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ANTH 2220 – Death Investigation and Forensic Pathology

by: Jazmine Beckstrand

ANTH 2220 – Death Investigation and Forensic Pathology ANTH 2220-01

Marketplace > University of Utah > ANTH 2220-01 > ANTH 2220 Death Investigation and Forensic Pathology
Jazmine Beckstrand
The U
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

These notes cover the class lecture and assigned readings for the sixth week of class.
Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
Derinna Kopp
Class Notes
CSI, Death, investigation, Forensic, Anthropology, Archaeology, pathology, odontology
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jazmine Beckstrand on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 2220-01 at University of Utah taught by Derinna Kopp in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.


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Date Created: 09/30/16
ANTH 2220 – Death Investigation and Forensic Pathology Definitions Key Concepts Locations * = on exam Recall: The crime scene encompasses all areas over which the victim(s), criminal(s), and witness(es) move during the commission of a crime.  If physical evidence is to be used effectively to aid in the investigation, it must first be recognized at the scene. First Officer on Scene Responsibilities  Providing medical assistance  Securing the area and establishing the perimeter  Preserving fragile and transient evidence Lead Investigator Responsibilities  Conducting the preliminary survey, establishing a command center, assigning responsibilities to other team members, conducting the final survey, and releasing the scene  In charge of scene security, problem resolution, and final decision making CSI Team Members Responsibilities  Photographer  Sketcher  Evidence recorder/recovering/custodian Medical Examiner/Coroner Investigator  Medical examiner's officers vs. coroner's office  Forensic pathologists are in charge vs. coroner is in charge and hire forensic pathologists  Utah State Medical Examiner's Office (OME)  Only ME in Utah  OME Jurisdiction  Only places they do not go: Native American reservations and military locations  Responsibilities  Obtain information  Walk through scene with lead detective  Take photos with CSU team  Examine the body  Examine evidence and the rest of the scene Examination of the Body  Position of the body (look for asphyxia)  Clothing  Scars  Tattoos  Jewelry  Items in pockets  Livor Mortis  Gravity causes the accumulation of blood in the small vessels of the dependent areas of the body  Usually present 30 minutes to 2 hours after death  8-12 hours after death, the blood leads out of the vessels into the soft tissue and becomes "fixed"  Rigor Mortis  Stiffening of the body due to the disappearance of adenotriphosphate (ATP)  Usually present 2-4 hours after death, dependent on temperature  Usually disappears 24-48 hours after death  Begins in the small muscles of the body and moves to the larger muscles Trauma  Sharp force  Blunt force  Gunshot wounds  Thermal injuries  asphyxia Decomposition  Purge  Marbling  Skin blisters  Bloat  Insect activity Degree of skeletonizing  Examination of the Scene/Evidence  Temperature  Position of windows/doors  Weapons  Blood spatter  Trajectory  Alcohol  Illegal drugs/paraphernalia  Prescription medications  Suicide notes(s) Specialists  Forensic anthropologists/archaeologist Forensic entomologist   Forensic odontologist  Non forensic specialists  Search and rescue  Experts (Rocky Mountain Power, etc.) Remember...  There are no set of rules  Every crime scene is different  The ability of the investigator develops with training and experience  Patience is required  Never lock your mind on one scenario Coroner  Appointed or elected to their position  No medical training mandated  4 states coroner must be physician  Rules on cause and manner of death  Not required to consult a physician  May or may not order an autopsy, or rules with autopsy findings Forensic Pathologist  Must be a physician with training:  Medical school - 4 years  Pathology residency - 3 years  Forensic pathology fellowship - 1 year  Board certification in: anatomic pathology, clinical pathology (optional), forensic pathology Manner of Death  Accident  Suicide  Homicide  Natural causes  Undetermined circumstances Cause of death: the actual trauma, event, disease, or illness which starts the physiological process resulting in death.  Mechanism of death - physiological event  Cardiac arrest, cardio-respiratory arrest, exsanguination/shock, etc. Antemortem Injuries Bone remodeling - wherever there is evidence of this type of healing, it can be concluded that a skeletal injury was sustained before an individual's death.  When the cortical bone (hard outer layer of bone) and the cancellous bone (inner spongy bone) are traumatized by a fracture, puncture, and/or break, the area around the lesion swells up and fills with blood generated by the injured blood vessels of the bone marrow, adjacent muscles, or the periosteum (tissue covering the bone).  This localized swelling is referred to as a hematoma.  The size of a hematoma depends on the nature and extent of the damage.  Plasma (watery substance of the blood), contains proteins that eventually cause the blood in the area of the lesion to clot, (usually 6-8 hours after the injury was sustained).  Within a week, a fibrous matrix is formed within the blood clot called callus.  The callus forms the initial site where new bone calls are laid down to replace the ones that were damaged in the injury; the result is a remodeled bone. Note: bone healing may continue up to the point of a person's death, but not beyond it. Hence, if a skeletal wound is apparent, the more extensive the repair, the older the injury. Perimortem Injuries Bullet Wounds  Ballistic properties: temperature, volume, and pressure of the gases resulting from combustion, gravity, air resistance, weight, shape, and caliber of the projectile.  Entrance hole is usually circular, beveled internally, and sharply edged; while exit hole is more ragged, and beveled externally.  Gunshots to other parts of the skeleton do not leave the same pattern of fracturing as the skull.  Range of fire classification: contact or close contact (muzzle touches or is within I inch) Blunt Force Injury  Inbending: the caved in site of impact from a blunt object; the dimensions of which depend on the size of the object and the force behind it.  Outbending: the area surrounding the site of impact that has facture lines that radiate away from the depression.  A fracture will take the path of least resistance and will spread until its energy is dispersed. Sharp Force Injuries  Caused by instruments such as knives, pointed implements, axes, hatchets, and the like.  Sharp edges often splinter and cut bone, creating clean or curled edges, much like whittled wood.  Leave deeper and smoother holds than flat-bladed objects, which produce longer, v-shaped notches.  Dull edges can dent or gouge bone, leaving uneven edges.  Microscopic analysis of these injuries can lead to the identification of the instrument and sometimes the intent of the perpetrator. Postmortem Injuries  If injuries have been sustained at the time of and just after death, distinguishing between the two periods is next to impossible. Hence, theses sorts of injuries are considered perimortem, even though the individual may have been dead at the time they were sustained.  Often defined as intentional versus unintentional.  Unintentional postmortem injuries refer to a variety of factors that may modify or damage remains, such as animal scavenging, weather conditions, and/or poor recovery methods. Intentional Dismemberment  Wastage: chipping, splintering, and or/fracturing of bone as a result of intentional dismemberment by the use of a axes or hatches. Burned Bone  Prolonged firing of bone that contains flesh causes the intact bone marrow to head and quickly expand, eventually causing it to shatter.  Within a skull, the dense tissue and the brain matter expand, creating enough internal pressure to cause the skull to explode.  Limb bones are reduced to less than half their original length, and ribs usually burn down to small stubs protruding from the vertebral column.  When bone with flesh attached is burned, deep transverse fracture lines appear on the bone because of the expansion and pressure caused by the heating of intact flesh. There is also considerable warping, and blackened tissue on or within the bone may still be apparent.  Dry bone that has been burned has very little warping with longitudinal fracture lines, and some superficial cracking. Note: I.R.P. = Instant Pattern Recognition


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