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Lecture 10

FSC239Y5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Forensic Pathology, Critical Thinking, Ice Pop

Forensic Science
Course Code
Joel Cahn

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October 13, 2015: Forensic Anthropology Case Study by Dr. Tracy Rogers
About Case-Studies
Use original sources
Research: Experimental, correlational, most extensive
Technical Notes: Specific techniques, testing and validating
Case Study: Specific example in detail
Brief communication: Briefly addresses specific details
Used in some disciplines where experiments are difficult: Medicine and psychology
Narrative format
Case study should be more than just a story
Distinguish between a good case study and a poor case study
Must have a clear purpose
Two main purposes of case studies
o Provide guidance in unique situations that others could encounter
o Lesson that can be generalized to apply to multiple situations
The assignments of this course will use case study research
Forensic Anthropologists
Search for, document, recover, analyze, human remains
Ontario Forensic Pathology Services and Office of Chief Coroner Ontario 2010
o Declared that forensic anthropologists required
o Burned, buried, outdoor, scattered, badly decomposed or skeletonized remains
Who can request a Forensic Anthropologist?
o Coroner
o Pathologist
o Police
Three Main Points:
assumptions can be misleading
o Initial emergency phone call of the situation causes the initial assumption
o "Is it possible to obtain information from a disturbed grave? Can you see tool marks in
sandy soil?
o Expected: Day 1 of the scene, body/bones removed by animals
o The Scene
Arrive 11 pm
Scene 2 days old
Crime scene tape and tend in place
Ready to release
Body was excavated by inexperienced personnel
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Importance of critical thinking in a crime scene investigation
Unique scenes unique solutions
The Crime Scene
Step 1: Documentation
o Take photos and measurements
o Even at 11 pm
o Critical thinking: Pros vs cons of doing the documentation so late at night
o Pros:
Start documentation, more time to plan out the documentation
Make initial observations
Plan based on findings
o Artificial light creates contrast
Creates good lighting
Tool marks are easy to see
Next day was sunny so the bright light inside the tent removed the shadows
Tool marks could not be seen as easily
Day 2 of the scene
o Unique scenes require unique solutions
o How was the grave dug? Altered during body removal
o Was the grave dug in advance?
o Recognizing original tool marks
Undisturbed Earth is naturally layered
Grave fill consists of all layers mixed together
Find fill still in grave, not removed when body recovered
Anything behind it is undisturbed, contains original tool marks
o Recognizing if the grave is dug in advanced
Soil in the open grave starts to dry out
Grave floor below body could have cracks
If it rained: grave floor could be stippled and evidence of water line could
If the grave was dug in haste: deep or shallow grave
Determining how the body was deposited in the grave
Crushed vegetation
Drag marks
Backfill halo
Placement of bushes and trees
Position of the body
o How and where to begin
When unsure what to expect, go from least important or sensitive area to most
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