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Forensic Anthropology Final
Terms in this set (88)
is a pathological category defined as injury caused to living tissue by an outside force
cause of death
what caused the decedent to stop breathing. 1) disease, 2) malnutrition, 3) old age, 4) trauma (accidental or intentional)
Manner of death
way in which participant has died. 1) homicide, 2) suicide, 3) accident, 4) natural, 5) unknown. The first three often affect skeleton
Issues relating to trauma for FA to reconstruct
1. Perimortem trauma that may relate to COD or MOD
2. Description of force that caused it; weapons
3. number of wounds; speak to manner of death
4. sequence of wounds; yield information on circumstances surrounding the death
5. placement of wounds; can help to determine the manner of death and the location of an attacker in homicide.
Basics of Bone Trauma, Fracture
complete discontinuity, when sufficient force is applied to bone, a break will occur and travels completely through the bone
Basics of Bone trauma, infraction:
Basics of Bone trauma, displacement:
occurs when surfaces that once were continuous no longer meet or meet at an unnatural angle.
Basics of Bone trauma, simple fracture
bone is broken into two pieces
basics of bone trauma, comminuted fracture:
bone is broken into many pieces
when skin is broken
when skin is not broken, but bone is
orientation of fracture that is straight through
orientation of fracture is spiral; up and around
seen in jumpers, car accidents
fractures in which part of a bone has been depressed below the surface
occur due to some preexisting condition ex: brittle bone disease, tuberculosis eats away vertebral bodies, breaks that occur in bones that are weakened by disease
breaks caused from over use
occur in bones that are exposed to intermittent stress over long periods of time
in younger individuals, one side is broken, the other side is bent
Stages of bone healing
1) normal bone, 2) haematoma (pool of blood helps stabilizes the broken pieces) and granulation tissues occurs, 3) cartilaginous callus forms, 4) bony callus and cartilaginous remnants, 5) re-modeling (replacement of fibrous bone with lamellar bone that is much stronger due to its greater organization and denser structure
cartilage healing, forms a bulge on bone leads to remodeling.
trauma occurring before death
trauma occuring around death
trauma occurring after death
ante mortem fractures
evident by signs of healing, rounding of edges, callus. porosity near the breaks indicates bone activity and resorption, rounding of the edges of the break, presence of a callus
Peri mortem fractures:
characterized by green (fresh bone) response without healing, sharp edges, unhealed greenstick, spiral fracturing common, fracture lines fresh. hinging; this occurs when a section of a bone is bent away from the direction of a blow. the formation of fracture lines. the shape of the broken ends; these are usually angled with a jagged surface, staining from the hermatoma
post mortem fractures
fractures in dry, brittle bone, bones snap instead of greenstick fracturing, transverse (not spiral fractures), color of break is lighter from rest of bone. rarely exhibit radiating fracture lines, bone not hydrated,
forms of trauma
1) projectile (bullets), 2) blunt force (refers to any injury caused by a force that has a wide area of impact on bone, usually exhibits both discontinuities and fracture lines), 3) sharp force (usually results from either compression or shearing forces applied dynamically over a narrow focus, 4) miscellaneous.
entrance wound only
entrance and exit wounds
3 main aspects of these devices most directly determine the effects on bone: size, construction, and velocity. bullet construction refers to profile, internal composition, and jacketing. three basic bullet profiles; sharp, blunt, and hollow point. the internal composition of a bullet is of two basic types. most common is solid lead, some are constructed to fragment or explode on contact. presence or absence of a jacket (refers to a thin copper coating on the bullet, full or semi, and reduces deformation and fragmentation). the velocity of a projectile has th egreatest effect on its wounding power.
Entrance wound characteristics
small because bullet is usually intact, internal beveling; the angle is greater on inside of bone then outside
exit wound characteristics
larger and externally beveled, once bullet hits bone it deforms due to initial impact, bullet may be even more deformed after creating exit wound.
internal, external, or reverse, bone flaking depending on direction of bullet
Factors affecting entrance wound size
1. Caliber of bullet: refers to the diameter of a bullet and or barrel of a handgun or rifle.
2. bone construction (thickness, plasticity) entrance can be smaller then bullet
3. bullet construction: blunt or hollow tip bullets deform more, bullets with jackets (stronger metal covering) deform less
Entrance hole shapes and causes:
depends on four factors; its construction, its angle of trajectory, its angle of axis, and the type of wound that it forms.
Round entrance hole
indicate trajectory perpendicular to bone and angle of bullet axis perpendicular, rather seen in entry wounds more common with jacketed projectiles.
oval entrance hole
indicates a more oblique trajectory to bone, either the angle of trajecotry is not perpendicular to the bones surface or when the bullet is tumbling when it strikes, jacketed projectles are more likely to cause oval entry or exit wounds, while any bullet construtcion can cause this type of entry wound.
keyhole entrance hole
indicates strongly angled trajectory to bone, usuallyare caused by bullets that graze bone, with little penetration. both entry and exit wounds, originate from any type of bullet.
irregular entrance hole
indicates entrance if bullets are tumbling. more likely to occur in exit wounds. since blunt and hollow point bullets are more likely to deform.
Identify bone force trauma
to identify the types of trauma, three characteristics of forces that cause bone injury need to be understood: direction, speed, and focus. Direction refers to the direction from which the force contacts the bone;does the force originate from the side, top, bottom, or some combination. Speed is distinguished as either dynamic or static. focus refers to the size of the surface on which the force impacts.
may or may not form, associated with more powerful weapons. may end at or travel along sutures because tries to dissipate energy. are most common form of fracture lines, disperse outward, from area of applied force
form ring around impact due to intracranial pressure, also called hoop fractures caused by the inward and outward bending of the surface of the bone
order of fracturing
1) radiating fractures, 2) concentric fractures. Radiating fractures get to other side before exit.
involve locating the defects and distinguishing the entrance from exit wounds. distinguish radiating from concentric fracture lines, after fracture lines are identified, the next step is to follow the radiating fracture lines from their origin to their terminus. if that terminus is at another fracture line, it can be said that it is later in sequence than the line at which it stops.
characteristics of contact wound
recoil impact fractures skull occasionally, may also burn or deposit soot on outside of skull, endocranial powder burns
relative angle of the projectile to bone it hits.
drill hole vs. butterfly fracture
drill hole is when the bullet goes right through the metaphysis (spongy bone) and butterfly fracture is when it hits the diaphysis.
ulna fracture often interpreted as resulting from warding off a blow, causes the ulna to absorb the force, resulting in a fracture and inward displacement of the broken surfaces.
fracture from falling and trying to break your fall with hands outstreched, shearing force. weight of the body delivers the side force.
sharp force trauma
trauma resulting from sharp implements including knives, axes, saws, swords, etc.
Distinguishing sharp force trauma
Knife marks: 1) Narrow, 2) v shape in cross section, 3) smooth (microscopic striations), 4) striations perpendicular to kerf floor, 5) minimal wastage.
Saw marks: 1) wide, 2) square in cross section, 3) visible striations, 4) striations parallel to kerf floor, 5) moderate wastage
Axe marks: 1) very wide, 2) v shape in cross section, 3) smooth(or microscopic striations), 4) striations perpendicular to kerf floor, 5) significant wastage/fracture/chattering
1845, searched for NW passage between Atlantic and Pacific, 134 men disappeared but later rumors suggested starvation and cannibalism. Almost 25% of bones recovered in 1992 exhibit cut marks supportive of cannibalism.
saw mark characteristics
Kerf: the width of a saw cut
false starts and exit chipping help indicate direction of cutting.
difference in striation angle indicates change in saw position
cuts on push/pull stroke
3 types of strangulation
Hanging: due to suspension of body by neck
ligature: tightening of a cord around neck
manual choking: airway is constricted with the hands
traumatic separation of C2 neural arch from rope impact
free floating bone; commonly cited as evidence of strangulation when broken. unlikely to fracture if unfused. may result from falls or other trauma to neck. 8% of hangings, 11% of ligature cases, 34% of manual choking
RO OC B Musculo-skeletal stress markers
analyze sites for muscle ligamentous, or tendinous attachment
golfers elbow, inflammation of medial epicondylities
strain on lateral side of elbow, tennis elbow
ongitudinal crest on posterior femur
medial lip of the linea aspera
either present or absent
superior-posterior distal femur, lateral extension on talus, anterior distal tibia
pipe facets, seamstress notch, electricians notch
marks that get worse over time
bone spurs; boney projections form along margins
degenerative join disease, degradation of joints
caused by repeated and strenuous activity
separation of neural arch from vertebral body.
Professional Cellist, Born in 1743, Died in 1805, examined in 1993 for analysis, good example using msm's, degeneration, and discrete indicators.
problems with behavioral reconstruction
markers not specific, with labor laws there are fewer msm's, multiple occupations can cause similar marks, some diseases can cause similar signs. msm's not used in predictive fashion, rather as a conformation tool.
an identification based on such solid incontrovertible physical evidence as to be highly probable to be correct.
not fully agreed on or conlcuded
comparison of two images, quantitative vs qualitative, agreement vs. disagreement, Ruxton case first used superimposition.
24 yr old uruguayan, disappeared in 1973, military arrest, body was found in 73, wrapped in wine mesh with rocks for weight, analysis indicated approximately 25 yrs old, no clear cause of death, buried body not having achieved ID, exhumed in 2002.
Problems with superimposition
1. obtaining good quality antemortem photo/video
2. vertical/horizontal angles must match between images
3. image size must be the same.
Phase 1: chart the post mortem remains, note teeth present and absent, fillings and other restorations, rotation, spacing, abnormal tooth size or shape, trauma, oral piercing, dental chipping.
Phase 2: Antemortem data, requires a tentative ID, typically acquired from a dental practitioner, tough to get for ppl who move around a lot.
Phase 3: compare, no minimum number of concordance points
ABFO recommended conclusions
American board of forensic odontology
1) Positive ID, 2) Possible ID, 3) Insufficient Evidence, 4) Exclusion
1.not limited to dentition
2. frontal sinuses are unique
based on known, but undocumented rare conditions, ex. shifted face
identification by exclusion
cases with multiple bodies and the ID of all victims but 1 are established. Don't like to use but you can in situations like flight crash. Conclude that there is no evidence that the skeleton is not from the last remaining known victim, have to be careful of legal ramifications.
evidence vs. opinion
evidence in forensic anthropology consists of the physical remains of individuals. Opinion encompasses any interpretations about the remains developed from the methods used by forensic anthropologists.
speculation, possible, probable
Speculation: is a statement that is based on few or no data.no information is available.
possible: an opinion on a characteristic or event that is possible. higher certainty than speculation but still represents an unlikely situation.
probable: opinions with the highest level of certainty that can be applied to any data determined from the human skeleton.
general tendency vs. certainty
general tendency: the majority of females have a wide subpubic angle
certainty: the configuration of tooth amalgams indicates a positive identification.
ways of conveying opinion
1. consistent vs. inconstant
2. levels of probability
3. general tendency vs. certainty
4. speculation, possible, probable,
5. word qualifiers
consistent vs. inconsistent
consistent: imparts an agreement with a possibility that is less confining than a numerical range, convey that a meaning is both restrictive and non confining.
inconsistent: imparts a disagreement with an interpretation.
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