Selected Testimony of Doctor Paul Kirk in Sam Sheppard's 1966 Murder Trial

What is your occupation?

A: I am Professor of Criminalistics, School of Criminology, University of California, Berkeley. I am also a private consultant in matters concern­ing both civil and criminal cases.

Q: And how long have you held your teaching position?

A: I have taught at the University of California since 1925, in various capacities. I taught previously to that as a teaching assistant only at the University of Pittsburgh in 1924 and '25. At the University of California I was made instructor in 1929; I was an associate prior to that, and teaching assistant.  I was made assistant professor in 1933. I was made associate professor in 1939. I was made a full pro­fessor in 1945. This was all in biochemistry. In 1949 or '50-'49, I believe, I was made associate, full professor of biochemistry and criminal­istics. And in 1954 I gave up the biochemistry work and went into criminalistics as full professor of crim­inalistics, full time.

Q: What does criminalistics involve, doctor?

A: Criminalistics is the subject that is concerned with physical evidence, that is, the examination and identification, individualization, and interpretation of physical evidence of all types.

Q: Doctor, would you give us a resume of your educational background other than that which you just described?

A: I first went to Ohio State University in Columbus for four years; following graduation from Randolph Macon Academy, in Macon, Virginia. I took the Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. I went from there to the University of Pittsburgh where I took the Masters degree in chemistry. I went from there to the University of Berkeley where I took the Doctors degree in biochemistry, PHD, in the Biochemistry Department.

Q: Now, how long have you been working as dis­tinguished from teaching, on the subject of criminal­istics, that is, physical evidence?

A: The first case I worked on was in 1935, and I have been doing it ever since then. Of course, J had to interrupt it for three years during the war, from 1942 to '45, because I was on the Manhattan Project at that time. That interrupted both teaching and investigative work.

Q: When your work at the Manhattan Project was concluded did you return to criminalistics, both teaching and actually doing the work?

A: I did, yes.

Q: Have you been involved in legal cases prior to this one?

A. I have been involved in over two thousand.

Q: Civil and criminal?

A: Civil and criminal, prosecution and defense, and plaintiff and defense. I worked for both sides, on both civil and criminal matters.

Q: Doctor, have you authored any written mate­rial in the various fields in which you have taught and been educated?

A: I have published about 240 publications of one type or another, which includes four books. It includes four encyclopedia articles. Most of it is the reports of original research. There are, of course, a few things like book re­views, and so forth, included in that list.

Q: Doctor, we learned from a prior witness that the Cleveland Police Department has a book called Criminal Investigation, by Paul Kirk, in its library; are you the author of that book?

A: I am.

Q: Doctor, do you belong to any-

A: Pardon me. It is Crime Investigation, rather than Criminal Investigation.

Q: I am sorry, Crime Investigation. When was that book initially published?

A: It was published in 1950. It is being revised at the present time to make two volumes.

Q: Do you belong to any professional organiza­tions or societies?

A: I do, yes. I belong to the American Chemical Society, of course, since 1923. I am a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the American Society of Biological Chemists; the American Society of Crim­inology. I am a founding member and president-elect of the California Association of Criminalists. I am a mem­ber of the British Forensic Science SocietyI am a fellow of the American Institute of Chem­ists. I am a fellow of the New York Academy of Science. I am a fellow of the Belgian Royal Academy. I am a member of the International Association of Foren­sic Toxicologists, and the newly formed International Association of Forensic Sciences. We just had it in Copenhagen a few months ago. There are still a few others.

Q: Let's have them all, please.

A: I am trying to think of all of them. Association of Consulting Chemists and Consulting Engineers. That is one of them. I can't think of any others at the moment, other than honor societies.

Q: Doctor, other than the teaching you have done at the University of Pittsburgh and the Uni­versity of California in Berkeley, have you had occa­sion to lecture?

A: I have lectured all over the United States, actually.

Q: And of the many civil and criminal cases that you indicate you have been involved in the past, are these all cases that arose in California?

A: No. As a matter of fact, they have arisen pretty much allover the world. There have been two originated in Okinawa, and I have testified in Oki­nawa.  I have testified more than once in-

MR. SPELLACY: I object. There is no question before the witness.

Q: Tell us the jurisdiction in which you have testified?

A: Well, I have testified in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Cali­fornia, Nevada, Arizona, and Okinawa. I have investigated in addition in some additional places. I have one case currently from Jamaica.  I have had cases from England. I have had several from Canada. I have them from Hawaii, from Alaska.  I think that is probably the geographical distribu­tion completely.  

Q: Now, would you indicate for the jury the areas where you found blood spatter in any amount?

A: The major blood spatter was in the region of the east wall. My door here is not quite properly placed; I would like to change this a little. The wardrobe door is down past the hall door. I indicate the wardrobe door on the east wall, and the hall door, showing the open position, blood spatter, but primarily from a region just a little to the north of the edge of the wardrobe door, through to the margin of the hall door. In other words, this was the heaviest spatter, in this region. Then there was spatter over the bed. I don't know exactly how to indicate this. Perhaps if I-

Q: If you will just indicate orally for the moment; it isn't necessary to draw it in.

A: There was blood spatter along the south wall, over the heads of the beds and particularly between the two beds and over the head of the one on the east, on which the victim was found. There was spatter on top of the radiator. There were some spots on the window blind over the win­dow in the west wall.  There were approximately ten spots in the region here. I will put a 10 here. And there were about ten spots in this region. There were no spots between the north margin of the heavy spotting indicated on the east wall, and the position on the north wall, such as I have shown. This is not to scale, and my dimensions may be a little off, I mean, as I have drawn it. But the basic facts are correct.

Q: You are able to say definitely that no blood spatter appeared on any section of the northeast cor­ner?

A: Between the positions indicated there was no blood spatter, correct.

Q: Can you tell us, doctor, what you are able to adduce or tell from examining a spatter or spot of blood from its shape?

A: From its shape you can tell a great deal· about its velocity, and its direction as to how it struck.

Q: Could you indicate just by sketching what a blood spot looks like that has traveled with some velocity and struck at other than at a 90-degree angle to the surface on which it was found?

A: It looks very much like a tenpin. Generally, an elongation with a little extra blood at the end, very commonly.

Q: Have you conducted experiments yourself where you observed spattered blood on various sur­faces?

A: Many experiments, yes.

Q: Where you see an elongation, what does that indicate as to the direction?

A: It means that the blood spot struck at an angle such as I am indicating, because the first drop that strikes is stopped at the surface. The top of the drop continues on and forms this elongation. If it strikes very rapidly you do not get this kind of a spot. If it strikes at very high velocity it does what we call fishtailing, that is, it comes out into something like this, a fishtail. And the length of the elongation is indicative of the angle, combined with the velocity. You have to consider both together, always.

Q: Doctor, from your experiments and experi­ence, can you tell us whether or not there is a limitation on the size of a drop of blood that will travel as a unit when thrown or spattered and strike a surface, how big?

A: You cannot move a drop that will make a spot larger than about a half inch, if· it flies for any distance.

Q: Now, as to spots which strike at a relatively sharp angle, that is to say, approach 90 degrees, or perpendicular to the surface being struck, can you tell something about the velocity from the shape of those drops?

A: Yes, I can.

Q: Would you first indicate by drawing a low velocity blood spot?

A: (Witness draws on blackboard.)

Q: For the record, you have indicated a small circle with regular edges?

A: It was intended to be a circle with regular edges, at low velocity.

Q: As the velocity increases, what changes take place in the blood spot?

A: You still get the circle but now you get a series of little thickened area spatters, stellate spat­tering out to the sides. It is due to the oscillation of the blood as it im­pacts; it oscillates and throws out these little droplets around it.

Q: Referring your attention back to the folded entry door and the wardrobe door, were you able to tell, first of all, the position of the entry door in the bedroom at the time the blood was flying in the room?

A: Yes.

Q: Tell the jury how you can tell?

A: You can tell it was open because the blood was spattered on the side facing the west. It was :not spattered on the inside.

Q: Was the pattern that appeared on the entry door continued to any other surface?

A: Yes.

Q: What surface?

A: It continued across the wardrobe door and just a little beyond the wardrobe door.

Q: Was the area behind the entry door clear?


A: That was free of blood, yes.

Q: Did you photograph this area, by the way?

A: I did.

Q: Is there anything about the blood spots on the area that we have just discussed on the east wall that was different than the rest of the blood spatter in the room?

A: Yes.

Q: Would you tell us what that was?

A: The blood spots on these walls did not have the consistent pattern as shown by the other blood spots, and the drop size was a little larger than any except close by the area of the actual beating.

Q: With respect to the blood spots in the rest of the room, can you tell us anything about the ve­locity of those spots which appeared on the east wall or the probable velocity when they hit?

A: On the east wall the velocity was low, and they did not have a large amount of angularity or of the stellate spatter. This was in some cases lacking entirely, and in other cases just a little. But in general they were traveling at relatively low velocity.

Q: Now, have you ever made experiments with various kinds of objects which might be used as weap­ons in order to test the throwoff pattern with blood as the weapon was swung through an arc?

A: I have.

Q: And from that do you have an opinion as to the limitation in size-

A: Yes.

Q: -as to any single drop that any weapon, whatever it may be, could throw off?


A: I have never been able to get one bigger than a half inch.

MR. SPELLACY: Objection. It is not responsive to the question.

Q: Just do you have an opinion.

A: Yes, I have an opinion. I am sorry.

Q: Did you find any drops on the east wall which in your opinion were too large to have come from the throwoff of the weapon?

A: Yes.

Q: How many?

A: One.

Q: Did you make some tests on that spot?

A: I did.

Q: By the way, had you typed at any time Marilyn Sheppard's blood yourself or grouped it?

A: Yes.

Q: Where did you get the sample that you used?

A: I got the sample from the mattress cover which I removed to California, from the blood on the mattress cover.

Q:  And did you take any other pieces or clumps of blood from the murder room which turned out to be the same as the blood of Marilyn's?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: And where did you take those samples?

A: I took one from the wardrobe door, and one was studied from the lower panel of the left wardrobe-I beg your pardon-from the lower panel of the wardrobe door.

Q: And from that door did you type any blood spots which were not those of Marilyn Sheppard?

A: I found one that I did not believe to be Marilyn Sheppard's, yes.

Q: Are you still of that opinion?

A: I am still of that opinion.

Q: Now, whether or not that was the same spot that was too large to have come from the weapon?

A: It was.

Q: Now, from your examination of the entire room, were you able to reconstruct the arc of the weapon that was swung against the skull of Marilyn Sheppard?

A: Yes.

Q: And could you also help us as to where the killer swinging the weapon was positioned with re­spect to her bed at the time the blows were· struck?

A: Yes.

Q: Would you show us the area where in your opinion the killer was positioned?


A: The killer was positioned at the lower end of the bed on the east side, the northeast comer of that bed, where he was standing, in the region which is delineated by the absence of blood; the head being in a position something like I am indicating, slightly to the west side of the bed and down about half way. And this, used as a center, would place the person who intercepted all the blood flying in one direction, be­cause there was no blood in this region. This is the only place in the room he could have stood.

Q: Doctor, assuming that a woman was beaten to death with blows struck on the skull by some hu­man being with a weapon, what would be the sources of flying blood that would cause the spatter such as you found in Marilyn Sheppard's bedroom in your ex­amination?

MR. SPELLACY: Objection.

THE COURT: What is the assumption predicated on, counselor?

MR. BAILEY: The assumption is predicated on the State's evidence.

THE COURT: Sustained in its present form.

Q: I want you to assume, doctor, that the body of Marilyn Sheppard was found as has been indicated in Exhibit 28, a photograph, showing her lying on the bed; I want you to assume that while she was in that position she was beaten about the head with some instrument, and that blood flowed freely while the beating was taking place. I want you to further assume that the instrument was manipulated by some human being. Now, can you tell us from your examination of the room and from your experience and experiments what the sources of the flying blood would probably be?

A: Yes.

Q: Would you do so?

A: In the first place, a source of the blood-the room, the walls of the room, was largely the radial spatter from impact; that is, when the weapon or some object hits a bloody head, the blood flies out like the spokes of a wheel, radially, in all directions. In general the experiments show that if there is any angularity to the blow, it flies out primarily to the front of the blow. And there were spots on the north wall which cen­tered like this, the arcs of which centered at the posi­tion of the head, as shown in Exhibit 28, I believe it wasThis was likewise true of spots on the radiator.  There was one drop which had skipped across this radiator for a distance of 15 ¾ths inches, contacting the radiator, contacted it as it glanced along the top like a stone skipping on water, and that was aimed precisely at the position of the victim's head as shown in the photograph, Exhibit 28. There were literally hundreds of little spots on the adjacent bed and these did not all show elongation. Many of them had been in a high enough arc to land, formed round spots, and these were particularly com­mon on the east side of the bed, the edge nearest the bed on which the victim was beaten. But the further away, the more of them showed the elongation. And there were elongated spots over the entire bed, on the pillow, which was in a position on the south, on the bed, and across the turned-back cov­ers where it stopped abruptly where it was turned back, and on the lower feet which was exposed. These spots all centered exactly on the position shown for the head. So we have a radial pattern showing on the south wall, the radiator, and the north wall, and to some, unquestionably, some of those spots on the east wall were likewise spattered. But in general most of them were not. The bed and the radiator and the north wall were the best ones, because these were all to be traced to the same center. The radial pattern is the one that comes from impact.

Q: Doctor, we mentioned experiments a while ago. Did you ever conduct any experiments wherein a surface comparable to that of a human head was soaked in blood and then struck with an object in order to test impact spatter?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: Do you have some photographs with you?

A: I have photographs with me showing that.

MR. SPELLACY: Objection, your Honor.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q: You found some blood then that in your opin­ion came from impact spatter as you described?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you find some blood that did not come from impact spatter?

A: Yes.

Q: All right.

A: The blood on the east side of the room, on primarily on the two doors, came almost entirely from weapon throw off. This was the larger drops traveling at low velocity, and it was too far away for any low velocity drops to travel from the bed in any event. But these very little sprinkling on these doors were in the larger size drops, the quarter inch for the most part, eighth inch, and in that neighborhood, with many smaller ones. There was only one spot I believe that was greater than a quarter of an inch; there was one half inch. These were very characteristic of weapon throw off, and the pattern was so consistent and so detailed that one could deduce very readily the arc through which the weapon had been traveling. Of course, it is a series of arcs, by that I mean, the region in which the arc existed.

Q: Were there any blood spots on the ceiling?

A: No, I found none on the ceiling. I found none on-beg your pardon.

Q: Were there any high up on the south wall be­hind the bed?

A: No, none on the south wall high up. In fact, the only place they were high up were on the wardrobe door, I mean, on the hall door.

Q: Doctor, you spoke of weapon throw off.  Assuming a bloody instrument being swung in an arc, can you tell us what you mean by weapon throw off, and what causes it?

A: I mean simply that if a weapon is impacting any bloody surface, it will become bloody itself, and as it is retracted preparatory to the next blow, it will be swung back somehow to the rear, and as the direc­tion of the weapon is changed, starting the next blow, it jerks off the blood or some of the blood that is on the surface of the weapon, and this continues to travel backwards from the weapon. It is very easily demon­strated.

Q: As. the weapon is brought forward-

A: Just at the moment it changes direction, the weapon is moved backward first and then· forward, and as it changes direction is when the blood leaves it.


Q: After this occurs and the larger clumps of blood leave the weapon at the reverse end of the swing, and then the weapon is brought forward and the velocity increases before the impact is made, is there any additional throwoff?

 A: There often is, yes.

Q: Did you find evidence of such throwoff in this case?

A: Yes.

Q: Will you tell us where you found it?

A: Primarily the blood on the south wall and be­tween and over the two beds.

 Q: With reference to the apparent velocity, is the velocity of the throwoff which occurs as the weapon is brought forward, greater or less than that which is shown by the blood which falls off when the weapon changes direction as you have indicated?

A: It is much greater.

 Q: And did you find indication of higher velocity on the south wall?

A: Yes.

Q: From your observations of the south wall, and such blood as you found there that did not come from impact spatter, but came from some other source, were you able to recreate within general lim­its the probable arc of the weapon that was swung and repeatedly struck on the head of Marilyn Shep­pard?

A: Yes.

Q: Now, from your examination of the wardrobe door, doctor, do you have an opinion due to the ve­locity that you observed to be evidenced there, as to how far that blood could have traveled from the place where it was thrown off the weapon to the surface of the door?


A: How far it could have traveled? It could not have traveled very far.


Q: All right, when you say not very far are you talking inches or feet or what?

A: I am talking the order of one or two feet.

Q: Now, was there any other area of the room where you found large low velocity drops other than the wardrobe door?

A: Other than the bed itself.

Q: Well, all right, other than Marilyn Sheppard's bed?

A: That's right, Marilyn Sheppard's bed.

Q: Were there any large low velocity drops, for instance, on the north wall?

A: There were no velocity drops at all on the north wall. The drops were medium in size, about an eighth inch or less.

Q: What about the bed adjacent to Marilyn, we will call it Sam's bed?

A: There were some slightly larger drops. But for the most part these were all small drops. And you can't be sure about the size of drops when they strike at an absorbent surface like a sheet, because the' blood spreads in the sheet, and inevitably what you see is a larger spot than you would get on a solid surface.


Q: You have indicated a diagonal line here on the bed adjacent to the one in which Marilyn was found. I recall you said that the sheet was folded back?


A: Yes, sir, the covers were folded back, at this line here. And the blood, it delineated the line very clearly. It covered the lower sheet up to this position, and it covered the top sheet from that position on. But nothing other than that.

Q: What about the pillow?

A: The pillow was spattered.


Q: And the area underneath it?


A: Nothing.  


Q: Now, having in mind the place where you have positioned the assailant, whoever that might have been, having in mind the evidence you have found and described relating to the kinds of blood, spatter and throwoff, and the position especially of the large low velocity blood spots, do you have an opinion as to whether or not the murder weapon, swung by a human being, was swung with a right or left hand?


A: Yes, I have an opinion.


Q: What is that opinion?


A: It was definitely swung with the left hand.


Q: Doctor, supposing the assailant was in this area as you have described, could the weapon have been swung by the right hand with backhanded blows?


A: No, sir, under no circumstances could it have been.


Q: Will you tell us why, how you are able to determine that?


A: Because-I haven't shown how I know pre­cisely what that arc was, and it depends on that.

Q: All right; then tell us what the arc was?

A: The arc was one in which started rather low on the left, and rose through an arc something like a baseball swing. The reason-may I give the reasons for this?

Q: Yes.

A: I will have to make another sketch. Two rectangular objects here. This is the hall door here, on the inside, and this is the wardrobe door. The blood spot distribution on these two doors was heavy at the low level on both, that is, in the lower half. But on the hall door it arose with less blood spots high than were low, but nevertheless quite a few high. And on the wardrobe door itself the spots fell off on a diagonal. So that you could see a diagonal line right up to the edge of your body, above which there were almost no spots. And this would correspond with the throwoff from the left hand through the arc.
Now, you asked me why I know it was not a right hand, using backhand blows; and the reason is simply that the only way you can do this is to raise the arm over the shoulder to get any force, and this gives you-this gives you an angle of throw off which is exactly crosswise, diagonally, to the one shown. In other words, it would be the other half of an X. And so the angle here, if it were back-thrown, it would be this way, tilting to the right, as the drawing' and not from the left as it was.

Q: Having in mind, again, the position assailant swinging the weapon, and the fact right-handed back swing motion is limited by contact to tile body, do you have an opinion as to whether or not the low velocity-

MR. SPELLACY: Objection.

THE COURT: Objection sustained, counselor. That is not the testimony.


MR. BAILEY: May I finish my question, your Honor?


THE COURT: Your question already is improperly put, counselor. Please restate it.


Q: Doctor, when you use your right arm back­handed, is there some limitation as to how far back you can bring your arm, physical limitation?

A: There certainly is.

Q: Will you demonstrate that?

A: When you make a backhand motion with the right hand you either impact the left side of the body about the position of the left arm, or you carry the hand up over the shoulder. You cannot readily get any other position. Only with rotation of the body you could get further. But even then the body intervenes to a considerable extent no matter how you do it.

Q: Now, having in mind a person in this area swinging a weapon with the right hand, but back­handed through the arc that you found, and having in mind the possible position of the change of di­rection which you have described as being the cause of the large droplets being thrown off, do you have an opinion as to whether or not the droplets that you - found on these doors depicted in your other sketch as well, and their velocity as disclosed by their size, was consistent with a travel of the distance necessary ii that had been the case?

A: I have an opinion, yes.


Q: What is it?

A: It is not consistent. ..

Q: Doctor, would you examine these photo­graphs, and as you do so, have reference, please, for the sake of the record, to the exhibit numbers which have been affixed on the back by Mr. Romito, and as you go through them tell us what they represent, and when they were made?


A: Exhibit B represents the one very large blood spot, which I mentioned earlier in the testimony. It was taken on January 23rd or the 24th, I am not sure which date, probably the 24th.


Exhibit A-this is out of order-represents the largest blood spot which I had reason to believe came from the back of a weapon. It was just under half an inch in diameter...


Q: Now, referring your attention to Exhibit B, the blowup of the largest spot which you found on that door, do you have an opinion as to whether or not that could have come from the weapon?

A: I do.

Q: And what is that opinion?

A: My opinion is it could not have come from a weapon.

Q: Will you tell us why?

A: In the first place, that is a much larger drop than one ever gets from a weapon. It is much larger 'than any of the other drops also in this room. It was a very low velocity drop. It shows no spatter around the margins at all, and a drop that size will not fly any distance from a point of impact or throw off.


MR. BAILEY: May I, your Honor, pass these exhibits to the jury at this time?    

THE COURT: You may…

Q: Now, doctor, how much blood in quantity is necessary in order to perform a blood grouping test?

A: Now or at the time of the murder?

Q: Well, first at the present time, and then in 1954, or 1955 when you made your examination?

A: At the present time I can group microscopic fragments, pieces that you would not note with the eye.

Q: At the time of the murder how much blood was necessary in order to make a reliable grouping test?


A: A single test in the A-B-O system could be run at that time with approximately the amount of, say, two pinheads, one for A, and one for B, because you check for two factors, A factor and B factor.

Q: Then two separate tests are necessary?

A: One normally runs more than one set of the results, yes.

Q: Now, you described some tests you made which enabled you to group the blood on the mattress or from somewhere on the bed?

A: Yes.

Q: And you found some spots around the room which you also tested and which I believe you said were consistent with that kind of blood?

A: That's right.

Q: Now tell us where the spots came from that matched the blood that was on the mattress cover?


A: The spots that matched the blood on the mattress cover was the lower spot which is shown in Exhibit A.

Q.  All right. You personally performed the blood grouping tests on Exhibit A?

A: Yes.

Q: And did you personally perform the grouping tests on Exhibit B?

A: Yes.

Q: Now, first of all, do you have an opinion as to whether or not the blood in Exhibit B could or could not be the blood of Doctor Sam Sheppard?

A: In my opinion it could not be the blood of Doctor Sam Sheppard.

Q: Tell us why?

A: Because it is 0 group and Doctor Sam is A group.

Q: The blood in Exhibit A, that is, the smaller of the two, was 0 group, was it not?

A: That is right.

Q: And this was 0 group, as well, you say?


A: That's correct.


Q: Did you find any bases for distinguishing or for arriving at an opinion that these spots of blood have different human origin?

MR. SPELLACY: Objection. He didn't testify to that.

MR. BAILEY: What is that?

MR. SPELLACY: He didn't testify to that.

MR. BAILEY: Yes, he has.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A: Will you repeat the question, please?

Q: Did you find bases for concluding that these two spots of blood, reflected by Exhibits A and B came from different human beings?

A: I did.

Q: Would you tell the jury what test you made, what observations you made, and the bases of your conclusions?

A: The first tests that were made were in connection with the grouping, and in fact these were the two major things that were done. In order to group dry blood, one first has to put it in solution. It does not, you cannot-at that time we did not group directly on solids. Today we do. But at that time we had to dissolve it. The blood from the two spots represented· in Exhibits A and B were treated simultaneously, and the same amount of each, in the same way, with the same reagents throughout. First, the material was placed in small tubes, then distilled water was placed thereon, the same amount in both tubes, and they were shaken to dissolve the blood. Immediately there was a very notable difference apparent, because the blood from the lower spot, which is shown in Exhibit A, went into solution and colored the solution red immediately; just with two or three shakes of the tube that solution became red. The other solution never became as red as this. The hemoglobin was not soluble to anything like the same degree, and shaking it even for prolonged period did not show any color. It was finally, both of them were placed in the refrigerator overnight, which is a standard procedure, and the next morning you can see a trace of color in the large spot which is represented in Exhibit B, full color. It looked almost as dark as blood, in the little bit of-from the spot represented in Exhibit A. The solution then is evaporated down on the slides, and the antiserum is added, and the test cells are added, and the grouping was carried out in duplicate, in the same manner, the same material, the same dilu­tion of antiserum from the same bottle made at the same time, actually from the same tube of antiserum; and the observations were made with respect to agglutination which results with 0 blood with both the A and the B factor tests. Again, there was a very marked striking difference. The cells added to the sample which contained the blood from the lower spot, or the extract from the lower spot, agglutinated almost immediately. This is very very rapid agglutination, even a little faster than our controls which contained no extract. The other spot barely agglutinated in twenty minutes. So that there was very drastic difference in the rate of agglutination, and this was true with both the A test and the B test. We used anti A serum, plus A cells, for the indi­cator system, and we used anti B serum and B cells for the indicator system for .B These two differences were noticeable, were very marked, and instantly noticed just in connection with the grouping of blood.
There was later on another test run. This was some months later, and it had to be done with just the residue of blood of which there was a very very small amount, in connection with the electrophoretic test, which was capable of distinguishing between a good many bloods, which was in the early days of electro­phoresis applied in this way, and the test run was run with what little blood was lef.t There were in my opinion differences. They were not so marked, nor were they quite so reliable. We do not do blood testing by this particular technique of electrophoresis today. And at that time it was capable of distinguishing between a lot of bloods but not as well as we can now. There were, however, differences noted.

Q: You indicate that electrophoresis is now more sophisticated method of blood distinction than it was at the time you made these tests?

A: Very definitely.

Q: You said tests were made later. Can you tell us approximately when the electrophoretic tests were made?

A: It would have been about Mayor June of 1955.

Q: Some months after, is that right?

A: Some months after, yes.

Q: Doctor, you indicated the blood which came from spot A, which you have told us came from Marilyn Sheppard was rapidly soluble in water, that is, it covered the water very quickly?

A: It went into solution immediately, instantane­ously; and in fact it was soluble for a long time after that, too.

Q: Now, as blood dries up, that is, as it ages, speaking of dried blood, does· anything happen to it with respect to its solubility?

A: Yes.


Q: What?

A: The hemoglobin breaks down. It breaks down into an insoluble product, hemin, which carries the color, although the color of hemin is brown rather than red, and the hemin is not soluble in water or saline, and therefore as the blood progressively deteriorates with respect to its hemoglobin it becomes more and more insoluble. This was the basis; all these bloods were some six months old when I received them.

Q: Your first tests were run late in January or early in February?

A: In February.


Q: In February?


A: Yes.


Q: This was seven or eight months after the death had occurred?


A: Within about seven months after, yes, or more, perhaps.


Q: Now, you say at that time you noticed a marked difference in the solubility of the two samples?

A: Yes.

Q: How much later after that did you last make a test on the solubility of Marilyn Sheppard's blood?

A: It would have been at least two years later.

Q: And whether or not it was at that time still soluble?

A: It was still abnormally soluble. The difference really was in Marilyn Sheppard's blood, it remained abnormally soluble for a long time.


Q: By way of comparison between the B spot, the large spot, and the tests in February in 1955, and the solubility you noted then, that is, the rate and the degree, and the latest solubility test on the A spot, Marilyn's blood, whether or not the A spot even after two years was still more soluble, if you can say?


A: Well, the A spot-I may have misled you in my answer.

Q: Straighten it out.

A: The A spot was not tested two years later. It was blood from the mattress cover.

Q: But it was blood which had been drying just as long as the A spot?

A: Yes, the same length of time. It was simply in storage....


Q: Doctor, you testified it is possible through the examination of tooth fragments in certain cases to determine whether the fragments were broken off from internal pressure or from external pressure. Now, would you explain to us how you are able to make such determinations, and what you need to see?


A: What you have to look for is the character of the break. If the tooth is fragmented it will come away, comes apart under tension; the tension is ex­erted on the outside if it i pushed.It is just like breaking a piece of glass or anything else, that is, if you bend it or put a force that bends it, then the tension is on the side opposite to the direction of movement. And if the fracture starts on the inside, then it would have to be made by a pull outward. If it starts on the outside it would be a pull inward. The way in which it breaks will differ in the two cases.If you break a tooth with a pull from the inside, it will pivot at the gum mark and it will break across at the gum line and it will break lower than that in the labial, I mean, on the lingual side, the side next to the tongue. And if you push it in, it does exactly the oppo­site, and it will break off high in the rear and lower in the front.


Q: All right. Now, from your examination of the large fragment contained in the vial that is State's Exhibit Number 34, do you notice any angle to the break there, indicating whether the pivot was on the lingual or tongue side or the external side or gum side?

A: The pivot in this case was very definitely on the lingual side. Not only is it shown by the 'angle but there are other indications ....

Q: For the record, Doctor Kirk, this is a projec­tion of a color transparency marked State's Exhibit 42, in this case, which purports to show the watch taken from the green bag before any blood was re­moved from it.   This is the same slide that you examined yesterday while the court was out of session.

A: It is one and the same one, yes.

Q: Have you examined the slide for-first of all -the presence of blood, does there appear to be blood?

A: There appears to be blood, yes.

Q: Can you tell us in what forms there appears to be blood as you view it, the Exhibit 42?


A: The blood-well, it is dry, obviously, it is dry blood. But I don't know whether that is what-

Q: My question is directed to when I say forms, I mean smears and spots and clumps and clots and that sort of thing.

A: For the most part it looks like contact trans­fer, that is, something bloody against the watch band, especially, and apparently also the blood was in a very tacky condition, indicating it was probably very partially clotted at the time.

Q: Doctor, I call your attention to a dark spot, located in the crevice between the edge of the band and the first link or what appears to be a link, and there has been evidence that on this dark area gen­erally there is a spot which appears to be superimposed. Now, are you able to tell us anything with reference to the clotting of blood that would account for the appearance of that little spot?         '

A: Yes, if blood is clotted or partially clotted, it can go on in thicker form, becomes very viscous, very tenacious, and very jelly-like.

Q: What is happening when blood clots?

A: The clotting mechanism is one which takes care of stopping bleeding, and it is common expe­rience, of course, anyone who has cut their hand, that the blood will become very viscous and coagu­late into a jelly-like form, and then it will retract and squeeze out the serum, and leaving ultimately a scab after it is dry.  This is the mechanism by which bleeding is stopped.  And during the period of clotting the viscosity or the thickness or the tackiness of the blood proceeds from that of a moderately viscous solution, which blood is, always, normally, to a very much more viscous jelly­like material, and ultimately to a relatively hard mass.  So it goes through all those stages. At certain stages of clotting you can transfer whole chunks of blood by contact.

Q: Now, Doctor, I call your attention to this spot which appears on the rim in proximity to the in­dicator place the figure 11 on the normal watch face, and ask you whether or not you have observed it or studied it?

A: I have. I would like to take one more look at it if I might.

Q: Certainly. Doctor, calling your attention specifically to what appears to be a point evident at the edge of this spot; can you tell us whether or not there is an indication of flying blood to start with?

A: When you get that shape of spot, you always suspect flying blood, because at that point, the appearance is very characteristic of blood which has been traveling through the air and strikes an object.  Now, examining this particular spot leaves the issue somewhat in doubt. It appears that it is not a symmetrical tail on the blood spot, and flying blood invariably leaves a totally symmetrical tail. It can­not come off one side or the other. It has to come off the exact center. And there it appears to me a dissymmetry in the spot which suggests it might not be flying blood. This is also an effect which can be obtained from partially coagulated blood because you can pull strings on it. Now, whether that is one or the other is very diffi­cult to be sure.

Q: Under the circumstances and from what you are able to see can you account for what appears to be this pointed edge on what is now the left hand side of that spot, the tail from that spot of blood?

A: In one possible way, yes, and that is coagu­lating blood, can be pulled into strings, and if it is struck in a certain way it could lay down one of these protruding strings that would look like a typical tail of a flying blood spot.  But not having examined the watch specifically and the condition shown on the slide, this has to be an explanation which mayor may not be correct. I wouldn't want to say that this is my definite and final and irrevocable opinion.

Q: When you say coagulating strings, can you say what you mean?

A: Well, you take a jelly-like state of coagula­tion of the blood, and at this point, if you touch it, for instance, and pull your finger away you will pull a string out of it, that is, form of thread, just like glue would.

Q: Tending to pull it away from the main clump?

A: Yes.

Q: Doctor, I show you what appears to be a spot of blood up in this area, and ask you whether from what you can see· there is any way of telling whether that was flying blood and if so what direction it might have come from with respect to the watch?

A: I would like to come down here and look at that. I would not care to say that I could tell defi­nitely from the photograph.

Q: Have you observed on this and other occa­sions when you looked at this photograph, what ap­pear to be small pinpoints of blood in various areas?

A: Well, I see areas that look very much like the areas on the watch band, except they are somewhat smaller. They seem to follow depressions in the watch, and if this is correct, and I think it is, or it may be, that there are depressions there which have blood in them, and this would clearly indicate a wiping action or contact transfer. I can't be positive that there are such depressions, I am not sure of that.

Q: Is there any way to account for the collection of blood in small droplets such as may be seen in one area and another, other than from spatter?

A: Oh yes.

Q: What might cause .the blood to dry in that fashion other than having arrived there as a spatter?

A: Well, in the first place, the object that is con­tacted may not have it uniformly. And furthermore, it may stick, again, if it is partially coagulated blood, if it is clotting, where it will stick and pull blood away from the object at that point, and another point doesn't stick. So it will not deposit regularly.

 Source: Paul Holmes,  Retrial: Murder and Dr. Sam Sheppard (1966)

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