When Is Blood Not Blood?

Hemascein is a product that’s used by investigators for revealing latent bloodstains. Before Hemascein investigators sprayed luminol-type chemicals and then had to hurry with the examination and photography before the glow faded away, sometimes as quickly as 30 seconds. Not so with Hemascien. It’s a very stable product that “holds the glow” for up to 13 minutes and doesn’t require special cameras to record the image.

Normally, with luminol-type products, investigators had to complete their examinations and evidence collections prior to using the blood-revealing products because they degraded DNA. Hemascein doesn’t destroy DNA, which is an advantage because officers can learn where the incident occurred early in the investigation, allowing them to focus their attentions in the proper areas.

Heme Stix are used as a presumptive test for the detection of blood at crime scenes. Here’s a video that accurately demonstrates the use of various methods of testing for blood.

Hexagon OBTI is a test used to determine if a bloodstain is human blood. The strip turns blue if the sample is indeed human blood.

Synthetic blood is used for training with Heme Stix, Luminol, Hemascein, and other products. There’s even a product available for training called Fresh Scab that simulates wounds and, yes, fresh scabs.

Bluestar Magnum is a super-duper form of luminol that’s used to detect minute specks of blood, such as those found embedded in the threads of a suspect’s clothing, even after the clothing has been washed.

3 replies
  1. Carola
    Carola says:

    What looks like floods of blood turns out not to be in my brand-new book, A Colourful Death. I did some experiments with different kinds of commercial artists’ ink to see what would keep a sheen even when dry. Of course, as soon as a forensic tech sees it, he knows it’s not blood, but in the meantime…

  2. Donnell
    Donnell says:

    Fascinating. I’m curious about Hemascein. I was told by my local law enforcement that one of the things CSI programs get wrong is the spraying of luminol like water. They say it’s expensive and used only when absolutely necessary. Is Hemascein expensive?

    Love that Ms. Schroeder’s a stand up comedian. I would imagine in her job she’d need to have an outlet.

    Thanks, Lee.

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