Picture a grizzled, sharp-eyed homicide investigator standing next to a smiling high school student. The student -a girl from Portland’s David Douglas High- is holding what appears to be a swatch of patterned, red clothing. Upon further inspection, you realize the beaming young woman is, in fact, holding a blood-splattered shirt. This girl -not even out of the 12th grade yet- has, with the assistance of the homicide investigator, solved one of the forensic mysteries in the murder of actor Bob Crane.
As songwriter Suzanne Vega once said, blood makes noise. And for those who know how to listen…or, perhaps, watch…what that blood says can be staggering.
In this era of CSI, NCIS, 24, 20/20, and a serial killer named Dexter, it’s hard to believe that there was a time when forensic science -specifically blood spatter analysis- wasn’t taken seriously. In fact, there was a time when it didn’t exist at all.
On Sunday’s Outlook Portland, we talk to a man who helped change that.
Retired Chief Deputy Rod Englert spent a large portion of his career in the investigation of major crimes -including narcotics and homicide- right here in River City. As a young police officer, he was fascinated by the possibility that blood evidence -its patterns, positioning, and appearance- might reveal the hidden truth of of a crime scene, speaking for a victim whose own voice had been silenced. His research and study helped shape a tool now used by law-enforcement, legal teams, and criminologists the world over.
Along the way, he consulted on nearly 400 homicide investigations in 35 states, as well as Canada, Russia, England, France, and South America. He has analyzed blood evidence from the O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake cases…and, along with students from David Douglas High, made a key breakthrough in the investigation of actor Bob Crane’s murder. (And believe me, the story is as amazing as it sounds.)
His new book is called Blood Secrets: Chronicles of a Crime Scene Reconstructionist; it’s is in stores right now.
Retired Chief Deputy Rod Englert, this Sunday, on Outlook Portland, brought to you by Things From Another World.
(Visit TFAW.com to find the physical location nearest you, and to learn more about their massive Kick-Ass Sale, happening throughout the month of April. Remember to let them know you heard about it here.)
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Sunday’s episode will also feature The Outlook Portland Editorial Reply. Our guest commentator will be Magic the Gathering‘s Thornscape Battlemage. What will this mighty elf wizard have to say about the world at large? Tune in to find out.
It’s all on this week’s installment of Outlook Portland, Sunday at 6:30am, only on NW32 TV…brought to you by Things From Another World; whatever you’re into, they have just the thing for your collection.
NEXT WEEK: JP Linde and Kurt Misar, two of the men behind the space musical Wild Space a Go-Go.