Baker | FORS 3331 | Spring 2017 | Lecture 17/18 | Page 1
LECTURE 17: JOHN DOE PROJECT
The local sheriff enters your laboratory and presents your crack forensic team with a cardboard box full
of skeletal remains. She relates to you that the box was recently discovered in an elderly man's barn by
his equally-elderly wife. The wife is seriously freaked and the DA wants answers pronto. Are the remains
human? If so how many individuals are represented (minimally)? Can you determine the age and sex of
individuals? Are the remains damaged? If so, can you identify the modifying agent/s (e.g. saws,
carnivores, etc.) and/or the timing of trauma? Lastly, are the remains or legal interest - should the state
– Inventory of Box Contents
o Field number (if available) or description
o Element (e.g. tibia, incisor, etc.)
o When possible also provide: side (upper/lower for teeth), age, sex
o What sort/s?
o Are they ante/peri/post-mortem or of indeterminate timing?
Minimum Number of Individuals
o Based upon element inventories, ages, sexes, statures, etc.
Each student scientist will generate a short response (2-3 pages or so) based upon the findings of their
group. In addition to an attached descriptive inventory , provide a brief explanation of your
findings/estimates/calculations etc. What analyses did you perform? How did you rule out alternate
possibilities? To the best of your ability reconstruct the circumstances surrounding the demise of these
An informal 5-10 minute presentation of your case. Team members must share presentation duties.
Have some fun with this; you can invent and present "new details" of the case as long as they are
consistent with the contents of your box Baker | FORS 3331 | Spring 2017 | Lecture 17/18 | Page 2
LECTURE 18: INNOMINATES
The Pelvic Girdle
– Comprised of the sacrum, coccyx, and two innominates
– It supports and protects the abdominal and pelvic organs
– Also anchors muscle of the abdomen and hind limb
– It's firmly affixed to the axial skeleton via the sacrum (unlike
the shoulder girdle)
– Os Coxae - innominate; "hip bone"
– Ossifies from three (3) primary centers which fuse around
the acetabulum (hip socket) in early adolescence
o The ilium
o The pubis
– Ilium - a thin, blade-like portion superior to the acetabulum
– Ischium - a large, blunt, posteroinferior portion that you sit
– Pubis - anteroinferior portion that approaches the other innominate at the midline
– Acetabulum - the "hip socket"
o Laterally-facing round hollow
o Articulates with the femoral head
– Acetabular Fossa/Notch - non-articular surface within the acetabulum
o It's the point of