I’m not 100% sure if this is the right stack, but I’d like an expert opinion for a novel. The antagonist is a serial killer who uses magic circles to remove all hemoglobin from his victims, while leaving everything else intact. Obviously, this would lead to anoxia/shock and death. Would an autopsy reveal anything noteworthy, aside from colorless blood*, visible to the naked eye?

*Google tells me that iron gives blood its red color, and that hemoglobin-less blood (as seen in some fish) is clear. Research I’ve done so far: reading a medical journal article on asphyxiation, this webpage on anemia

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    Welcome to MedicalSciences.SE! Please take the tour and read the help center. For reasons mentioned in this post and in How to Ask, we require prior research information when asking questions. Please help us to help you and edit your question to provide more information on what you have read on this subject, what made you ask this question, and any problems you are having understanding your research. If you found nothing, what did you Google? Dec 1 '18 at 0:21
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    I don't think blood completely lacking hemoglobin would be blue because the bluish tint of deoxygenated blood is still due to hemoglobin (reference). As you can see that's not a highly technical reference I found, so @ChrisRogers is right that you need to do a little more homework. You can start by adding the link I found to eliminate the blue aspect of your question.
    – Carey Gregory
    Dec 1 '18 at 1:26
  • @CareyGregory Could the powers that be open the question? It has a fairly easy answer: AFAIK, a toxological screening and a blood test is standard procedure, and a low haemoglobin count of 0g/100mL opposed to ~14g/100mL would definitely be ... worth investigating.
    – Narusan
    Dec 6 '18 at 21:50
  • @Narusan Done..
    – Carey Gregory
    Dec 6 '18 at 22:31
  • @Narusan. I was asking more along the lines of things visible to the naked eye. I’ll edit the question to specify that. Dec 6 '18 at 23:34

While theoretically hemoglobine-free blood may be "clear", it would probably be more of a milky color (have a look here for how a platelet transfusion looks like: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platelet_transfusion) - this does not contain any red cells (which hold the hemoglobine). Another thing you might want to look at are plasma donation bags: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319162 - generally speaking plasma (cell-free blood) is clearer on an empty stomach, while after a fat-rich meal it become more cloudy.

Finally, total removal of hemoglobine will leave pale skin - much like a very extreme type of haemorrhagic shock (shock from bleeding out). You could probably compare this more 'worldly' with a victim of a vampire that has been sucked completely 'dry'.

As a side note, anoxia is hard to achieve in a human, because not only hemoglobine caries oxygen, but also plasma (and cells) - what you are looking for is extreme hypoxia, which in not completely hemoglobine-depleted individuals will more likely lead to cyanosis, a purple-bluish tinging of skin, beginning peripherally, see also here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanosis

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    I can't believe I just upvoted an answer citing vampires.
    – Carey Gregory
    Apr 11 '20 at 0:38

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