Death Scene Investigation: Procedural Guide, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (e-Book) book cover

Death Scene Investigation

Procedural Guide, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Michael S. Maloney

CRC Press

532 pages | 168 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-11-27
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Those tasked with investigating death scenes come from a variety of backgrounds and varying levels of experience. Whether a homicide detective, crime scene investigator, medico-legal death investigator, coroner or medical examiner, Death Scene Investigation: Procedural Guide, Second Edition provides the investigator best-practice techniques and procedures for almost any death scene imaginable, including for deaths occurring even under the most unusual of circumstances.

This Second Edition is fully updated to include new coverage on shallow graves, human remains at crime scenes, poisonings, expanded coverage of projectile weapons, videography, touch DNA, death notifications, and a newly added chapter dedicated to sexual deaths. In addition, the book serves as an on-scene ready reference which includes instructions on procedure including the initial notification of a death, processing the scene and body, the investigator's role at autopsy, and analyzing the scene indicators to place evidence into context.

Topics discussed include:

  • Initial response and scene evaluation
  • Death scene management including documentation, sketching, photography, videography, observations, and search procedures
  • A special death investigation matrix that walks the investigator though a decision tree to help in ambiguous deaths
  • Contains discussion of all manners of death, including accident, suicide, natural and homicide
  • Coverage of recovery of human remains from open field, aquatic, and buried sites including estimating the time of death.
  • Wound dynamics and mechanisms of injury that coversasphyxiation, sharp and blunt force trauma, chopping injuries; handgun, rifle, and shotgun wounds, electrical injuries, and more

The bulleted format and spiral binding allows for easy use and reference in the field with sections that are self-contained and cross-referenced for quick searches. With its thorough and detailed approach, Death Scene Investigation, Second Edition will be a must-have addition to any crime scene and death investigator’s tool kit.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Death Scene Investigation

1. Death Scene Response

2. Natural Deaths

3. Accidental Deaths

4. Suicidal Deaths

5. Homicidal Deaths

Section 2: The Medicolegal Death Investigation

6. The Role of the Medicolegal Death Investigator

7. The Role of the Coroner

8. The Role of the Medical Examiner

9. Autopsy Protocol and the Investigator’s Role

Section 3: Recovery of Human Remains

10. Searching for Human Remains

11. Surface Recovery of Human Remains

12. Recovery of Buried Human Remains

13. Aquatic Recovery of Human Remains

14. Post Mortem Changes

Section 4: Wound Dynamics and Mechanisms of Injury

15. Asphyxiation

16. Sharp Force Injuries

17. Blunt Force Injuries

18. Chopping Injuries

19. Firearm Injuries – Rifle and Pistol

20. Firearm Injuries – Shotgun

21. Explosive Injuries

22. Thermal Injuries

23. Electrical Injuries

24. Poisoning

25. Drug Related Deaths

Section 5: Special Death Investigations

26. Infant Death

27. Child Deaths

28. Child Sexual Abduction and Murder

29. Sexual Activities Resulting in Death

30. Rape and Sexual Assault Resulting in Death

31. Multiple Victim Death Scenes

Section 6: Death Scene Management, Tasks and Responsibilities

32. Death Scene Management

33. Death Scene Sketching

34. Death Scene Photography

35. Death Scene Videography

36. Death Scene Notes and Observation

Section 7: Death Scene Evidence Processing

37. Documenting and Processing Bloodstain Patterns at the Scene

38. Documenting and Processing the Shooting Scene

39. Documenting and Processing the Post Blast Scene

40. Entomological Evidence

41. Biological Evidence

42. Trace Evidence

43. Friction Ridge Evidence

44. Impression Evidence

Section 8: Death Investigation Checklist

Appendix A: Bloodborne Pathogens

Appendix B: Bloodstain Pattern Decision Matrix

Appendix C: Druggust Fold

About the Author

Michael Maloney is an Independent Forensic Consultant, Trainer and Author. He holds a Master of Forensic Science Degree from George Washington University with a Fellowship in Forensic Medicine the Office of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. He has 20 years experience as a Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Senior Instructor-Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for Death Investigations and Sex Crimes. He is the author of Death Scene Investigation: Procedural Guide and Crime Scene Investigation: Procedural Guide from CRC Press.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Forensic Science


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