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Journal Article

Citation

Marinho L, Cardoso HF. J. Forensic Sci. 2016; 61(6): 1416-1430.

Affiliation

Department of Archaeology and Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., V5A 1S6, Canada.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2016, American Society for Testing and Materials, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

10.1111/1556-4029.13128

PMID

27327420

Abstract

Little is known about to what extent the events surrounding death can be reliably reconstructed from blunt force trauma analysis alone. In this study, we reconstruct circumstances of death from a blind blunt force trauma analysis using a sample of 21 individuals of known death circumstances, obtained from two identified skeletal collections in Portugal. Fresh versus dry bone trauma and probable mechanism of fracture production were identified. The overall pattern of injuries was then used to reconstruct the most likely circumstances of death.

RESULTS show an agreement between the proposed and the reported circumstances for 13 individuals (68.4%), disagreement for 3 (15.8%), and similarity in 3 cases (15.8%). Although the significant amount of agreement highlights the potential of trauma analysis, the cases with disagreement draw attention to the pitfalls and shortcomings of attempting to reconstruct the death circumstances from skeletal trauma analysis alone.

© 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


Language: en

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