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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.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis I

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! 

 

Register Here! 

 

 

Crime Scene Reconstruction I

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!

Resister Here! 

IABPA 2016 Conference in Review

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.

CSR-I NYPD

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.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis I Course In Tempe, Arizona

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!  

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis II

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.

Register Here

Interview with Celestina Rossi, Deputy Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

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.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis II in Boise, Idaho

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!

Bloodstain Documentation Course at Sirchie Laboratories

Ross was at Sirchie Laboratories this week presenting a special iteration of the Bloodstain Documentation course for the Wake County CCBI (City and County Bureau of Identification). 

The Documentation course is designed for crime scene investigators.  It develops an ability to recognize basic bloodstain patterns and provides the student significant hands on experience in documenting bloodstain patterns.  Students learn basic methods of documentation (e.g., Road-mapping) and then apply those concepts in real world environments (e.g., situations where patterns are located across multiple surfaces, patterns on ceilings, or patterns in areas that limit access to the photographer).

This course is currently offered only at the Sirchie Laboratories in Wake Forest, North Carolina due to facility requirements.  Open registration for this course is offered once a year. Students interested in attending this course can go to Sirchie.com and find registration information and scheduled dates for the next course. 

Networking with Experts

The International Association for Identification (IAI) is hosting its annual International Forensic Educational Conference August 7-13, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bevel, Gardner & Associates team will be there to exchange ideas and fine tune best practices with other professionals in the field. BGA's Tom "Grif" Griffin will be conducting two Bloodstain Pattern Analysis workshops as part of the conference.

In addition, Ross Gardner is a presenter at the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA) Conference in October. We look forward to seeing many of you at these excellent events.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis II

Have you completed the Level I Bloodstain Pattern Analysis course or any basic BPA course? Are you ready to advance to the next level? If so, join us in Boise, Idaho on August 25 for the Bloodstain Pattern Analysis II course to enhance basic skills and develop the novice to a core competency level required for independent analysis. For more information and to register, click the link below! Hope to see you there.

Register Here

Colorado Coroners Association

We want to give a huge thanks to the Colorado Coroners Association for including our workshop in it's annual training conference! The Bloodstain Pattern Analysis workshop was conducted by BGA's Tom "Grif" Griffin. Thanks to all the participants for the re-enactments and great enthusiasm to learn! We truly look forward to working with such a hardworking group of individuals again!

 We would also like give a huge round of applause to Detective Ainsworth, (far left), for all his handwork! Thanks for helping make the workshop a success!  We also would like to give a huge round of applause to Detective Ainsworth, (far left). The workshop would not have ran as smoothly without his help!   Also, a huge round of applause to Detective Steve Ainsworth, (far left), for his help. The workshop would not have ran as smoothly without his presence!

Also, a huge round of applause to Detective Ainsworth, (far left), for his help. The workshop was made so much better because of his presence! 

Congratulations Celestina

We are excited to announce Celestina Rossi as the first to complete our BPA Mentorship Program. She also successfully completed both required courses, BPA I and II. She is now ready to go into the world as a competent bloodstain pattern analyst, with skills that will last her a life time. We are so proud to be producing great bloodstain pattern analyst, and we know Celestina will make great contributions in her field of work. 

Our BPA courses and mentorship program are meant to create a hands on opportunity for students. We are dedicated to making the worlds best bloodstain pattern analyst and always look forward to working with talented individuals. If you would like to register for courses or apply for our mentorship program please follow the links below.

 

BPA I & II

BPA Mentorship Information

BPA Mentorship Application 

 

Crime Scene Reconstruction

Join us in Salt Lake City, Utah from August 1st to August 5th for the Crime Scene Reconstruction course! Spend some time with the Unified Police Department this summer and learn more about crime scene reconstruction. Sign up and learn from the best. This course will broaden your knowledge and allow you to develop useful criminal investigation techniques. Click the link before for more information and to register.

Register Here

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis I took San Diego

The Bloodstain Pattern Analysis I course made its appearance in San Diego last month! Students completed seven objectives plus a post-course test that concentrated on pattern recognition, directionality and impact angle calculations. This 40 hour instructional course helps to develop a basic understanding of the discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis. With this first course under their belts, these men and women are one step closer to being the best in the business!

New York SIR Training

This week we hosted the Shooting Incident Reconstruction course in New York City, New York for the NYPD. This course provided detectives and crime scene investigators with the skills to analyze and reconstruct shooting incidents. Students learned 10 objectives, including, wound dynamics, the scientific method, and reconstruction analysis methodology. With the help of a series of classes and exercises, students learned to interpret the relationship between the scene, evidence and victim injuries. With their new training, the detectives are now ready to determine sequence of events and the position of shooters, victims and critical evidence.

Crime Scene Reconstruction

From June 6th to June 10th, we are hosting the Crime Scene Reconstruction course in San Diego, California. Designed for investigators, crime scene technicians, forensic technicians and others involved in criminal and medical-legal investigations and crime scene analysis, this course is intended to develop fundamental knowledge of Event Analysis. This hands-on course will give students the opportunity to develop techniques and explore the reconstruction process of criminal investigations. For more information, click the link below! Don't forget to register before it is too late!

Register Here

Continuing a Training Legacy

One of Bevel, Gardner & Associates’ experts, Ross Gardner, spent last week in Huntersville, North Carolina at Central Piedmont Community College teaching a Level I Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA) course.  BGA supports CPCC’s forensic program, known as the American Academy of Applied Forensics (AAAF) by offering the Level I and Level II courses there once a year.  The AAAF is a program started at CPCC by Dr. Lili Johnson, former Associate Dean for CPCC’s forensic program.  Ross first met Dr. Johnson in 2005 when she invited him to teach at the AAAF.  Lili established an amazing program in which much of student tuition required for courses like BPA were funded by grants.  This allowed smaller agencies to seek out and receive advanced training.  Lili passed away in December of 2014.

Lili worked for BlueLaw International and was the Academic Director at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Roswell, NM since 2012. Prior to working with BlueLaw at ILEA, Lili served as Associate Dean for Public Safety programs at Central Piedmont Community College and was responsible for instruction in initial and in-service training for public safety disciplines, as well as shared responsibilities for Criminal Justice and Fire Protection Associate Degree programs. Her law enforcement career included 15 years with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) where she was a Special Agent and an instructor and trainer for SBI Academy. She also had field experience in drug and general criminal investigations and uniformed police service. She was certified by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education Training and Standards Commission as a General, Physical and Firearms Instructor with areas of expertise in law enforcement training included undercover investigations, drug investigations, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) and interview and interrogation. Dr. Johnson taught as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at California State University Long Beach, teaching upper-level undergraduates in law enforcement and current topics courses. She had a doctorate degree in adult education from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Dale Callan continues Lili’s legacy at CPCC, constantly seeking to develop the forensics program and supporting local agencies with outstanding training at a low cost. BGA is honored to continue supporting the work that Lili began.

Death Investigation Training Seminar

From May 23rd to May 26th we will be hosting the Death Investigation Training Seminar in Boulder, Colorado. Sign up to experience and observe the steps to investigate a death. Students will receive training in the area of crime scene processing, critical incident investigations and initial interviewing techniques. Techniques utilized in this course will enhance students skill levels in the recognition management, and processing stages of the investigation. Sound interesting to you? Click the link below for more information. Hope to see you there.

Register Here

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis I

The Bloodstain Pattern Analysis course is being hosted by the San Diego Police Department from May 2nd to May 6th! This course will be held at the Naval Training Center, instructed by Iris Dalley and Tom Griffin. The purpose of this course is to develop a basic understanding of the discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis. For full course description check out the link below! Don't miss out on the opportunity to broaden your knowledge and experience of bloodstain analysis. See you there!

Register here