Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7 Death Investigations. Four Types of Death 1.Natural 2.Accidental Noncriminal 3.Suicide 4.Homicide Noncriminal or Criminal."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 7 Death Investigations
Four Types of Death 1.Natural 2.Accidental Noncriminal 3.Suicide 4.Homicide Noncriminal or Criminal
Classification of Homicide Criminal (felonious) –Murder (first, second, and third degree) –Manslaughter (voluntary and involuntary) Noncriminal (non-felonious) –Excusable Homicide –Justifiable Homicide
Degrees of Murder First-degree murder – requires premeditation and the intent to cause death. Second-degree murder – includes the intent to cause death but not premeditation. Third-degree murder – results from an act that is imminently dangerous to others and shows a disregard for human life.
Manslaughter The unlawful killing of another person with no prior malice Voluntary manslaughter – intentionally causing the death of another person in the heat of passion, caused by words or acts that provide adequate provocation. Involuntary manslaughter – accidental homicide that results from extreme negligence.
Noncriminal Homicide Excusable homicide – the unintentional, truly accidental killing of another person. Justifiable homicide – killing another person under authorization of the law.
Degrees of Homicide
Various Elements of Murder Defined Premeditation – considering, planning, or preparing for an act, no matter how briefly, before committing it Malicious intent – implies ill will, wickedness or cruelty Heat of Passion – results from extremely volatile arguments between two people
Investigating Suicide Check for weapons on or near the body Attempt to find a note or letter Look for videos or cassettes describing the actions taken Examine any pads of paper near the body Look for manuals on how to commit suicide Check on prior arrangements with an undertaker or other evidence of putting one’s affairs in order
Steps when Confronting a Suicidal Person Contain the area Make a clear demand for compliance if time and circumstance allow Ask the person what he or she wants Remain a good listener while avoiding making promises or committing to anything Slow down the situation where possible
Primary Goals of the Homicide Investigation 1.Establish whether a human death was caused by the criminal act or omission of another 2.Determine who caused the death
Focus of the Investigation Assess the victim Document everything you can about the scene Identify the victim Establish the time of death Establish the cause of and the method used to produce death Develop a suspect
Identification of the Victim Family, relatives, or acquaintances Personal effects Fingerprints DNA analysis Dental and skeletal studies Clothing and laundry marks Missing-persons files
Estimating the Time of Death Body temperature Rigor mortis – stiffening of parts of the body after death Postmortem lividity – discoloration of the body Appearance of eyes Stomach contents Stage of decomposition Evidence suggesting a change in the victim’s normal routine
Rigor Mortis Appears in head:5 to 6 hours Appears in upper body:12 hours Appears in entire body:18 hours Disappears in same order:36 hours
Most Common Case of Unnatural Death Gunshot wounds Stabbing and cutting wounds Blows form blunt instruments Asphyxia induces by choking Drowning Hanging Smothering Strangulation Gases or poisons Poisoning and drug overdose Burning Explosions Electric shock Lightening
Suicide Indicators Gun held against skin Wound in mouth or temple Not shot through clothing, unless shot in chest Weapon present Hesitation wounds Wounds under clothing Weapon present Usually wounds at throat, wrists, or ankles Seldom disfigurement Body not moved
Murder Indicators Gun fired from more than a few inches away Angle or location that rules out self-infliction Shot through clothing No weapon Defense wounds Wounds through clothing No weapon present Usually injuries to vital organs Disfigurement Body moved
Types of Murder Mass Murder – multiple victims are killed in a single incident Serial Murder – the killing of three or more separate victims with a “cooling off” period between the killings Lust Murder – a sex-related homicide involving a sadistic, deviant assault