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Honors Forensic Science.  A. “Bone Detectives”  B. Help police solve complex cases involving unidentified human remains.

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Presentation on theme: "Honors Forensic Science.  A. “Bone Detectives”  B. Help police solve complex cases involving unidentified human remains."— Presentation transcript:

1 Honors Forensic Science

2  A. “Bone Detectives”  B. Help police solve complex cases involving unidentified human remains

3  C. Often work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, homicide detectives to identify a decedent, discover evidence of foul play and/or the post-mortem interval (how long the person has been dead)  D. use the same basic technique as physical anthropologists

4  A. 1850’s Harvard Professor, Dr. Jefferies Wyman led one of the first forensic anthropology investigations

5  A. Forensic Odontology – using dental records  B. Forensic Archaeology – excavation of remains  C. Forensic Entomology – how insects can help determine time of death

6  A. Determine if person was male or female  i. Done by studying pelvis, base of skull, forehead, and jaw  Ii. Males – usually have more prominent brow ridge, eye sockets, and jaw

7  Iii. Women – usually have a wider pelvis  1. can also usually tell if woman has given birth due to separation of pelvic bones

8  B. Determine approximately how old the person was  i. Bones changes throughout life  Ii. Examine joints, bones, teeth

9  Iii. Ex. The smoother the skull, the older the person was. Babies have fontanelles on heads, or soft spots because bones of skull have not fused together  Iv. Wrist bones continue to calcify until early teens  V. Works best if decedent is under 30 years old

10  C. Use formulas to determine height  i. Based on arm and leg bones  Ii. Femur is best, estimation can also be made from metacarpals in hand

11  D. Determine a persons weight  i. Based on wear on bones in certain points  Ii. Also use size, position, and types of muscle attachments to bones  Iii. Also can identify what type of activity person is involved in

12  i. MAY be able to identify  Ii. Examine width and height of nose

13  Iii. Caucasian – nose holes are triangular, usually narrower face, more prominent chin and higher nose  Iv. Negroids – noses are more square. Femur bones are generally straighter than other groups

14  V. Mongoloids – noses are more diamond shape and cheek bones tend to point forward

15  i. Ex. Is they played an instrument like the flute or clarinet, teeth and mouth may be affected  Ii. Ex. Is worked in a physical labor job, bones may be more dense

16  G. Determine whether decedent was right or left handed  i. Usually more muscle attachment on bones on dominant side

17  H. Determine if victim was ever injured or fractured a bone  i. Can be compared to a person’s medical x-rays to confirm identity

18  i. Look for signs of trauma to bones  Ii. Ex. Stab marks, marks on skull, broken bones, bullets, pellets etc.

19  i. Amount of soft tissue present  Ii. Weathering cracks on bones  Iii. Animal/rodent bites

20  A. Most of these are class characteristics  B. Some are individual characteristics  C. Courts probably never rely completely on forensic anthropological evidence  D. Provides corroborating evidence

21  A. Creating a face from the skeleton to help them identify the deceased  B. Eyes are hardest to do  C. Other difficult areas are nose and lips

22  D. 3 Methods  i. Layer skull with clay  Ii. Sketches  Iii. Computer assisted software (FACES) ▪ i.


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