Forensic Cremation Recovery and Analysis
Scott I. Fairgrieve
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The determination of identity and the evaluation of trauma require special consideration when a body suffers extreme levels of damage sustained in a fire. Beginning with the search and recovery of the cremated remains (cremains) and the interpretation of the fire scene, the challenges and practicalities of recovering and analyzing burned remains demand a unique set of skills and expertise. This book provides a synopsis of these challenges and delineates, step-by-step, the recovery and interpretation of cremains from the point of discovery to the end of the analysis.
Presenting current research in forensic anthropology in a condensed, useable format, Forensic Cremation: Recovery and Analysis begins with an evaluation of the reasonable expectations for analyzing cremains in a forensic setting. It summarizes the contexts and challenges that face the professional and introduces a wide range of preservation encountered in a variety of fire contexts.
The book discusses the capacity and mechanisms of fire to alter the chemical and physical properties of materials, particularly those of human tissues. It emphasizes a flexible approach to the collection of cremains, taking into consideration the intermixing of the human tissue with the surrounding materials. A significant portion of the book examines the effects of fire on bone and the ability to determine trauma as peri- or post-mortem. It evaluates the practical use of dental tissue and DNA for identification and as an aid to the investigation.
Providing crucial information on the handling of cremated remains in a forensic context, Forensic Cremation: Recovery and Analysis presents a methodical approach designed to maximize the potential of the evidence.
deep laceration can appear to be obscured due to the ﬁre (Mayne, 1990). An experienced analyst will be able to investigate all markings on the skeleton. The analytical issues, as they pertain to cremains, can be quite complex (Chapter 5). The laboratory preparation of the cremains, as well as their direct analysis, must consider the extent to which ﬁre has altered their morphology. 1.4.5 TAPHONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS By deﬁnition, ﬁre is in itself a taphonomic process. Taphonomy is deﬁned by
destroyed, ulna and radius partially showing 30 min Hands and distal forearms burned away 40 min Forearms completely consumed, upper arms largely free of soft tissue 50 min Legs Bohnert et al. (1998) 670º–810ºC 14 min Arms burned away Legs badly charred 20 min 25 min Carbonization of muscles Shin bones showing 30 min 35 min 50 min Tibia and distal femur free of soft tissue Thighs and shins completely bone Calcined stumps of the thighs body, which develops during the cooling process,
for the measurement of an adult male white humerus, that a 10% reduction in the overall length resulted in a 6 to 7% change in the minimum and maximum stature estimates. Therefore, simply applying the percentage of shrinkage expected for a particular bone at a particular temperature is not sufﬁcient. If one takes the minimum stature calculated based on the actual measurement of the cremated long bone, without a correction factor, this may be considered the absolute minimum for the decedent, as we
presented by these researchers. In an attempt to resolve this, it was clear from their research that younger samples, 1–22 years, produced spherical-type crystals at ~600ºC that were signiﬁcantly larger than in specimens t22 years. This does not hold in cases where the temperature has reached ~800ºC. The crystal size difference decreases due to increasing temperature until the crystal size approaches a constant for all ages. In order to successfully apply the above to interpreting the age group
preserved and not narrow Preserved-open dental canalicules, without narrowing 700ºC Pale gray color; parts of pulp chamber and root canal recognizable but narrow Tubules are narrowed but visible; peritubular zone is heat-resistant relative to intertubular dentine, which contains more organics and water 900ºC Almost white; large pieces with root Narrowed dentine tubules 1.5 to 1.7 µm in diameter; anastomoses between tubules cannot be seen 1000ºC Porcelain-white; narrow pulp chamber; root