and began the first class the next day. The work week in Dubai is Sunday through Thursday. Classes are being conducted at the new building housing the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology which opened a few months ago.
There are 19 students in the class who are from both the Dubai P.D. Crime Scene Department and the forensic laboratory. The students understand English and most of them are quite fluent in it which is good as neither Ross nor Grif speak Arabic – at least not yet. There have only been a few occasions when some of the students helped translated words and phrases for other class members. This happened, and will probably continue to happen, when scientific terminology is used and American idioms, such as talking about “not seeing the forest for the trees” for example.
Our hosts are wonderful and everyone in class is enthusiastic as was evidenced how all actively participated in the bloodstain lab experiments that ran all day Monday. This class provided a first for BGA bloodstain classes. Camel blood is being used! It is available in sufficient quantity for a week, so getting through hump day will not be a problem.
Interested in developing advanced skills used to analyze complex crime scenes? Join us Salt Lake City, UT, January 9th-13th for the Crime Scene Reconstruction II course. The course will enhance your skills on crime scene analysis and additionally you will see how to properly present your findings in court. Click the link below for more information and to register. See you there!
Looking to develop a basic understanding of the discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis? Sign up for the Bloodstain Pattern Analysis I course going on December 12th-16th to learn how to evaluate and document a bloodstain pattern scene. We will have this course going on in two locations, Loveland, Colorado and North Las Vegas, Nevada. Click on the link below for more information and registration for the course and remember to put what location you are registering for!
Join us in Columbia, SC, November 14th-18th for the Crime Scene Reconstruction I course hosted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Take the opportunity to learn how to use a methodical approach when examining crime scenes. The course is intended to develop a fundamental knowledge of appropriate hypothesis development and testing procedures and provide an objective form of defining the events associated with a complete crime. For more information and to register click the link below! Can't wait to see you there!
The International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts held its annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah October 4-7th. There were approximately 100 attendees from across the U.S. and around the world. Ross Gardner and Tom “Grif” Griffin of Bevel, Gardner and Associates conducted two four-hour workshops about the examination and analysis of bloodstains on fabrics, including clothing. Each workshop averaged 26 participants.
During the workshop, participants were able to:
- examine fabrics with respect to impact and directional angles
- explore the use of various methods for visualization of blood especially on dark fabrics
- employ the use of the BGA decision tree for classification of bloodstain patterns on fabrics
- use magnification as a means of possibly determining contact versus spatter stains.
The last hour of the workshop allowed participants to put what they learned into practice. Each team examined a different set of clothing, all sets created under identical circumstances, to decide if the analysis supported or refuted a suspect's statement.
This workshop is a small portion of the BGA course dealing with BPA on fabrics. More information on full BGA courses can be found here.
BGA was invited to the New York Police Department (NYPD) to present the Crime Scene Reconstruction Level I course last week. Participants included both detectives and various criminalists from the NYPD crime laboratory.
One of the most interesting challenges in the course is the Day Four practical, which requires student groups to determine the actions and order of actions in a double homicide, as well as answering two specific investigative questions.
These questions are not easily answered and require significant thought and logic on the part of the group. One particular question requires sequencing the order of introduction of four weapons used in the incident. Over the number of years BGA has presented the course, we’ve seen excellent efforts to resolve this issue. Yet, the question has always required a number of specific tests to resolve, and in fact it has never been resolved in less than five tests. One of the groups at NYPD developed an excellent resolution with only three tests. This was something we were somewhat surprised to see and initially questioned closely, yet we found no logic errors in the argument. So we want to congratulate the group (Criminalist Melissa Huyck, Criminalist Kate Ferrante, Detective Billy Brown, Criminalist Cristina Pires and Criminalist Manager Stacey Butler) on this tremendous effort.
We want to thank the Tempe Police Department for hosting our successful BPA I course in early September! We had attendees from Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The course focused on several areas including analyzing blood drying time, impact angles, and the transfer of blood patterns. We learned from our time in Arizona that a blood drop dries very quickly when humidity is low and the air temperature is above 100 degrees!
Join us from October 24th to October 28th in Denton, Texas for the Bloodstain Pattern Analysis course. Have the opportunity to advance your skills to the next level. This course was designed to train students for the independent analysis process. For more information and to register, click the link below! Hope to see you there.
BGA: Cele, as an already established and court qualified Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA) expert, why would you enroll in the Bevel, Gardner & Associates (BGA) mentorship program on BPA?
Celestina: When BGA announced that they had developed a Mentorship Program, I was excited about the opportunity and the challenge. Working as a Crime Scene Investigator at a Sheriff’s Office, I have the ability to analyze the bloodstain patterns at the scene. At the time I enrolled in the mentorship program, I had not had the opportunity to analyze a bloodstained crime scene that was worked by another investigating agency outside of a classroom setting in a group activity. By the mentorship program design, I knew that this particular aspect was going to personally challenge me in a way that I had yet to be challenged. I was also excited about the prospect of conducting research and getting that research published.
BGA: Tell our readers the requirements to complete this program?
Celestina: The program first requires a commitment on behalf of the student. This is not a program that you sign up for that can be completed in a week or a month. You have to have a dedication to the discipline and your craft and have the fortitude to keep pushing through all of the challenges that come with maintaining a fulltime job and family life. Most likely, this endeavor is going to require you to commit some of your personal time and attention to complete the course tasks. Your journey starts by having a conference with your assigned mentor, who will reiterate what is expected of the student. You will then send a BPA report that you've previously written to your mentor for their review. You will have another conference with your mentor about the report and will get feedback on your report writing style and your stated conclusions.
This first exercise prepares you for the second step in the program, which is producing a bloodstain pattern analysis report on a case from another agency. You will receive a box containing reports, diagrams, and disks of photographs and videos of a bloodletting scene. Your task is to evaluate all of the material and provide an analysis. You will then send back all the materials, along with your report, to your mentor so that it can be reviewed. There will be another conference to discuss your analysis and to defend any of your conclusions that may be questioned.
Part three of the program requires you to switch gears into another realm of BPA which deals with research. You and your mentor will look at past research and possibilities for topics that need further research. You will then work with your mentor on finding an agreed upon topic and will be given recommendations on how to proceed. In my opinion, this part of the process requires the most dedication and commitment. It was especially difficult for me because I had not conducted independent research before. Getting started was my biggest obstacle. I learned that compiling your research into a paper is also a challenge if this is something that you are not familiar with doing. Depending on what peer review journal you decide is best suited for your material, learning the format for publication can be stressful. To complete the third phase of the program, you will present your research at a forensic conference and have your research published.
The fourth phase, for me, was a confidence builder in that you provide your mentor with a current BPA report, complete with all scene photographs and documentation, for peer review. After your work has been peer reviewed, you will then enter into the final phase of the program. Phase five is a comprehensive proficiency test. Upon successful completion of the test, you will graduate from the program.
BGA: As an expert in the field already, how did this program enhance your knowledge or skills in BPA?
Celestina: This program not only enhanced my skills and abilities, it provided an opportunity to network and interact with members of the bloodstain community. It opened the door for further research that I never dreamed I would have the ability to achieve. The program has afforded me the opportunity to be an invited guest speaker at forensic conferences in other states. I have also presented at several universities, to students wanting to pursue a career in forensic science. Completion of the program gave me confidence in myself in knowing I had the endurance to successfully complete each phase, one by one, without giving up. Managing my own case load, call-outs, and family life, while staying committed to the mentorship program, was very challenging. There are so many things that I could professionally attribute to the completion of this program. All in all, it was a journey and the story is still being written.
To learn more about the BPA Mentorship program, click here.
Griff and Ross are in Boise, Idaho instructing a BPA II class. Besides law enforcement agencies form Idaho, students have come from Oregon, Indiana and Michigan. A great thanks to the Ada County Sheriff's Office for being our wonderful host!
If you would like more information, or to register, click here!