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Sunday Serial: ‘Haunted Bones’- Chapter Three

“Essentially the camera’s different filters do all the work depending on which filter you want to use. But, contingent to what filter is being used, they can distinguish between blood and the other four elements I just mentioned—bleach, rust, cola, and coffee.

“When I take an image of a scene, such as our suspect wall here, the camera beams pulses of infrared light onto the surface and detects the infrared that is reflected back. In this case, I’ll use a transparent, eight-micrometer-thick layer of the protein albumin placed in front of the detector, which acts like a filter. This process will make a bloodstain show up against its surroundings, that is the wall and any other substance that might be on the wall, by filtering out wavelengths that aren’t characteristic of blood proteins. And … voilà!

“Simply by modifying the chemical used for the filter, it should be possible to detect contrast between a surface and any type of stain. No doubt, this new technology is a great advancement to forensic science.”

“Hell, I’m impressed,” Joe said looking at the professor and then over at Danny. Danny in turn passed on his praise to the professor. He then asked a curious question.

“Is this new crime scene technology accepted by the courts?”

“Yes, it is. There already have been some court cases where evidence was entered using this technology; and factual information regarding its use have been proven successful. If you have to use what I’ve ascertained in court, you will not have a problem.”

“Good to know, Professor,” Danny said affirming his statement. Joe was glad to hear it, too.

During this conversation, Professor Cho had everything set up and his filters in place. When ready, he plunged the cable to the camera to survey the wall in question. It took several minutes for everything to be digitized and recorded onto a hard drive on the accompanying laptop computer he had set up nearby. The next step was to download the information and display it to a computer screen so he could make determinations. When finishing up his work and replacing the camera and equipment back into its case, he asked Danny a few more questions.

“Do you have a suspect in this case, detective?”

“Yeah, we do. But some of the evidence dictates otherwise. But for the moment, we really don’t want to say. When we get back to the office and go over your results, we’ll talk more. We’re really quite anxious to see what you have.”

“Well, it won’t take long once we get back to the station. I will need some time to go over the data and make a determination. I suspect by then we can further discuss the case and go from there. I’m really interested in looking at the autopsy photos and what the coroner has written in his report. I think with a combination of the two, we can come to a fairly accurate determination. But for the time being, it’s probably a good idea to keep this crime scene closed and not let the owner back in until all the work has been completed. Is that a problem with the owner?”

“For the moment, I don’t think so. He’s been released form the hospital and living with his son and wife. From what we’ve heard, the arrangement seems to be working out,” Danny replied.

“Well yes, victims need to be with close family members during times of trauma.” Both Danny and Joe looked at each other with trepidation. Sooner or later, Professor Cho would know their concern.

Back at the station, Danny escorted Cho to the conference room where the evidence still remained on the table, including the Big Bertha golf club and Tommy Armour putter. However, there was one key piece of evidence they didn’t have—the doctor’s pajamas. Apparently at the hospital, the blood soaked pajamas disappeared after they were taken off the doctor. They have yet to be found. It is quite possible they were accidentally disposed of and burned along with other medical waste routinely incinerated.

After another brief chat about the evidence, Cho opened up his laptop computer to display the information he had recorded. In the meantime, the two detectives left to room so that Cho could work alone without being disturbed.

About thirty minutes of going over the data, looking over the crime scene photos, reading the autopsy report, and studying the golf driver and putter, he summoned the detectives back into the room.

“Well, it is my opinion that the spatters on the wall is blood and no doubt coming from the victim. It appears she was beaten several times with some sort of blunt object with a sharp edge and that one of the blows cut her carotid artery on the left side of her neck. That’s where most of the blood came from that splattered the wall. But what else is interesting is that she has a bruise on her left cheek just below the eye. That bruise came just before her beating.” “Do you know that for sure?” Danny asked.

“Yes, I’m quite sure. A bruise can appear on the skin even after death. By the color of this bruise, it appears to have formed just after death and not before leaving me to believe she was coldcocked, probably by a fist, just before she was beaten to death.”

“Now that is very interesting, professor.”

“Yes, it is; however, it’s not uncommon. Many perps will pummel their victims to incapacitate them just before killing them. I’ve seen this type of bruise many times.

“Based on what you’ve said, and the way I see this, the husband heard a noise and got up from the bed to investigate. While he was in another part of the house, the perp quietly went into the bedroom and slugged his wife hard enough to throw her back into the bead. This incapacitated her. Apparently she rose from the prone position and was sitting on the side of the bed. As you can see from the photos, she is laying on her right side and not on her back. Her feet and legs are on the edge of the bed.

“It is at this point the perp went into the room where the doctor was and shot him. He returned to the bedroom and began pummeling her severing the artery. That artery carries oxygen to the brain. When that is cut off, death occurs quickly. That more than likely caused her death. Of course, the severe blows to the head didn’t help. She died rather quickly. No doubt gruesomely.”

“And the spatters on the wall?” Joe asked.

Continued on Page 3—>>>