Below is an analysis of this crime scene photograph. Can you find other evidence in the photo? Do you see something different than what is in this analysis? If so put them in the comments section. Looking forward to hearing what others see.
In viewing the crime scene photograph, it is not immediately obvious to me whether this is a photograph of a homicide or a suicide. In cases where there is doubt, a photographer should document it as if it is a homicide. There are many elements to the photograph which I believe the photographer sought to record. I will attempt to outline those here.
First, this photograph appears to be a scene overview or mid-range photograph. It clearly shows a female victim centered in the photograph surrounded by blood smears and spatter, and the body’s relation to other items nearby. The body is lying on a hard tiled floor as well as partially upon a rug. An unidentified orange object with string is trapped under the left side of her body. Near the victim’s right hand is a record player, and above her head there appears to be a speaker and speaker wire as well as a possible “pot” pipe. The victim’s clothing appears to be partially removed as her undergarments are showing beneath a partially removed white skirt. She also appears to be laying next to an unidentified object (near her legs) which could be a table, box or television with a cloth cover over it. Beneath her right hand appears to be a pointed object that may or may not be a weapon. Also in view is an intact cigarette near her left leg and what could possibly be an asthma inhaler (yellow) near her left hip. The view of the camera angle is a birds-eye view or as if it was taken from above the scene.
The location of all of the biological evidence is clearly documented with this photograph in its relation to the body of the victim. A possible heel print from a shoe or boot is located adjacent to her left forearm. The photographer would have wanted to document this in case a print analysis would be able to be traced to either the shoes owned by the victim or to shoes a potential attacker would have worn on the scene. Blood spatter on the wall shows the appearance that it has dripped down the wall from a higher elevated source. There appears to be evidence of not only blood pooling but also movement of the right arm by smearing of the blood. Above the victim’s head there is smearing in the blood that makes it appear that the body has been drug or moved away from the wall. This biological evidence shows where the body wounds are as well as possible forcible events that may have occurred to the victim.
The evidence of the clothing of the victim can help show signs of activity prior to the death. Because the shirt has a tear in it and the skirt appears to be pulled away the photographer may be capturing evidence that this was a violent attempt at a sexual assault or evidence of a struggle.
The overall photo is good in that it records the room in which the victim was found. It shows the angle the body was positioned in at the time of death. It also shows an overview of evidence such as biological and environmental that could help investigators piece together what happened to the victim. Trace evidence such as the cigarette might have been missed if not caught on the photograph. The bloody footprint may have been overlooked or smeared if not documented prior to moving the body for the medical examiner.