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183 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
2. In this trait, __________________________, an additional cusp appears on the lingual side of the crown of the maxillary canine, making it similar in configuration to a lower first premolar.
bushman's canine
extra cups on the lingual side of a molar, prominent in africans
cusp 7
A specialty within dentistry in which the method and theory of dental examination are applied to medicolegal issues.
forensic odontology
develop when secondary dentin is deposited through time in the pulp cavity of permanent teeth
Pulp Stones
yellow accumulation on surface of teeth
3. One method of _______________________________ is to place a negative of a skull over the photograph of a person so that osteological points can be compared to areas of the face
Photographic Superimposition
AM & PM data match sufficiently to establish that they are from the same individual.
Positive ID
AM & PM data are consistent, but not fully exclusive of all other individuals.
Possible ID
comparing tooth impressions with bruises left from a bite
Bite Mark Analysis
found responsible for the deaths of over 30 women
Caught with tooth impressions
Ted Bundy Case
different types of personal identification from antemortem records
Forensic Odontology (Forensic Dentistry)
Radiographic Comparisons
Photographic Superimposition
bit mark analysis
sinus analysis
DNA testing
what is necessary to make a positive identification?
the remains are determined to be associated with 1 person to the exclusion of all others.Requires dental records
Inventory, Restorations (type and placement), Pathologies,
Malocclusion, Comparative Radiographs
Must explain any discrepancies
the methods by which a forensic odontologist attempts to make a positive ID
dental records
photographic superimposition
No further investigation of medicolegally significant skeletal material can be performed until the remains have been matched with a missing person
the remains have been matched with a missing person
Forensic Odontology areas of concern
Formulation of a positive ID.
Analysis of bite marks on persons or associated evidence.
Interpretation of injuries & other changes to oral tissues.
tooth shape prominent in asian and native americans
traits of tooth age
formation, eruption, histological traits
Indications of older adult teeth
Pulp stones develop when secondary dentin is deposited through time in the pulp cavity of permanent teeth
Staining (enamel discoloration)
Tartar (calculus) accumulation
Smaller root tip openings
How useful are teeth in determining sex?
not very
how can teeth determine cause of death?
Damage to the dentition indicating a perimortem blow
written dental records
Patterns of missing, filled, and unrestored teeth
<1% frequency of overlap
Can be considered a positive ID with some patterns
problems with written dental records
Not all work is recorded
Records are thrown out
Errors in recording
Different coding methods:
Zsigmondy (letters)
Fed. Dentaire Internat.
(2 #’s)
outcome when not enough evidence for possible or probably ID
insufficient evidence
am and pm data are inconsistent
Can compare antemortem x-rays with x-rays of unidentified skeletal remains
Radiographic Comparison
most common radiographic comparison is done on
bone traits used in radiographic comparison?
bone injuries
subtle differences in shape
hitler's radiograph showed?
dental appliances
dna is considered as reliable as
finger prints or radiographic comparison
term for cavities
over or under bite
Can photographic superimposition be used alone to make a positive id?
_________________ is the study of the changes to biological organisms between the time of death and the time of discovery.
Forensic Taphonomy
studies the insect life cycle and succession on cadavers for the purpose of determining PMI.
Forensic Entomology
Interested in determining:
Time of year for death from amount of immediately surrounding plant growth
Previous locations from presence of other plant materials
Aspects of growth suggesting how long since death
Forensic Botany
Blood settling
Livor Mortis
Body temp. drop
Algor Mortis
Gelling cytoplasm, rigid muscles
Rigor Mortis
unregulated digestive fluids
unregulated bacteria
more sun =
faster decomp
freezing/thawing cycles
loosen connective tissues
more humid =
faster decomp
more humid = faster decomp.; slows drying of tissues, better for animal consumption; rapid drying in arid climates which induces mummification
trauma & placement; access to internal organs; outdoors vs. indoors; surface vs. underwater or buried; depth of burial
Little Effect on Decomp. Rate
Rain fall
Complications for PMI Calculation
Decomp. is continuous; no discrete stages
Numerous factors complicate decomp. rate
Large temporal variation in stages
Most schedules derived from surface finds
Changes combined from all times of year, neglecting temp. fluctuations
General approach: code by amount of decay; include specifics if additional factors known
Burials = slower decomp. because?
Fewer insects below 2’
Reduced temp. underground
Water submersion =
slower decomp
1 week on surface =
2 in water = 8 underground
most common scavengers for N. Am
Dogs and coyotes
Forensic Entomology: History
13th century China – dead farmer found with sharp trauma wound in chest
Medieval Europe – thought maggots were products of meat; no known cause of decay and fly activity
19th century – Decay-fly relationship discovered

1st application in French court case, 1850
Flies on skeletonized child found behind chimney were thought to take a year to develop, which was longer than the present residence’s tenure- misunderstood development duration
Insect succession studies soon revealed the real relationships
Forensic Entomology
Observing different life stages of attendant insects
Seasonal insects – can indicate season when death occurred
Geographic variation of species
Identify habits of decedents- (e.g., cocaine in maggots)
Find existing life cycles & calculate time since death
Blowfly accuracy
accurate to within 12 hrs
blowfly cycle
Found in all parts of the country
Shows up mins./hours after death
Females lay eggs soon after
23 hrs. to hatch, larvae start feeding
After a few days, maggots migrate off carcass, bury themselves, pupate, & adult flies move back to carcass to feed
effect of temperature on blowfly
higher temp = grow faster
Succession of insects
Blowflies immediately
Beetles within day or 2
Some eat soft tissue
Some eat larvae and fly eggs
Beetles outnumber flies over time
Soft tissue disappears, beetles and a few types of flies remain
Knowing ratio of flies to beetles = time estimate
Brief utility (several days to ~1 year)
Identify compounds in larvae, pupae, & adults as those from the body
Cocaine, heroin, GHB, mercury, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, antidepressants, etc. can be detected
Some can accelerate the development of necrophagous insects (e.g., cocaine & heroin)
Complications of insect succession
Some insects reoccur
Life cycle lengths are affected by weather (esp. heat & cold)
Need an arthropod specialist
Beetle life cycles are not as well known as flies; thus insect succession is less useful than fly life cycle for determining time since death
Compare roots from under a body to those of plants around area
Bodies fertilize plants and root growth can accelerate, increasing root thickness
Chemical Methods
Using body weight and temperature of the site, find time since death by measuring ratio of volatile fatty acids in soil
Regression formulae for levels of bone residuals (e.g., proteins, triglycerides, cholesterol) to find time since death
Limited enthusiasm for use of these methods
Disease, malnutrition, old age, accidental, and intentional trauma are common
causes of death
homicide, suicide, accident, natural, and unknown are all
manners of death
any break in bone
a break completely through a bone
an incomplete break in a bone
fractured ends don’t meet or meet at unnatural angle
broken ends are separated from each other
Complete fracture
infraction with unnatural angle, occurs when a section of bone is bent away from the direction of a blow. Its usual manifestation is inward bending
Hinge fracture
is an incomplete, transverse facture to long bones which results in the diaphysis being bent at an abnormal angle
Green-Stick Fracture
single discontinuity; bone broken into 2 segments
Simple fracture
breaks resulting in multiple fragments of bone
Most commonly seen in violent deaths
Comminuted fracture
disperse outward (most common fracture lines)
Radiating lines
form concentric rings around area of impact
(most common in high-velocity projectile wounds)
Concentric lines or hoop fractures
breaks that occur in bones weakened by disease
Pathological Fractures
breaks caused by overuse
Stress Fractures
Fatigue Fractures
occur in bones exposed to intermittent stress over a long period of time
old lady hump, overlap, partially due to osteoporosis
dowager's hump
Post-traumatic Bone Reaction
Vessels are ruptured, creating a hematoma, which helps to stabilize the broken pieces in the area by coagulation
Osteogenic response of periosteum; bridges the gap to begin development of a callus, made of fibrous bone
If the break is immobilized, the callus develops by calcium matrix deposits, but it is not dense or well organized
Replacement of fibrous with lamellar bone, which is much stronger
Fracture Evidence
Callus begins to form by 6 weeks after break, can remain visible for years after complete healing
Can sometimes obliterate after years, leaving no evidence
Remodeling can occur around fracture edges
Break borders are sharp, resorption can round them
Porosity can increase with healing
– force that pulls on bone; dislocation; accidents
pushes down on bone; discontinuities; fracture lines; most common on skull
twisting; common in long bones; accidents and child abuse
Impacts the side of a structure at right angles to long axis, causing a break through the cross section
self-defense wound
Parry Fracture
involves immobilization of a segment of bone; most common with accidents
sudden stress
Force that is delivered powerfully and at high speed
Most common
Examples: bludgeon, knife, or projectile
Dynamic force
applied slowly
Force starts low and builds to the point where bone breaks
Usually creates displacement of bone, with few fracture lines
Static force
Most common forensic injury by static force is
the breaking of the hyoid by manual strangulation
Force applied to a single point or a thin line
Ice picks, knives, axes, meat cleavers, machetes, swords
Narrow Focus
Force delivered over a large area of bone
Ranges from an inch to several inches
Any instrument that is not cutting or chopping
Wide Focus
Any injury resulting from a blow from wide instruments that have either a flat or round surface.
Blunt Force Trauma
characteristics of blunt force trauma
Result of compression, bending, and shearing forces applied dynamically over a wide focus
Exhibit both discontinuities and fracture lines
Caused by objects wielded as clubs, vehicular accidents, and hitting the ground
Generally results from an implement with a point or sharp edge.
Results from compression or shearing forces applied dynamically over a narrow focus.
Sharp Force Trauma
Force applied perpendicular and down onto surface =
= punctures, chop marks
sharp force trauma instruments
Knives, axes, other instruments with sharp edges or points
projectile trauma:
Usually compressive, some bending force; dynamic speed; begins small focus, becomes wide focus as projectile passes through the bone

Discontinuities, bone displacement, fracture lines

Bullets, arrows, spears
trauma caused by static pressure
generalized dynamic pressures
trauma that occurred before death such that there is partial or complete healing
antemortem trauma
injuries that occurred around the time of death; of great interest to law enforcement officials
perimortem trauma
injury that occurs after death
Postmortem trauma
antemortem trauma traits
Porosity around break due to bone resorption
Rounded edges of break due to bone remodeling (begins as early as 1 week after break)
Presence of callus (irregular shape, disorganized surface, raised area)
Perimortem Trauma traits
Green bone response
Characterized by – sharp edges, hinging, fracture lines, broken ends angled with jagged surface, hematoma staining
Postmortem Damage traits
Dry bone snaps like a dry twig
No hinging, green fractures, or radiating fracture lines
Long bones usually break at nearly right angles, with almost flat ends
Break edge is lighter in color
Projectile Trauma
Distinct wound characteristics
Generally results in complete discontinuities (with displacement and usu. fracture lines)
Can shatter entire structures (e.g., skull)
Firearm categories: handguns, shotguns, rifles
Preferred method of murder and suicide due to lethality
diameter of a bullet and/or barrel of a handgun or rifle
the max. weight of a lead ball that would fit down the barrel of a shotgun (e.g., a 10-gauge shotgun would admit a lead ball weighing 1/10 of a pound)
solid balls made of lead (contained in shells, denoted by birdshot or buckshot number)
a thin copper coating on the bullet
sharp (rifles); blunt & hollow-point (handguns)
solid lead or fragmenting bullets (encase pellets that scatter throughout the target when the bullet makes contact- usu. round in profile)
Internal Composition
Causes wound to be larger than actual bullet
Wound Beveling
beveling (at entry site)
Inward beveling
beveling (at exit site)
beveling (opp. direction
of entrance)
Reverse beveling
when angle of bullet perpendicular to bone;
when bullet not perpendicular to bone
fracturing that occurs around the site of bullet impact on long bone diaphyses
Butterfly fractures
an injury where the area of impact is clear, but the imprint of the causative instrument is not visible
Focused blunt trauma
traumas that do not exhibit a distinct area of impact
Diffused blunt trauma
incomplete fractures causes by blunt force trauma
Bow fracture or plastic deformation
Bone bruise or occult intraosseous fracture
Torus or buckling fracture
Greenstick fracture
Toddler’s fracture
Vertical fracture
Depressed fracture
complete fractures caused by blunt force trauma
Transverse fracture
Oblique fracture
Spiral fracture
Comminuted fracture
Epiphyseal fracture
blunt force trauma shape
Cross-sections – round and angular
Round common for rounded clubs (bats, branches, glass bottles, some crowbars, etc.)
Angular common for clubs with corners (lumber, some crowbars, pieces of metal); most likely to leave shape imprint and fewer fracture lines
Patterned injuries – belt buckles or distinct tools are rare on bone
Size of blunt force trauma
Club length: long or short, can’t be sure
Club width: narrow or wide, can’t be sure
Collisions may be complicated
Forces are relevant to who or what may have created the injuries
Lesser force needed for smaller objects
blunt force trauma Weight
Heavy or light
Light objects – smaller injuries with fewer fracture lines
Heavy objects swung with great force – catastrophic bone injuries; large wounds with extensive fracture lines; crushing, fragmentation
Weight can be irrelevant (e.g., collisions involving a moving vehicle, falls)
bending from tension of bft?
bending for compression in bft?
disease markers
pathological conditions
these pathologies can be used to ID, even positive ID's
skeletal anomalies
lesions and over growths are considered
occupational stress markers
abnormal loss of bone. small pores to large cavities
lytic lesions
excess growth of bone
abnormal shapes or contours of bone
caused by severe anemia and expanding diploe esp of the occipital bone
Porotic Hyperostosis
expanding diploe into orbits due to severe anemia
Cribra Orbitalia
Decreased blood flow to bone;
results in cavities or fragments
cavities on superior and inferior surface of vertebral bodies, common type
schmorl's node
cavitary lesions resulting from infections of the teath that form a vent in the alveolar part of the jaw
common proliferative condition on vertebra, bone spurs linked to osteoarthritis
vitamin D deficiency that often causes bowing of legs
ricketts and osteomalacia
vertebral column curves forward to a greater extent than normal
accessory bones in lambdoid suture
wormian bones
accessory bone of the inferior border of zygomatic frequent in japanese
os japonium
only common nonfusion in cranium, retention of metopic suture
separation of neural arch from body of vertabrae
sparation of right and left haves of neural arch in sacrum
spina bifida
nonfusion notch in the patella
bipartite patella
nonfusion of the styloid process
os triangular
nonfusion of the posterior process of the talus
os trigonum
foramen on the floor of the ear cannal
foramen of huschke
foramen in olecranon fossa
septal aperture
holes in the brain case as a result of surgery
occupational stress marker meaning over growth
separation of parts of the body to hinder ID or ease transport
localized dismemberment
cuts to all areas of the skeleton
Suggests disregard for the victim
generalized dismemberment
cuts across the grain; teeth at 70o to long axis of the saw
crosscut saws
cut with the grain; teeth at 90o to long axis of the saw; makes a wide kerf
rip saw
shallow; caused when the blade of the saw is drawn across the surface of a bone
Superficial false start scratches
deeper; caused by bouncing of the saw blade off the bone during a push stroke
False start kerf
deep kerfs (the most useful for determining blade construction and saw type)
Sectioned bone cuts
– caused by the final cutting stroke
Breakaway spur
indicates circular blades; appear as semicircular, concentric arched lines
Fixed radius
indicates straight blades; appear as linear lines (rigid blades) or slightly curved (nonrigid)
Nonfixed radius
no fracture lines; often accompanied by evidence of other animal activity
shallow punctures, doesn't make it through cortical bone
parallel lines, along cortical bone of diaphysis
deeper, at ends of bone
: large, depressed areas with hinge fractures; caused by animal chewing
Depressed fractures
only calcium salts remain; bone is light weight and brittle
damage to bone upon being found
discovery marks
Career Avenues
Law Enforcement
Government Agency
Often, entomological researchers who work at universities
Aid in determining post-mortem interval
Conduct research on insect life-cycles and the relationship to the decay of remains
Usually only do forensics part-time on a consulting basis
Forensic Entomology
Applies psychology to a legal context. Involved in many aspects of legal cases
May be called on to testify about defendant’s competency to stand trial
May provide sentencing recommendations
May be involved in ‘profiling’ in criminal cases
Can also be called in to testify in custody disputes, insurance claims, and lawsuits
Generally requires a PhD in clinical or counseling psychology
Forensic Psychology
Usually individuals with a DDS (or the new degree, DMD)
Requires in-depth knowledge of dental anatomy
Most do forensic work on a consulting basis, work full time as dentists in private practice or in academia
Help ID victims, analyze any trauma to the mouth/teeth
Forensic Odontology
Work in government labs, or do forensics on a consulting basis
Specialize in the application of chemistry to medico-legal situations or product failure
Evidence may include hair samples, paint chips, glass fragments, or blood stains
May be involved in DNA testing (biochemistry)
Forensic Chemistry
Primarily employed by government agencies, though some work for private labs
Requires less training than most other forensics careers (as little as an Associates degree, in some situations)
Collect and analyze physical evidence related to the commission of crimes
May specialize in specific fields, such as ballistics, fingerprint analysis, etc.
Lab Technicians
Write detailed reports
Testify in court
This includes interacting/preparing statements with the prosecution or defense
Sometimes called in to testify for opposing counsel—must use discretion at accepting such jobs
Necessitates high ethical standards, composure, and patience
Forensic Anthropology
few positions for forensic anthropologists in academia and competition is fierce
forensics trap
study the human remains found at archaeological sitesThey look at
Population make-up
Demographics (ages, wealth, ancestry)
Cultural practices of burial
Cultural practices of body modification
May be employed by police department, or may do work on a consulting basis
Reconstruct traffic accident scenes
Use data from tire prints, witness testimony, patterns of damage to vehicle(s), etc.
Forensic Engineers
may be elected or appointed
Sometimes doctors, but many states do not require this
May or may not have specific training in forensic pathology
appointed by the state
Required to be doctors
Usually required to have specialization in related discipline of medicine (almost always pathology)
Medical Examiners