Blood spatter
(Testimony from 14 January 2005)

Rod Englert

On Friday, the 14th of January, prosecutor Shellie Samuels called to testify Rod Englert, a private consultant and expert on crime scene reconstruction and blood spatter who became the 35th prosecution witness to take the stand.

Englert told the court that there was no blood spatter evidence on Blake's clothing that would link him to the crime scene. After several rounds of direct examination and cross, it was established, essentially, that Blake could neither be excluded as the perpetrator, nor could he be identified as the killer by blood evidence at the scene.

Engler testified that he had examined the clothing worn by both Robert Blake and Bonny Lee Bakley the night of the shooting. He described doing testing of Blake's clothes with luminol, a substance that interacts with blood to glow under special lighting, and said that the tests showed not a speck of blood on any item of Blake's. He also stated that he had analyzed the blood patterns on Bakley's clothes, and said he believed she had one arm raised at the time she was shot.

The interior of the car, Englert added, yielded numerous blood stains. The patterns found on the seat, the console, and the passenger door indicated that Bakley was inside the car when she was hit by the bullets.

Englert offered the opinion that the shooter would have had to be very close to Bakley to have gotten blood on him. For blood spray to get on the killer, the expert testified, "the shooter would have had to be right on top of her.

Defense attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach made the point that Englert's testimony was basically worthless. "It simply does not tell us one way or another who killed Bonny Lee Bakley, does it?" he asked the witness.

"That's correct," replied Englert.

Englert also admitted that he had put only about sixty hours of work in on the case, and said that the prosecution had paid him about $21,000 for his testimony. Englert's credentials consisted of a degree from the East Los Angeles Junior College and several years as a police officer in Oregon.


After Englert, no additional witnesses were called for that day. But the defense and prosecution did agree to certain stipulations - facts that both sides were willing to acknowledge as undispulted at trial.

The judge read to jurors the stipulation that LAPD forensics experts had found no connection between the unidentified substance that was on the murder weapon and an oil can that had been found around the corner from the crime scene. Nor did they find any relationship between the fluid on the gun and any oil found inside or on Blake's vehicle or on his clothing.

An unfired round found in the murder weapon was also of a different type than ammunition found at the home of the actor, the stiuplation further said. And it added that the murder weapon could not have been concealed under the hood of the 1991 Dodge Stealth automobile that Blake drove that night.

The latter is a reference to a series of tests that were done by the Los Angeles police over a period of more than a year which involved a car similar to Blake's. Police had purchased the car for the purpose of experimenting to see if the gun could have been stashed under the hood of the autombile. The tests all failed, and the county spent a considerable sum of money on a replacement hood and a series of hood liners ruined when the scenarios tested by detectives proved impossible. The prosecution had fought to have the tests excluded from evidence over a year ago.

Because of the three-day weekend, court would not be in session again until the morning of Tuesday, the 18th of January.


Click this link to download audio files on the case for January 14th (from KFI Radio, Los Angeles):

Jan 14 (12 minutes).