Age Determination in Human Beings

Age determination is an important aspect of forensic anthropology which helps in establishing the biological profile of an individual. Age classifies the persons in different groups which helps in limiting the area of investigation. The methods usually involved in age estimation are based on the principles of forensic anthropology and are applied on deceased. However, there are certain methods which can be applied to living beings too. This article is based on the age determination of the deceased. Determination of Age in Humans If the particulars like birth records, identity proofs, etc. are found on the crime scene or with the deceased, then it is quite easy to determine the age of that person.  If the body is not decomposed or mutilated then by observing the morphological characteristics like the secondary sexual charcteristics, old age characteristics, etc. can be helpful in determining the age of the deceased. For example, development […]

Footprints and Its Forensic Significance

Footprints are the impressions of foot left by a person on any surface. The footprints are unique to individuals like the fingerprints. There is a possibility in the fingerprints that the culprit may erase the fingerprints or had worn the gloves so the fingerprints must not be available at the crime scene, but it is difficult to avoid footprints. To avoid the footprints the culprit may wear footwear but then the footwear marks are obtained which are also of evidentiary value at the crime scene. Footprints are potential evidence at the crime scene and are not be neglected.  At the scene of occurrence, footprints can be complete or partial. The prints have unique individual characteristics like- toe-prints, phalange-prints, crease-marks, pits or corns or deformity or crack marks.  There are some people who have the unique feature of flat-foot. It is the condition in which the complete instep region of the […]

Common Date Rape Drugs Used by Criminals

Date rape drugs are the drugs which when administered by a person renders that person vulnerable to drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), most common being rape. DFSA refers to the offences in which the victims are subjected to non-consensual acts while they are incapacitated or unconscious due to the effects of the drugs and are therefore prevented from resisting and/or are unable to consent. The statistics from all over the word shows that DFSA is becoming a prevalent crime. In India it has been found that about 70 percent of sexual assaults reported are caused due to the intoxication of drugs to the accused or victim or both. They are also referred to as ‘predator drugs’, as they are not administered by the person itself usually, they are accustomed by the attackers to the victims. The person is not attacked on the date, as the name suggests, but can be […]

Explosives: Types, Classification and its Uses

An explosive is a substance (an element or compound or a mixture) or device which is made to produce a volume of rapidly expanding gas in an extremely brief period of time. It is a substance which is capable of exerting pressure on its surroundings on explosion or transformation. Explosion can be defined as the rapid increase of the volume and release of high energy in a particular area due to expansion of high-energy gases. The device used to create an explosion is called an explosive. In India the definitions and rules related to explosives are described in the Indian Explosive Act, 1884. Fundamentally they are of three types i.e., mechanical, chemical and nuclear. Mechanical Explosives– A mechanical explosion requires the physical reactions to occur, which involves high-pressure gas expanding in the container beyond the tensile strength of the container and bursting it, releasing the pressure and producing shock waves. […]

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

‘Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’ or ‘cot deaths’ or ‘crib deaths’ are the sudden, unexplainable deaths of healthy babies. Even after thorough autopsy, toxicological analysis and investigation the death remains unexplained. In fact the death rate is 2 to 3 per 1000 live births. A lot of research has been carried out for the same but the reasons are still unknown. It is also called crib death because the death is usually associated with sleep and often occurs when the baby is sleeping in the crib. Death is silent in this case and the most common cause of SIDS is asphyxia. SIDS usually occur in infants of age between 2 weeks to 2 years with a peak around 2 to 4 months. It strikes the male infant more often than the female child. Premature infants are at higher risks of SIDS. The risk increases to threefolds in the twins as they are […]

Will The Murder Mystery Of Gianni Versace Ever Be Solved?

The murder mysteries of celebrities and known faces always remain in the headline. Well, there are many actors, actresses, and other known faces who have an unsolved murder mystery and one of them also include Gianni Versace. The murder of one of the best Italian fashion designers Gianni Versace was closed in the files with no proper evidence and the reason why he was murdered. The person who killed him committed suicide, leaving the police officers and other people revolving around the mysteries. Here in this article you should read further to know more about Gianni and his murder. Early Life Of Gianni Versace Gianni Versace was born on December 2, 1946, in the city of Reggio Calabria to a father and dressmaker mother, Francesca. He had one elder brother Santo Versace and younger sister, Donatella Versace, along with an older sister, Tina who died at the age of 12 […]

12 Mass Murderers You Should Know About

The number of crimes and criminals are increasing day-by-day in every sphere of the world. Whether it is a town, village, or mega-city, crime is everywhere. The crime done by and on the individual level has not as much impact as the crime done in mass numbers. Although the crime rate is different in every state and country and keeps on changing with time, the crimes in the United States are of a big impact. In this article, we are going to talk about serial killers or the mass murderers who had created large havoc. The definition of a mass murderer uses in different contexts and meanings in different fields. If simply speaking then, a mass murderer is someone who murders at least two or more people in a gathering or an event. Mass Murderers of the World 1. Terry Lynn Nicholas Born on 1st April, 1955 in Lapeer, Michigan, […]

What is Infanticide And Why Does It Occur?

Infanticide refers to the killing of infants below the age of 12 months. It is usually committed by the mother who is either unmarried or widow or married or suffering from any sort of mental illness. The laws in respect to infanticide differs in different countries. For example in United Kingdom, according to Infanticide Act od England, 1938, it is not considered as murder. However, in India there is no separate law for infanticide but it is considered as murder and punishable under section 302 of IPC. Before charging the mother with murder of her child, it is necessary to prove that the child was born alive. If the child was stillborn or dead-born, then it is not considered as infanticide. According to law birth consists of any part of the living child coming out of the mother’s birth passage. There are two terms which are also included in infanticide- […]

Stillbirth: Causes, Probability and Medicolegal Importance

Every year a lot of infants are found dead all around the world. There are various situations of the death of an infant and stillbirth is one such example. Stillbirth refers to the condition in which the child is born after 28 weeks of gestation period and does not show any signs of life, at any time after being completely born. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are 2 million stillbirths every year with 40 percent of stillbirths occurring during labor. In 2014, the World Health Assembly endorsed the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) which includes a global target of 12 or fewer per 1000 total births in every country by 2030.   They are most frequently shown in illegitimate and immature male infants in primipara. The incidence of stillbirths is 6 percent of all the births and in primipara it is about 9 percent.  Stages of Stillbirth […]

Postmortem Changes in Human Body

According to the ‘Law of Progressive Change’ everything in this universe changes with time. And this is also applicable after the death of an organism. Human body shows a lot of changes during life as well as after death. The changes that occur in the body after death are termed as postmortem changes. Before discussing postmortem changes let’s first talk about what death is. So, death is not a phenomenon but a process. The process of death starts with somatic death [the process of cessation of the tripod of life i.e., the cessation of nervous system (coma), respiratory system (asphyxia) and circulatory system (syncope)] and then follows molecular death i.e. ultimate death of all cellular entities. After undergoing the process of death, the human flesh undergoes numerous changes some may take just after death while some may take few hours to days. The process of postmortem changes are almost similar […]

Estimation of Postmortem Interval

After death, the body of every living organism undergoes certain changes and gets converted into inorganic matter. This whole process is dependent on time and hence changes undergone during this time forms the basis for estimating Postmortem Interval or time since death (TSD) of an individual. Postmortem interval is the duration between the death to the time when the dead body is found.  The basic principle behind PMI estimation is the postmortem changes observed in the cadaver. All the postmortem changes are time dependent, therefore careful analysis of these changes can estimate the approximate time of death. PMI associates the accused to the particular moment of time which can prove his/her guilt or innocence and plays a key role in medicolegal investigation. Postmortem changes depend on various factors like temperature, geographical area, cause of death, etc. and this creates a great challenge for the forensic pathologists for PMI estimation, especially […]

Importance of Trace Evidence in Forensics

Trace evidence is the microscopic material which are found on the crime scene and which have great significance in solving criminal cases. These are very small in nature which can’t be seen by naked eyes sometimes and can be transfered from one place to another very easily. Each and every contact leaves behind a trace and hence a person can be linked/unlinked to being present at a particular place. Trace evidence is also known as “silent witness”. Trace evidence links a culprit to crime scene, or  things involved. Trace evidence is found in many forms from as large as brick to as small as hair strand. It can be used to investigate every type of crimes from rape to terrorist attack. Trace evidence characterize a particular environment there will be infinitesimally correlation between the evidences of different environment. Typically trace evidences include hair, fibres, bloodstains, paint, glass pieces, gunshot residues, […]