Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology: Bonified Skeletons, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology

Bonified Skeletons, 1st Edition

Edited by Heather M. Garvin, Natalie R. Langley

CRC Press

310 pages | 191 Color Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138347656
pub: 2019-10-23
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Through a set of unique cases presented by a diverse international group of practicing forensic anthropologists, Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology: Bonified Skeletons seeks to prepare students and professionals for future cases they may confront.

Every forensic anthropology case is unique, and practitioners are routinely faced with new challenges and unexpected outcomes. Courses and introductory texts in forensic anthropology generally present instructions for handling standard or ideal cases. In practice, however, forensic anthropologists frequently must improvise during forensic archaeological recoveries based on the environment and case circumstances. Most forensic anthropologists have encountered cases where they obtained surprising results from laboratory analyses or the results did not conform to known case information. These experiences with unconventional cases act as continuing education for practitioners, better preparing them for future encounters. By the same token, forensic anthropologists are limited in their knowledge by their experiences. For example, a forensic anthropologist in Florida will not likely know much about decomposition rates and time since death estimations in a body exposed to freezing temperatures. Likewise, a forensic anthropologist in Pennsylvania is unlikely to have encountered a skeleton exhibiting signs of shark predation.

Through the case studies presented, this book seeks to better prepare aspiring – and current – forensic anthropologists for the cases they may face. Featuring full-color photos and instructional "Lessons Learned" sections to highlight the uniqueness of each case and how it contributes to forensic anthropological knowledge and practice, Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology is a supplemental learning resource for students and professionals alike.

Table of Contents

I: Estimation of the Biological Profile & Positive Identification

1: Death Along the Tracks: The Role of Forensic Anthropology and Social Media in a Homicide Investigation, Eric J. Bartelink

2: The Skull in Concrete: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Identification, Kristen Hartnett-McCann and Ruth E. Kohlmeier

3: The Use of Medical Implants to Aid in the Identification Process, Jennifer Vollner

4: Biomechanical Analysis of Long Bones Provides the Crucial Break in Decedent Identification, Daniel J. Wescott

5: Race and the Role of Sociocultural Context in Forensic Anthropological Ancestry Assessment, Michala K. Stock and Katie M. Rubin

6: Globalization, Transnationalism, and the Analytical Feasibility of Ancestry Estimation, Joseph T. Hefner and Jennifer F. Byrnes

II: Forensic Taphonomy

7: What Forensic Taphonomy Can Do for You: A Case Study in Rural Pennsylvania, Andrea M. Ost, Rhian R. Dunn, and Dennis C. Dirkmaat

8: Dismembered, Burned, and Dumped: But in What Order?, Lindsay H. Trammell

9: Body in the Barrel: Complex Body Disposal and Recovery, Soren Blau and David Ranson

10: Sealed for Your Protection: A Triple Homicide Involving the Use of a Corrosive Agent to Obscure Identity, Laura C. Fulginiti, Kristen M. Hartnett-McCann, and Frank Di Modica

11: Differential Diagnosis in Forensic Entomology: Mites vs. Pathologies and Taphonomy, César Sanabria-Medina, Luz Elena Cifuentes, and Maria Alexandra Lopez-Cerquera

12. Lacustrine Skeletal Taphonomy from Southeastern Tennessee, Murray K. Marks, Jonathan D. Bethard, and Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan

III: Trauma

13: Who Pulled the Trigger…First? Bone Biomechanics Recreate the Story Behind a "Police Shooting," Steven A. Symes, Ericka N. L’Abbé, and Mark M. LeVaughn

14: Forensic Anthropological Contributions to Manner of Death in a Case of Multiple Suicidal Gunshot Wounds, Diana L. Messer

15: A Unique Case of Skeletal Trauma Involving Scissors, Alexandra R. Klales

16: Sharp Force Trauma with Subsequent Fire Alteration: A Complicated Case Study, Erin N. Chapman

17: Forensic Anthropology's Role in Clarifying Cause of Death in the Appeal of a No Body Homicide Conviction, Ashley E. Kendell, Eric J. Bartelink, and Turhon Murad

IV: Human Rights and Mass Disasters

18: A Multi-Year Forensic Archaeological Recovery of Human Remains from a C-124 Cargo Aircraft Crash on Colony Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A., Gregory E. Berg, Owen L. O’Leary, and Kelley S. Esh

19: Quadrilateral Defects in the Tuskulenai and Leon Trotsky Cases: Skeletal Trauma Associated with Soviet Violence in Two Different Contexts, Cate E. Bird and Rimantas Jankauskas

20: Sexual Offense in Skeletonized Cadavers: Analysis, Interpretation, Documentation and Case Report, César Sanabria-Medina, Jorge Andrés Franco Zuluaga, and María Alexandra Lopez-Cerquera

21: Making the Best of Limited Resources and Challenges Faced in Human Rights Investigations, Eugénia Cunha, Maria Teresa Ferreira, Cristina Cordeiro, and Duarte Nuno Vieira

22: Search for Spanish Civil War Victims in the Cemetery of Sant Ferran, Formentera (Spain): Oral Witness Testimonies, Secondary Deposition Site and Peri-Mortem Trauma, Almudena García-Rubio, Juanjo Marí Casanova, Glenda Graziani, Francisca Cardona, Pau Sureda, Sergi Moreno, Nicholas Márquez-Grant

23: Excavation and Analysis of Human Remains from Mass Graves in the Western Sahara, Francisco Etxeberria, Lourdes Herrasti, and Carlos Martin-Beristain

V: Other Considerations

24: The Use of Human Skeletal Remains in Palo Rituals in Orange County, Florida, John J. Schultz, Ashley E. Green, Ronald A. Murdock II, Marie H. Hansen, Joshua D. Stephany, and Jan C. Garavaglia

25: To Understand the Parts, it is Necessary to Understand the Whole: The Importance of Contextualizing Patterns in Forensic Anthropology Casework, Laura C. Fulginiti, Andrew Seidel, Katelyn Bolhofner

26: Perpetrators, Pack Rats, and Postmortem Disturbances: A Case Study Involving Multiple Contexts, Jurisdictions, and Identities, Angela Berg, Kent Buehler, and Carlos Zambrano

27: The Case of the … Cases: The Flow of the Ordinary into a Medical Examiner’s Office, James T. Pokines

About the Editors

Heather M. Garvin, PhD, D-ABFA holds a B.A. in Anthropology, a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Florida, an M.S. in Forensic and Biological Anthropology from Mercyhurst College, and a PhD in Functional Anatomy and Evolution from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Garvin is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and has served on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Forensic Sciences since 2015. A Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a Member of the American Association of Physical Anthropology, Dr. Garvin has been heavily involved in casework and research. She is widely published in the field and is currently Associate Professor of Anatomy at Des Moines University.

Natalie R. Langley, PhD, D-ABFA received a B.A. and M.A. in anthropology from LSU and a PhD from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is a Fellow of the American Academy f Forensic Sciences, and a member of the American Association of Anatomists and American Association of Clinical Anatomists. Dr. Langley has authored numerous publications, including two forensic anthropology textbooks and is currently Associate Professor of Anatomy at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Human Anatomy & Physiology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General