New Forensic Discovery — Identifying Bullet Trajectories More Efficiently

There are many new discoveries lately that will help investigators solve cases with scientific forensic techniques.  Here is another example of different fields working together for multiple purposes of investigation.  According to an issue of Radiology, multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) provides an efficient, effective way to analyze wounds from bullets and other explosive devices.   This technique will help to give police and FBI investigators some answers during crimes involving multiple shootings and explosions.   

Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) is a form of computed tomography (CT) technology for diagnostic imaging. In MDCT, a two-dimensional array of detector elements replaces the linear array of detector elements used in typical conventional and helical CT scanners.  The two-dimensional detector array permits CT scanners to acquire multiple slices or sections simultaneously and greatly increase the speed of CT image acquisition. Image reconstruction in MDCT is more complicated than that in single section CT.

Pervious reports of wounds from bullets and bomb fragment don’t include the progression of the trajectory (curved path of something hurtling through space) angles or the direction of the wound path.  This new process works by scanning a 64-channel MDCT images that records the entrance and exit sites for the bullet trajectories.  This technology allows more analysis of thousands of penetrating injuries and correlates them with external ballistics.    

According to Dr. Folio, D.O., M.P.H. from the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland, “MDCT-based calculations of wound paths and angles of trajectory have other potential benefits including assistance in crime scene analysis and the triage and treatment of patients.  The work can also be applied to records from the Joint Theater Trauma Registry, A U.S. Department of Defense database of penetrating injuries in fatally and catastrophically wounded soldiers.”

Additional MDCT research has been scheduled to analyze bullet trajectories and wound paths in other areas of the body that include the head, chest, and abdomen.  Dr. Folio is leading the study on automated trajectory analysis in Vietnam veterans with traumatic brain injuries.   

Jennifer Chase
Award Winning Author & Criminologist

About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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