Circumstances Surrounding Death

Identifications may be impossible to make based on the few remains discovered at the scene; however, the circumstances in which the remains are discovered may allow an identification to be made. For example, if only a few pieces of a body are located in a burned-out house, an identification cannot be made based on any scientific testing. But, if the owner of the house was last seen in the house, or if there is no other reason to believe the remains are those of someone else, a pre-

Thin White Man
FIGURE 2.2 Visual identification may also be difficult in cases in which the decendent's body has undergone moderate decomposition. This is the face of a thin, white man in his early twenties after being in the water for five days in the summertime.
Facial Gunshot Wounds

FIGURE 2.4 The skin on the ends of the fingers can be removed for printing. See next photo.

Skin Slippage Decomposition
FIGURE 2.1 This woman's face was traumatized due to a motor vehicle accident. Care must be taken when asking the family for a visual identification (I.D.). Many family members or friends are hesitant to give a positive I.D. when the face has been injured.
Skin Slippage Decomposition
FIGURE 2.3 Skin slippage from drowning and decomposition. Skin may also slip off due to the heat. Only the skin is needed to take a fingerprint. See next photos.

FIGURE 2.4 The skin on the ends of the fingers can be removed for printing. See next photo.

Skin Slippage Decomposition
FIGURE 2.5 This skin can easily be printed.
Skin Slippage Decomposition
FIGURE 2.6 If necessary, the ends of the fingers or the entire hand may be removed and sent to the lab for printing.

FIGURE 2.7 The teeth may withstand extensive thermal injury and decomposition. Even though this body is charred, the teeth remain a good source for identification.

Skin Slippage From Decomposition
FIGURE 2.8 Teeth are compared to the dental chart for identification. There are numerous points of positive matches (arrows) in this case.

FIGURE 2.7 The teeth may withstand extensive thermal injury and decomposition. Even though this body is charred, the teeth remain a good source for identification.

Tupac Death Photo Gunshot Wound

FIGURE 2.9 This "hand" specimen was discovered in a dump-ster. Law enforcement was worried this may be part of a homicide. Notice there is only one smaller digit. See next photo.

FIGURE 2.10 Further examination of the hand and the X-ray revealed the specimen to be a bear paw. A local taxidermist threw the specimen in the dumpster.

FIGURE 2.9 This "hand" specimen was discovered in a dump-ster. Law enforcement was worried this may be part of a homicide. Notice there is only one smaller digit. See next photo.

Gunshot Wound HandGunshot Wounds Suicide

FIGURE 2.11 In charred bodies, most of the skin may be mandible can now be easily examined, photographed, and burned off the bone and only the saw is needed to remove the X-rayed.

mandible and maxilla for identification. See next photo.

FIGURE 2.11 In charred bodies, most of the skin may be mandible can now be easily examined, photographed, and burned off the bone and only the saw is needed to remove the X-rayed.

mandible and maxilla for identification. See next photo.

Maxilla Accident

FIGURE 2.13 These are antemortem and postmortem comparisons useful for identifying a skull. An X-ray from a previous traffic accident (left) was compared to a postmortem radiograph. The arrows point to the frontal sinus on each which match. This finding makes a positive match. This skull was discovered with other parts of a skeleton. The police thought they knew the decedent's identity; however, a positive match had to be made.

FIGURE 2.13 These are antemortem and postmortem comparisons useful for identifying a skull. An X-ray from a previous traffic accident (left) was compared to a postmortem radiograph. The arrows point to the frontal sinus on each which match. This finding makes a positive match. This skull was discovered with other parts of a skeleton. The police thought they knew the decedent's identity; however, a positive match had to be made.

Xray Gunshot Wound The Abdomen
FIGURE 2.14 This body was discovered in a field. It was thought to be that of an African-American man who was shot in the abdomen during a barroom brawl. In order to prosecute the assailant, a positive I.D. needed to be made. See next photo.
Jaw Gunshot
FIGURE 2.15 An examination of the skull revealed black curly hair and the jaw of a man. The teeth appeared as though no dentist had ever worked on them. The findings were consistent with those of an African-American man; however, positive proof must be made. See next photo.
Bullet Wound The Stomach
FIGURE 2.16 There was moderate decomposition to the torso with abundant maggots. Notice the difference in the degree of decompositional changes between the torso and the skull in the previous photo. See next photo.
Gun Shot Scars
FIGURE 2.18 A postmortem X-ray revealed a bullet (arrow) next to the spine. The man had recently been shot because examination revealed no scar tissue around the bullet. See next photo.
Kileod For African Americans Scar Tissue
FIGURE 2.17 The clothing was consistent with those worn by the man when he was shot. This is still not enough for a positive I.D. See next photo.
Ray Bullet Fragments
FIGURE 2.19 An X-ray of the pelvis revealed bullet fragments. These were surrounded by scar tissue, indicating the man had been shot before. See next photo.
Harris Line Seen Ray
FIGURE 2.20 An eight-year-old X-ray from the probable victim revealed the same fragments as seen on the postmortem radiograph. See next photo.
Gunshot Wounds Pictures
FIGURE 2.21 A comparison of the two X-rays revealed not only a match with the bullet fragments, but also a match of the pelvic bones. Now a positive I.D. can be made and the assailant brought to trial.
Bullet Wound Xrays
FIGURE 2.22 Small growth lines (Harris lines) within the bone (arrows) are unique. No two individuals will have the same pattern(s).
Bones The Body
FIGURE 2.23 Tattoos may be good for both probable and positive I.D.s. Occasionally the tattoo artists are able to identify their work.
Death Gunshot
FIGURE 2.24 Some tattoos are cute, but may not be very unique. However, they might aid in the decedent's eventual identification.
Death Gunshot
FIGURE 2.25 Rarely will tattoos such as these not be linked to a particular person.
Death Gunshot
FIGURE 2.26 The ring on this lady's finger was the only evidence allowing the woman's identification to be made after a plane crash. This was good enough for a positive I.D. because her son readily identified the ring.
Pulmonary Toilet
FIGURE 2.28 This baby was discovered in a toilet. His identification was made with DNA testing. Prior to this technology, the baby's identity may not have been solved.
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  • THELMA
    How to treat gunshot wounded fingers?
    3 years ago

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