Scars, Tattoos and Birthmarks in Identification

There are many different methods that a forensic pathologist can use to make a positive identification against a corpse that finds its way onto his or her autopsy table; and one of the most useful and simplest is that of identifying scars, tattoos and birthmarks that may be present on …

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The Four Manners of Death

The four manners of death are the four main categories in which death can occur that a pathologist will look for when he or she is examining the deceased. Four Categories of Death These four categories of death are: Natural Causes: Quite simply when the body ceases to function of …

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Medico-Legal Photography

What is Medico-Legal? You may not be familiar with the term ‘Medico-Legal’: it is the provision of expert help and testimony from someone who is well respected and experienced in their chosen field who may be required to give evidence in the case against someone who has suffered medical malpractice. …

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How Forensic Evidence is Presented to a Jury

During the course of a trial a jury must be able to understand and appreciate the complexities of both the crime and the methods used in solving the crime and also the scientific procedures used in aiding with the crime’s resolution. What is an Expert Witness? An expert witness is …

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Rigor Mortis and Lividity

Rigor Mortis and Lividity are two natural occurrences within the human body after death that can be used as a means of determining – or at least estimating – when the deceased died. What is Rigor Mortis? Rigor Mortis is the stiffening of the body after death because of a …

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Using the Eyes to Tell the Age of a Victim

There have been many advances in forensic science in the last two decades which have allowed forensic pathologists to become more adept at telling the age of a victim if normal means of identification fail. One such means of identification is to use the eyes as a means of determining …

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Reconstructing a Face

As we have already looked at in other articles a pathologist, in conjunction with a forensic anthropologist, will try to determine the sex of a skeleton by examining the differences between skeletal frames. But in addition to this a forensic anthropologist will be charged – if necessary – to reconstruct …

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Skeletal Remains

Skeletal remains are all that is left of a corpse after nature has taken its course and has disposed of skin, tissue, and any other organ that may cover the skeletal frame. Discovering Skeletal Remains For the most part skeletal remains are found long after a victim has died and …

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Building a Criminal Case Using Forensic Evidence

The most important element of any case against a suspected criminal is the forensic evidence. In the past much was made of eye witness accounts of a crime but now – as technology evolves – the eye witness is the evidence left at the scene of a crime by the …

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Determining Sex

Sometimes during the course of a criminal investigation and its subsequent autopsy the pathologist may find his or herself faced with the task of identifying the sex of a skeleton after decomposition. Obviously before decomposition there are detailed differences between the form of a male or a female but once …

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