Forensic anthropology

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Importance of dismemberment to forensic investigation

1. Similarities in dismemberment both in the tools used and pattern of cuts indicate serial killer 2. Corroborate or contradict eye witness testimony 3. If dismemberment done well, then the person may have had knowledge of anatomy

Damage caused by saws

Chiseling type of damage — cutting, but removing small pieces at the same time

Types of saws

1. Cross cut saws 2. Rip saws

Cross cut saws

Saws used in carpentry (hack saws) 1. Designed to cut across grain of material you are cutting 2. Teeth of saw are going to be about a 70 degree angle to the long axis 3. 5-12 points per inch = finer cuts More points in an area = finer cuts

Rip saws

Teeth form a 90 degree angle to the long axis 1. 3.5-7 points per inch 2. Teeth of saw bent away from long axis of saw and purpose is to prevent binding/catching of the blade to the material -make the groove that’s being cut wider than the blade itself -saws aren’t even -modern handsaws are designed to cut on the push stroke = push the saw front -front side of cutting edge = more vertical -pull saw back = angle so the saw can move more easier (pull stroke) -Jigsaws work on the downstroke

Identifying a specific murder weapon

• From wound characteristics is not easy unless it leaves a very distinctive print • Can often talk about class of weapon, but the chances of identifying a specific type of weapon is very low • So must know limitations

Mechanics of bone fracture

Mechanics of Bone fracture acting on the bone and also keep in mind that bone can tolerate compression better than tension and so the bone will first break at point of greatest tension.-remember this

Factors affecting how bone will break

• Extrinsic factors: nature of the external force applied to bone. How much force is applied and direction and duration of force. High velocity force tends to cause bone to shatter. With low velocity forces, bone will behave a lot more plastically. • Intrinsic factors: physical characteristics of bone itself. The brittleness of bone. The very young and old have more fragile bones. Density of bone, healthy bone vs. osteoporotic bone. Age and health. Local bone thickness at the point of impact is also important.

Sharp force trauma

Result of contact with sharp edged objects, force behind objects narrowly focused and a dynamic compressive force. Damaged covered by saws are also considered sharp force trauma.

Appearance of sharp force trauma in bone

• Depends on weapon used, direction of blow and force of blow. • Three basic categories o Punctures: stab wounds. Weapon like an ice pick or tip of knife makes a vertical entrance into the body. o Incisions and cut marks: Longer than they are wide o Clefts, notches (chop marks) o Other Features Commonly Seen in Sharp Force Injuries Radiating fracture lines Hinge fractures Striations in cut marks Bone chipping ("wastage") Edges of bone seems slightly peeled back, raised edges d/t moisture content of fresh bone

Laboratory examination

• Direct, intense incandescent light, not fluorescent. Often injury on bone is quite small and need good light to see these injuries • Tools: naked eye, hand lens, dissecting microscope • Special areas to examine: neck, vertebrae, ribs and hands

How to describe sharp force trauma

• Document findings with drawings and photos • Bone and side involved • Location on bone • Type of injury • Shape, length and depth of wound • Number of injuries • Direction of force • May inform you of manner of death and type of weapon used

Caution : Some things that look like cute marks are not really cut marks

• Frontal groves on forehead regions are grooves on the bone made by blood vessels. • Generally these end in a little hole where the blood vessel leaves. Often have a curved shape as well. • Don’t confuse chewing by rodents and other animals as cut marks. Can identify this by two parallel cut marks made by two front teeth. • Also be sure to not confuse cuts made during autopsy

other types of trauma

• Strangulation • Chemical trauma (poisoning)


• May or may not see evidence of strangulation in skeleton • Crushing of vital structures of the throat. • Can be classified in three different forms: ligature, hanging or manual. • Hanging: strangulation that occurs when the body is suspended by the neck with flexible cordage. • Ligature: when some sort of cordage is wrapped around the neck, tightened and held in place by force. • Manual: throat is squeezed by a human hand • Easy to see bruising and abrasions, impressions from the rope and other objects when soft tissue present.

Fracture of hyoid bone

• Indication of strangulation. Also sometimes cartilage of throat if it has been ossified. • Osteological evidence of strangulation by hanging is considered to be rare. Only occur 7-8% of the time during hanging. • May find fracturing of vertebrae. • Rate of fracture in ligature strangulation is about 9% of the time. In manual strangulation the hyoid fractures about 30% of the time. • Sometimes if the hyoid hasn’t fused it can be mistaken as fractures of the hyoid. • Generally if you have pieces that are unfused, if you look at the surface where they are coming to together it is usually oval. If a fracture then you’d likely see spongy bone. • Of studies that had been done, fracture is more common in older adults. Pieces more likely to have fused and as you age your bone more likely to break. Fractures also more common the longer the arch of the hyoid bone is. Intrinsic factors (shape, age, etc) play a bigger role in hyoid fracture than the actual force being applied.


Hyoid: small U-shaped bone that floats suspended in soft tissue. Has three parts, the body and two greater horns. These pieces start out separately and tend to fuse as you age.

fracture of throat cartilage

Fracture of throat cartilage: Only useful if cartilage has ossified. Only able to detect this in older adults but a pathologist would be able to see this in younger adults in the cartilage. Generally going to see jagged fracture margins like you see in the hyoid.


• Chemical trauma • May be possible to see evidence of poisoning in skeletal remains if that poisoning has been slow and long term (scale of weeks to months). • Traces of poison can be found in bones, hair and nails. • Arsenic, lead, uranium etc. • This is a toxicology problem, not really for FA to deal with • Complications: Embalming fluids with arsenic or mercury (in historic cases pre-1920, such as President Zachary Taylor). Shouldn’t be an issue in modern forensic cases

Aleutian Island mummies

• Not forensic in nature • When dealing with the remains of Native Americans from a non-modern context is a sensitive topic. Need to strike balance between figuring out what happened and respecting issues of the native culture. • Mummy at Tulane. Has been investigated thoroughly by Dr. Verano and they found evidence of shrapnel in his legs that would have been used in lieu of shotgun pellets, may be postmortem injury.


study of what happens to remains after death. Taphonomic forces are at work right after death

Why should we care about postmortem damage in a forensic context?

• We need to distinguish postmortem damage from perimortem trauma, especially if that postmortem damage occurred shortly after death, e.g. damaged bone from trampling of carnivores can be confused as blunt force trauma and cracks in long bones from long-term burial can be mistaken for fractures. • Important to distinguish postmortem damage from pathological conditions. Failure to do so could lead to flawed ideas about an individuals health status and could potentially create an erroneous profile. • Postmortem damage may provide indications of the circumstances surround death and those events that occur shortly thereafter. Postmortem damage may also give you some information about the perpetrator or how he or she carried out the crime. E.g may be able to talk about movement of remains or tools used in dismemberment.

Types of postmortem damage

• Dismemberment • Animal scavenging • Damage by fire • Weathering • Burial damage • Water transport damage • Miscellaneous


• Intentional separation of body segments • Almost always an act carried out by murderers on their victims • Almost always indicates that the manner of death was homicide

Why do murderers dismember their victims?

• Hinder identification. E.g. Attwood case. Separating segments allows you to scatter segments. This makes it harder to look at the entire body. • To make transportation or disposal of the body easier. • Intentional mutilation or destruction of the victim. Anger/sadistic behavior.

Ways to take body apart

• Bisecting bone • Joint disarticulation; this is the way to go if you only have a knife


• Chiseling type of damage: sawing • Types of saws o Crosscut saws; meat saws and hacksaws. Designed to cut across grain of the material you are cutting. Teeth of the saw are at about a 70 degree angle to the long axis of the saw. Have 5-12 points per inch. Generally are finer, smaller edges. o Ripped saws: teeth form 90 degree angle to the long axis of the saw. Have 3 ½-7 points per inch • Teeth of saw are bent slightly away from the long axis of the saw. Purpose is to prevent binding or catching of the blade. Make groove being cut slightly wider than the blade itself. • Teeth make triangles and there’s usually one side that is more vertical and one side that is more angled. Most modern handsaws are designed to cut on the mush stroke. • Bandsaws and jigsaws usually cut on the down stroke.


Groove or notch made by the cutting. Slightly wider than the blade itself.

False start kerf

Saw marks where cutting was discontinued. Usually when the saw bounces off the bone, usually happens on push stroke because the blade is hard to control until a substantial kerf is formed. Potentially useful in forensics. Can help you determine certain features like width of cutting instrument.

Breakaway spur

Towards end, the last end doesn’t end up being cut and instead broken off. Leaves extra bone on one segment. Important because they can be one of the things you look at to determine the direction of sawing. Will always be at the far side of where the cut started.

Autopsy notch

Notch that is intentionally made at autopsy to identify its origin.

3 subjects to address in saw mark analysis

• Description of cuts • Direction of saw cuts • Information on the type of tool involved.

Description of cuts

o Location of injuries o Number of cuts and false starts o Measurement of the width of the kerf usually done with sliding calibers

Direction of saw cuts

o Assess body position during dismemberment o Location of false starts. Can tell you what side cut started on. o Location of breakaway spurs or exit chipping.

Information on type of saw involved

Number of teeth. The rougher the walls of the kerf, the fewer teeth that were there. Cannot determine exact number of teeth. o Width of blade. Generally if you take the width of the curve and divide it by 1.5 that’s generally the width of the blade. o Can’t precisely determine the number of teeth a tool had • rougher the walls of kerf = fewer teeth • smoother the walls of kerf = more teeth o Width of blade = width of kerf / 1.5 • Teeth are angled away so saw doesn’t get stuck in cut o Shape of the saw blade • saws leave striae/lines on the floors and walls of the kerf, which help approximate shape of blade (shape of blade = approximated by striae) • Two types of striae: • Fixed radius striae — semicircular lines o cause = power saw/table saw (circular blade spinning) o radius = fixed because blade spins around a center point • nonfixed radius stirae o cause = straight blade • rigid blade (handsaw) = straight striae • non rigid blade (hacksaw) = curved striae o Power tools vs hand tools • power tools leave a smoother kerf than hand tools (less obvious striae) • Hand tools have rougher surface and you can see where the striae change direction

Personal identification in the medicolegal context

• Fifth principal objective in FA • Two basic types of identification [1] probable identification – who this person very likely is given a certain set of evidence [2] positive or personal identification – who we can prove the person is to the exclusion of all others • Very strong probably identification can be as compelling as a positive identification in a legal situation

Probable identification

-analysis/personal effects

Analysis/personal effects

• Gather information until you reach the conclusion that the probability is high that you’ve identified the right person • Good place to start: biological profile (age, sex, ancestry and stature) • Compare medical and dental charts and notes. Can either reaffirm or contradict your initial identification • Think about anomalies and pathologies that were given in a person that weren’t necessarily in the medical records. • Look at personal effects and other things at the scene and see if they match what other people had • Not one thing is enough for a probable identification but they add up to give a good case to support the identification • Can estimate probability and do statistics to back up the identification

Positive identification

Antemortem and postmortem matches of things like dental records, finger prints, nuclear DNA, or unique dental, skeletal or surgical features.

Steps in the process of identification

• From general to specific • Establish a biological profile • Identify skeletal pathologies and anomalies • Search for medical and dental records that might match the unknown individual • Ante/postmortem comparison for positive identification

Shaft-guy who died from compression asphyxia

• Biological profile • Filling in molar to compare with dental records • Antemortem trauma to face • Frontal sinuses nicely preserved and could be compared to antemortem records • Also had clothing and personal items • Never positively identified because all the evidence only serves to narrow down the search for a person but if there are no leads in the case or antemortem records or no one is actively searching for a person than he or she won’t be positively identified.

Positive identification using antemortem/postmortem comparisons

• Odontology: looking at dental records • Radiographs: frontal sinuses • Radiographs: sella turcica • Photographic superimposition • Facial reproduction (Not directly evidence for positive ID, method of last resort)

knife vs. axe vs. saw

• Knife and axe cuts = narrow & V shaped • saw cuts = U shaped because they chisel out bigger pieces of bone • Knife cuts to fresh bone ten to close back up = narrower than actual blade • Saw cuts = wide cuts with little evidence of bone closing back up • Axe chopping blows produce chipping or spalling fragments (small pieces of bone that break off)

Animal scavenging

• Body left out in open/buried shallow = vulnerable to animal scavenging • What animals do to remains: • scatter the parts of the body • larger animals break remains by trampling • chewing on bones • Usual animal suspects: mouse/rodents, domestic dogs, coyotes

Pseudo cuts

caused by animals and not human induced trauma

Rodent chewing

– rodents chew one bone either to 1) sharpen teeth or 2) get extra calcium/minerals. Not interested in soft tissue. Gnaw on the edges of bone – straight grooves come in pairs (two front teeth

identifying damaged caused by animals

• Punctures — holes caused by pressure (left image) • Hits — punctures that do not break through cortical surface • Scoring – scratches on bone due to soft tissue removal, not chewing on bone, but removing the soft tissue (labeled 1 on right image) — usually found on bone shaft • Furrows — Deeper than scoring found on ends of long bones (labeled 2 on right image) • Fracturing, splintering, depressed fractures from chewing and trampling

Box 60.1

• Attack and consumption by a bear • Northern California, july • Skeleton discovered that had been scavenged by animal • parts of skull, teeth, mandible and partial diaphyses (shafts of some of long bones, femoral, tibia, humerus, radius, os coxae) • Determined the biological profile: male, european, mid age, 5’8 – 6’2 • Carnivore damage: • spiral fractures on ends of long bones with evidence of chew marks from gnawing • animal feces that contain human hand bone located nearby • suspect = california black bear • This man went missing and car was seen during winter • dead body started out in car and bears pulled it out • animal tracks of mud near car suggest that it had been spring by the time the bears got there • analysis of animal feces found foods available only during spring • death of man and consumption of body not related in time • Scavenging by bears is common during spring because they have just finished hibernation • man died from exposure in car in winter and was then scavenged by bears in the spring

Reading nine

Reading #9 Two components of bone: 1. organic — collagen 2. inorganic/mineral — hydroxyapetite 3 types of fractures caused by gunshot wounds 1. Plug & spall fractures – entrance and exit of bullet 2. Radiating 3. Concentric Case #1: suicide or homicide • Soft tissue was confusing to look at because radiating fracture beat the exit wound • Entrance wound = circular = gun perpendicular to skull • Results = homicide Case #2: • Keyhole defect from a tangential bullet entrance into the skull • only one bullet killed the defendant, but the trauma to the skull was severe • the direction of fire determined that people standing on the right may have shot him Case #3: • Shot wasn’t in self defense because the person was shot in the back of the leg • pieced the bone together and found a circular entrance wound, but no exit wound • the bone shattered before the bullet had the chance to pass all the way through • But the entrance wound proves he was shot from the back of the leg Blunt force trauma stress-strain curve Bone is weaker in tension than in compression and thus bone breaks on far side first once the bone reaches the failure point, the shearing forces cause the bone to split along the long axis = butterfly fractures Case #4: Butterfly fracture tells us which side man’s body was hit the height of the fracture is consistent with the height ot the van bumper and if the van had been breaking hard, the injuries should have been lower this is consistent with the driver’s story that the driver didnt’ have enough time to react with the man returning Case #5: Did the man jump or was pushed? Fractures caused by axial loading: teacup fractures Axial loading fractures are consistent with jumping because of vertical orientation of body which breaks the ends of the long bones Sharp force trauma Scapula = rectangular injury – knife was into bone past sharpened edge near knife handle 2nd rib and 3rd rib looked different but they were all caused by the same weapon

Comparing Antemortem and postmortem dental records

• Generally done using X-rays • Dental records are the most frequently used records used for obtaining a positive identification • Done by forensic odontologist • Look for dental restorations (fillings and crowns), general tooth and root shape (especially if somewhat unusual), pattern of trabecular bone, unerupted teeth or gaps where teeth were lost antemortem, rotated teeth, use wear, anything unusual. • Look for points of correspondence between the two records. Also looking for the absence of contradictory features. • Probably identification: It’s possible to use gold teeth and antemortem photographs if you don’t have antemortem records. You can also look at dental traits common to ancestry groups. Can look at the degree of tooth wear that indicates someone didn’t grow up in this country. Dental health can give an idea of lifestyle or socioeconomic status.

Comparing Antemortem and postmortem dental records: challenges

o Many people antemortem X-rays were taken years before death o When looking at antemortem and postmortem records the postmortem x-rays will be more clear as soft tissue will not interfere with X-ray. o A lot of people don’t have a lot of restorations d/t better preventative measures. Some dental hardware don’t show up very well on X-rays. People move around a lot and it could be difficult to tract down records.

Frontal sinuses

o Technique used if you can’t find dental records o Appear during first year of life and become visible in X-rays between 7-9 years of age o Has been used in cases: skull damage by carnivores but the frontal sinuses were in tact and technique accepted in court of law for positive ID o Fair amount of research: Even identical twins have variation in morphology of frontal sinuses. Ubelaker shows same thing. In 2005 Christiansan found low incidents found low amount of false identification in sample of 500.

Sell Trucica "turkish saddle"

o Located deep in head o Place where pituitary gland sits o Visible in lateral radiographs o Variable part of cranioskeleton o Advantage: so deep within skull it is relatively well protected even more so than the frontal sinuses

Radiological techniques

-sella trucica -frontal sinuses -Any unique or rare feature or surgical device will do. Want a visual match as well as a measurement. Surgical devices often have unique serial numbers

Photographic superimposition

o Take photo of person you think you’ve got and overlay it with a picture of the skull and try to match up all the bony landmarks that you can and try to show that there isn’t anything that doesn’t fit. o Variety of technology and techniques you can use (two video cameras and a mixer, facial recognition software) o Problems -Need to get orientation of skull exactly the same as in the photograph – Obtaining good quality photographs may be difficult o Not go to technique. Most useful for people with a unique feature, oddly spaced teeth, healed fractures with soft tissue damage, o Has been used to prove positive ID


• Fingerprints gold standard • Finger prints accepted by courts as positive identification for decades • Have been some people attempting to challenge the validity of fingerprints • Issue with fingerprints: has to do with methodology not morphology of finger prints. Not an accepted number of points you need to analyze

Nuclear DNA

• New gold standard • DNA evidence routinely collected as part of forensic investigations • Useful in many cases e.g. attwood murder case (pieces of body spread out) • Principle use of identification in large scale man made and natural disasters especially when co-mingled remains are involved • DNA won’t work for us when it is not recoverable. Not always recoverable from decomposed or burned remains. • mtDNA is much easier to extract from bones and teeth than nuclear DNA, but mtDNA is not unique to an individual (probable identification, not positive)

Principle objectives of field

• Field recovery • Establish a biological profile • Identify trauma relevant to the cause and manner of death • Estimate PMI • Positive ID

CILHI controversy

• Now called JPAC • Part of government serious growing pains and have much improved • Organization that recovers remains of missing soldiers from any US conflicts • Dates to Vietnam war, plane goes down with 5 crew members and remains returned to families. Remains were a tiny handful of small bone fragments. How do they know this is their loved one. Positive ID not possible from remains given. • Family files lawsuits against CILHI • Motivation came from desire to give families closure, but FA need to know that their work has real world consequences and they need to know their limitations. • CILHI reorganized and IDs now only done after multiple reviews and consensus between those review committees

Some criticisms of FA

• Racist? Is FA an inherently racist field of research? Physical differences between people has been used in past for discrimination. Modern concepts of race are modeled after the ancient concept of the great chain of being. We now know there is no thing as a discrete thing as race and boundaries between groupings of people are fuzzy. More variation between any group than between each group. Physical differences between groups of people have no real meaning except the social things we attach to them. • Just an applied science? A strong contention of physical anthropologists thing FA is just an applied field and not a justified scientific discipline. In academia, academic snobbery saying these people are not doing serious research. It helps solve crimes, helps ID peoples missing loved ones and helps provide closure and justice. • Celebrity factor: A number of shows looking at crime scene shows and with FA actually working with these shows people question their integrity.

Ethics in FA

• Respect: need to treat remains and the families of the deceased with respect, dignity and sensitivity. Tends to be a lot of gallows humor between people in the field. Can be a way of dealing with the traumatic situations, but this type of talk should be kept to a minimum. • Confidentiality: these are real people and cases that have not gone all the way through the legal system. So FA should not talk about the case until they are sure it is okay to do so. • Honesty: it is the responsibility of any FA to provide complete and accurate interpretations of every case. Do not go beyond what your expertise and evidence can say. Any report should provide accurate assessment of the data.

FA in the news

• World Trade Center 9/11: FA involved in identification and recovery of remains. DMORT was deployed to NY and Pennsylvania • Cemeteries Disturbed by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Isaac. Need to worry about long dead in the wake of natural disasters. • Continental Flight 3407: February 12, 2009. In upstate NY outside of buffalo. Multidisciplinary cooperatioin lead to success. • Human rights investigations: Guatemala: Ending in 96 but for approximately 36 years Guatemala was engaged in a civil war and many people disappeared, rape, tortured and starved, displaced. Around country there are mass graves and exhumations have happened at some places. One was from a military base that is still active. FA working under watchful eye of government and military that may have been involved in committing the crime. Former president Rios Montt was tried for the death of many from an indigenous group. Rios Montt and military tried to exterminate the indigenous people. When he was convicted the ruling was overturned and he was not held responsible. People are wearing blindfolds, underwear, and hands tied behind back. FA contribute to this type of important work.

Predictions for the future

• Will DNA analysis make skeletal identification obsolete? No, DNA degrades often, need the resources to do it, expensive time consuming process, there’s more to FA than just positive identification, what has happened to bodies is often very important • Will employment opportunities in FA increase or decrease? Probably going to increase • Will FA leave academia in larger numbers to pursue non-academic employment? Doesn’t think so because there’s not a large number of full time employment opportunities. • Will the discipline of FA break away from traditional anthropology? No, too grounded in physical anthropology and will stay somewhere in periphery but still attached to field. • What is the future of human rights investigatiosn? Will continue for many years and more investigations will be initiatied. Bad guys will try even harder to cover up crimes.

The big picture

• Principle Objectives • Multidisciplinary cooperation • Forensic anthropologists must know their limitations


Destructive force, but information about the bone can still be acquired

Importance of fire

◦ Method that criminals often use to hinder identification or cover up the crime scene ◦ Accidental deaths involving fire ◦ Cremation

6 stages of color with burning

▪ Stage 1, 0-700F: Normal Bone before burning — slightly yellow/brown color ▪ Stage 2, 0-700F: Bone is initially exposed to fire — Bone turns a darker yellow/brown ▪ Stage 3, 0-700F: Bone becomes blackened ▪ Stage 4, 700F-800F:: Bone takes on a dark grey color ▪ Stage 5, 700F-800F:: Bones becomes a lighter grey with blue tinge to it ▪ Stage 6, 800F+: Bone is very white — "calcined bone" — only mineral component of bone remains, the organic component is burned away — because it is just mineralized, it acts and breaks like china dishes

Structure changes with burning

▪ Bone is going to crack and break down as we go through the burning process ▪ As bone is burned, it also shrinks/reduces in size because we are removing fat & oil ▪ Shrinking and color are related to the temperature bone is burned ▪ (0-700F: 0-2 % shrinking with color stages 1-3 ▪ 700F-800F: 1-3% shrinking with colors 4-5 ▪ 800F+: 5-25% shrinking with color 6 ▪ Shrinking factor must be taken into account when establishing the biological profile — sex & stature

Burned bone vs weathered bone

▪ Burned bone and weathered bone look similar at the later stages ▪ To distinguish between the two taphonomic phenomenon, is tapping the bone gently on hard surface ▪ Burned = clinking noise like china dishes ▪ Weathered = dull noise when tapped

Expected behavior of body in fire

-Pugilistic position -Exploding skull

Pugilistic position

fighter’s stance — knees drawn in and arms flexed at elbows ▪ Reason this happens: 1) Flexer muscles are stronger than the extensors & 2) fire causes the soft tissue to contract so the flexer contract more strongly ▪ Helpful for determining what happened to the body before and after burning ▪ Example: a person’s arm was not found in the flexed position ▪ arm had multiple fractures ▪ the fact that the arm wasn’t flexed means the fractures occurred before death rather than being caused by the fire

Exploding skull

▪ Commonly thought to believe that the skull explodes because of forces of fire ▪ Recent research suggests that the skull falls apart and doesn’t explode

Intentional buringin

commercial cremation. Objective: reduce the body to ashes — cremains (cremated remains)

Process of cremation

▪ Body placed in an oven — retort Heated to 600-700F Oven burns 2-3 hours ▪ Body is placed in a disposable coffin container – wooden or cardboard box ▪ Bones are put in a grinder to break up the recognizable bone fragments into ash Body isn’t reduced to ash with high heat, and recognizable bone fragments exist at this stage Metal objects remain (from cardboard/wooden box & metal medical devices. Note: pacemakers are removed before because batteries can explode) Magnet should be passed over remains to remove metal fragments before cremation Blades of grinder must be replaced

Importance of cremation

▪ Importance of cremation: mishandling/misidentification of cremated bodies ▪ Identify as human bones — ear ossicles and other features that survived the cremation process ▪ Chemical analysis — confirm that the bones are human ▪ Weighing the remains — can tell if these are the remains of one or multiple people ▪ Dental restorations — survived the process

Case study: tri-state crematorium

▪ 2002, Tri-state crematorium ▪ Somebody reported the crematorium to the police ▪ Over 300 bodies were found in cars, storage sheds, dumped in the woods with various states of decomposition ▪ Crematorium wasn’t cremating the bodies and giving families urns filled with cement dust ▪ Called in DMORT

Weathering of body

◦ Outer layer of cortical bone dehydrates faster than the inside layers of bone: shrinking, cracking, flaking process ▪ Outer layer shrinks but rest of bone doesn’t shrink at same rate = bone cracks + flakes with flakes eventually chipping off ▪ Over time, each underlying layer goes through the same shrinking, cracking, flaking process ◦ Uneven drying of bone causes warping — do not confuse with warping caused by fire?

Burial damage

◦ Erosion of Cortical bone due to long time in soil or acidity of soil ◦ Pressure from soil causes postmortem fractures to bone

Water damage

◦ Moves the bones around — loss and scattering of bone fragments ◦ Has a lot of scratches, pitting, gouging ◦ Odd staining – deposits of silt that are hard to remove

Miscellaneous postmortem damage

◦ Wind damage/sand blasting — act of wind moving dirt on bone starts wearing the bone thats left out in the open ◦ Cryoturbation — soil movement due to freeze and thaw cycles — fractures or erodes bone ◦ Plant damage — two prong attack 1) plants grow into bone and break it apart (especially entrance through fragile ends of long bones) 2) root acidity create lines in bone and bone starts flaking ◦ Mineralization — Matrix leaches into bone and minerals from soil replace minerals in the bone and increase the weight of bone ◦ Chemical Damage — flaking and destruction of the bone

Reading 11

• Purpose of putting metal tags into cremains – identification of body, facility, cremator • How many times can you use the retort before you can replace the bricks that line it — 2000 cremations • Teeth explode in fire — moisture inside the teeth has a pop corn -like effect to cause crowns but not the roots to explode • Fracture pattern of burned bone — Initial checkered fracture pattern (tons of hairline fractures) as bone starts shrinking because of moisture is being pulled apart Know case studies in this reading

Small bones of contention: Stout reading

• Body not recovered • Woman goes missing and someone finds her car in storage unit rented to husband • Recover blood, fragments of bone, shotgun pellets and glass. • Are fragments bone? Yes looked at slices of bone and it had secondary osteons (therefore not a small animal) and (look at figure 18.6) confident the fragments are bone. Human? Determined area that osteon took up and determined it was human. Cortical bone surface consistent with human and did not find evidence of plexiform bone which is found in cows and pigs. • Investigators wanted to determine what part of the body that it came from. • Long bones: osteons are parallel to bone • Non-long bones: osteons more irregular • Gross morphology consistent with skull • Presence of that fluoresced under light can be caused by antibiotics like tetracyclines. Determined that this person had been taking antibiotics and could determine approximately when the murder had happened based on where the fluorescence was happening in the bone and was consistent with the time the woman went missing. • End important too so read it • Multidisciplinary cooperation key to resolution of case.

Facial reproduction case study

fully skeletonized body hanging from tree and many of the bones had fallen to the ground. In St. Tammany Parish. Kids found skull in woods. Police gathered bones and Dr. Verano went to recovery site and looked for little bones. Man had little teeth left and dentures recovered from the scene. No personal effects that could be used to identify him. 40-55 years old, European ancestry, around 5 foot 6, police did not have any leads so they asked grad student to do a facial reproduction. First made cast of the original skull. Next make eyeballs and put into skull. Make tissue depth markers based on data and put on skull. Started with nose and approximated the shape of the nose. Uses combination of the American and European technique. Put on individual facial muscles. Finishes face and adds soft tissue to the neck. Adds layer of clay to make skin. Puts bandana and wig on reproduction based on evidence at scene and did different variations. Conclusion: had press conference in st. tammany and showed the reproduction and asked for information. Within a day or two someone called and said he knew a guy who said he was leaving and found his sister and they were going to do DNA analysis to see if they were related.

Basic ways of facial reproduction

o Restoration of damaged facial tissue. Person with sketch book looks at cadaver. Not starting from bone. E.g. if half of skull is messed up fill it in so you can put picture out to public. o 2D artist’s sketch using just the skull. Draw outline of skull and draw in features. Can be done quickly and cheaply and sketch can be enhanced on the computer. Fast, easy and less expensive and sketch can often appear more lifelike than 3D models. Disadvantages: o 3D model using clay or plasticine. Variation in techniques. American style: simply unite points you’ve put on the skull with slaps of clay. Put tissue depth markers and fill in spots with clay. European technique: sculpt individual facial muscles. Usually more accurate if done by a skilled artist. Disadvantages: doesn’t quite look lifelike and there’s something about it that doesn’t make it look alive. Tissue depth data from cadaver only provides framework for filling in and doesn’t involve details between these points. Nose and ears are difficult to reconstruct because they have so much soft tissue on them. o Soft tissue features which are key to recognition of an individual and are not directly reflected in the bony structures of the skull and can be problematic. Hairstyle and skin color are very important for recognition and not directly reflected in bony structure of skull. Particular artist might throw a wrench into things.. are they skilled? Does everything they make llook alike? Haven’t studied tehcniques between artists and have no way of judging how well this is going. Even a really bad reproduction can be useful by getting your message out there and getting peoples attention o Future: will remain method of last resort but stuy will continue at low levels.

History of facial reproduction

• Originally developed to produce likeliness of historical figures • In 1895 Wilhelm His reconstructs the face of Bach from his skull and is the first to collect tissue depth data from cadavers to help him with his reconstruction • Starting in late 19th century technique also used to reconstruct faces of fossil hominates • First forensic application of techniques, Wilton Krogman in 1962 provided a basic review of methods. First forensic person to bring up technique and possible usefulness in forensics. • In 1980s first computer aided techniques for facial reconstruction. Using computers has advantages over using physical reconstruction. Can easily change certain details that may be variable that you cannot tell from skull e.g. facial hair. Can also rotate image on computer and can mess around with the lighting to make the reconstruction as realistic as possible. • Combination of art and science. Must be grounded in good science but also need artistic license and talent. • New: Various studies taking tissue depth data using MRIs and scans. Voids problems of postmortem changes in cadavers, large sample size, and can now get much more data on tissue depth data for children. • Facial reproduction cannot be used for positive identification in court

Facial reproduction

• Not a method you can use to positively identify a person • Method of last resort • Take skull and recreate what person would look like in live. Puts out possible likeness of an individual. Hope that someone will see this and say "oh that reminds me of so and so, haven’t seen her lately." • Used to get new leads

Identifying a specific murder weapon from wound characteristics: blunt force trauma

• Difficult unless leaves distinctive print • Class of weapon is possible to detect, but maybe not the specific instrument

mechanics of bone fraction

Possible to detect, but maybe not the specific instrument Mechanics of bone fracture: forces acting on bone: Tension, compression, bending, torsion, shearing Bone can tolerate compression better than tension. Bone will break 1st at greatest bone of tension

Rene lefort

Skull fractures follow predictable paths — Renee LeFort — french anatomist. — LeFort fractures = fractures of the skull • How did LeFort figure this out? o Various types of blunt force trauma caused different fractures o LeFort there cadavers downstairs and collected them

Blunt force vs projetile/gunshot trauma

– Both have radiating and concentric fractures -Difference: beveling of the concentric fractures. In blunt force injuries, the bone is pushed inward. Fracture occurs on outside of skull first In projectile injuries, the bone is pushed outward because of the inter cranial pressure (figure D) • fracture occurs on inside of skull first • beveling tells us a lot of details

Ring fracture

-Special type of fracture to the base of the skull around the foramen magnum -Caused by a blow to the top of the head, fall from a height, blow to the chin, diving accidents etc -Angle at which the bone fractures indicates the direction of force

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