Interpreting the blood and struggle evidence in Meredith’s room
By Ron Hendry
This article contains graphic crime scene photographs.
The initial struggle likely occurred alongside the bed.Struggle signs were also evident at police marker “K” and near and about the desk. A couple of apparent blood trails appeared to connect to police marker “K”
Heavy blood deposits in front of and about the wardrobe closet indicated that it was the site where Meredith began bleeding heavily from the mortal wound to her throat. The bloodstains suggest she was upright on her knees and facing the nightstand with the killer standing behind and having firm control of her head with one hand while inflicting the mortal wound with the other.
A circular arc of blood in front of the wardrobe closet appeared to be the last blood expulsion in that area. Soon after being mortally wounded, Bloodstain evidence suggests that Meredith collapsed on her right side, facing the wardrobe closet, at which point the killer grabbed her by the blue sweatshirt she was wearing and began to pull her in a counterclockwise arc, eventually moving her to the spot where she was found.
The killer used a couple of towels to partially clean a substantial area of the floor of blood before sexually assaulting Meredith..
Half or more of the total blood loss occurred while Meredith was in the position where she was found, with her head between the nightstand and the wardrobe closet.
Description of blood evidence and occurrences
Blood and blood markings covered much of the floor in Meredith Kercher’s room. Major blood deposits were located around the wardrobe closet. By far the heaviest blood deposits were located between the nightstand and wardrobe closet, in the spot where Meredith was found.
Several factors altered the appearance of the blood evidence between the time the wounds were inflicted and the point at which the crime scene was photographed.. These include movements by the killer as well as the victim after the mortal wound was inflicted, the presence of blood absorbing materials on the floor, and police activities.
A few photos of some floor blood markings were taken before the crime scene was altered, but DNA samples were taken before some areas were fully documented by photos and measurements. Police did not capture a complete photographic record of the blood markings during the first few days. The smeared bloodstains on the floor at the bed edge next to the nightstand weren’t photographed up close during the initial investigation.
The best overall photos were taken 47 days later on December 18th. By that time some changes had occurred in the appearance of some of the floor markings.
The photo above was taken December 18th. All the blood in the left upper corner was deposited after Meredith had been moved to the spot where she was found.text.
A close inspection of the December 18 photos reveals that poor handling of the blue Adidas zipper jacket by the police created additional bloodstains on the floor and altered the appearance of bloodstains that were present when the body was found. Someone apparently picked up the jacket and allowed it to drag along the floor while moving it to the desk area. The top right-hand photo below shows the sweatshirt in its November 2 location, and the bottom right-hand photo shows its December 18 location. The photo on the left shows the blood trail created when police moved the garment. The smaller blue-lined enclosure shows where a mass of hair was removed, leaving a void in the bloodstain.
Some bloodstains appeared under the bed during the December 18th investigation that weren’t visible in the original crime scene photos. The police thought these bloodstains were part of the original crime scene, but a close examination shows that they were created when someone put a pair of blood-soaked boots under the bed, along with other clothing.
A close inspection of the photos also shows that the killer wiped blood from several areas near where Meredith's body was found. This would account for the large amount of blood found on the large white towel lying on the floor. A green towel and the top bed sheet may have also been used to wipe up blood on the floor.
In the photo above, the areas inside and perhaps near the outline appear to have been wiped. Areas by the bed also had this appearance.
Considerable blood splatter from aspiration was observed on the floor near the wardrobe closet and on the outer closet door. Almost no blood splatter was observed on the adjacent window wall.
The blood splatter appeared to be heaviest a few inches to either side of a line from about the center of the wardrobe closet door back to the left center of this photo. Note the lack of blood spatter on the adjacent window wall. Note the area of flooring at lower right of photo without notable blood markings. Note also the counterclockwise blood trail arc.
One area in front of the wardrobe closet and adjacent the window wall was nearly void of blood markings. The blood droppings on the closet door side of this void area are notably and broadly smeared. It appears that a sizable object, such as the blue floor mat, may have been located where the void area was and then it was moved toward the closet door before being relocated elsewhere.
The most notable series of blood markings on the floor were those composing a circular arc in front of the wardrobe closet, which appeared to be the last set of blood markings in front of the wardrobe doors. These began about two feet from the wardrobe and then moved in a counterclockwise arc toward the wardrobe closet.
At that point, the appearance of the blood pattern changes to include wide swiping markings in previously deposited blood, along with a fainter double blood line continuation of the large singular blood trail. The expanded swiping markings and double blood line markings ended about one foot later near the corner of the wardrobe closet. In this apparent stopping location, the blood markings became heavier.
Bloody hand swiping markings were noted on two sides of the wardrobe closet wall and also on the wall between the bed and nightstand. Blood spatter was evident on the outer surface of the wardrobe closet wall facing the nightstand.
The photo on the above shows the bloody hand swiping markings to the inside wardrobe closet wall. One can readily make out four finger swipe markings. Other marks in the photo may have been made by the cuff of the victim’s jacket.
The photo below shows the outside wardrobe closet wall. Note the blood spatter. The arrows locate hand swiping markings by Meredith’s left hand after she had been moved to her final position.
There were signs of a struggle alongside the bed. The door side bed posts had been jammed next to the wall in contrast to the bed posts at the corner wall. Blood dripping was observed on the floor near the door end of the bed.
The mattress had been jammed against the corner wall, leaving a portion of the bed frame and slats exposed at that end. Blood dripping was observed on the exposed slat and bed frame areas. A long bloody hand swipe was on the wall above the bed and nightstand. The desk lamp was on the floor between the bed and nightstand and may have been knocked off during a struggle.
In the photo above, note the blood streaks on the wall and bed jammed flush against the wall with slats exposed.
In the photo above, arrows at the frame posts show that door side post is closer to far wall than corner side post. The two arrows at the slats show the location of bloodstains. The other two arrows mark bloodstains on floor.
There were signs of struggle at police marker K near the window wall. Several large drops of blood were found at this spot along with smears made by a shoe. Several long brown hairs were mixed in with the bloodstains. Additional shoe markings were located nearby.
The desk chair near marker K showed signs of having been slammed forcefully under the desk. A newspaper on the inside floor of the desk was beneath the left front chair leg, while a torn piece of that same newspaper was under the right front leg. Two small blood drops were found near the chair.
In the photo above, Note the K marker at the far left. The large arrow under the desk points to a torn corner of newspaper. Small arrows point to blood drops under the desk and a smear on the floor, possibly made by a shoe.
The photo above shows the blood markings at marker K. Several large blood drops are smeared by what appears to be three sliding shoe prints. Several long hairs are contained in the smeared blood stains.
The photo above is a December 18, 2007 crime scene photo of the marker K area. The arrow near the investigator's foot shows rotating blood smears. The other two arrows locate large drops of blood leading toward or from the marker K area.
Above, in the December 18, two areas of dried blood are visible that were not present in the photo below, taken November 3.
The photos below show the boots in their November 3 position on the left, and under the bed on December 18.
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Professional Opinion From Forensic Engineer Ron Hendry