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Journal of Forensic Sciences

Jaclyn M Fox, Michael Brook, Robert L Heilbronner, Teresa Susmaras, Robert E Hanlon
Few studies have examined life history and cognitive characteristics unique to female homicide offenders. Understanding these characteristics could aid in risk assessment for extreme violence in this group of offenders. The current study utilized t-tests or chi-square tests to compare 27 female and 81 male homicide offenders on psychiatric, neurologic, criminal, and cognitive characteristics. Additionally, we explored the role of abuse history in female offenders through Kruskal-Wallis or Fisher's exact tests...
September 19, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Katie M Rubin, Michala K Stock
The decomposed body of a woman discovered beneath a collapsed structure was examined at the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory. Despite a mix of rib fractures with and without indications of healing, it is most likely that all fractures occurred as a result of a single, compressive event. Signs of intramembranous, and possibly direct, fracture healing at the incomplete fractures without signs of endochondral ossification at the complete fractures suggest the individual died very shortly-but not immediately-after injury...
September 19, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Yossi Issan, Orna Avlas, Orit Daniel
DNA analysis is a key method for the identification of human remains in mass disasters. Reference samples from relatives may be used to identify missing persons by kinship analysis. Different methods of applying the CODIS in disaster victim identification (DVI) were investigated. Two searches were evaluated: (i) relating family relatives to a pedigree tree (FPT) and (ii) relating unidentified human remains to a pedigree tree (UPT). A joint pedigree likelihood ratio (JPLR) and rank were calculated for each search...
September 19, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Sarah B Hugar, Joshua Shulman, Joseph Yanta, Jeffrey Nine
Ochronosis is the blue-gray discoloration of collagen-containing tissues due to homogentisic acid (HGA) deposition, secondary to endogenous alkaptonuria or exogenous enzyme inhibition. In renal disease, accumulation of HGA in serum can cause methemoglobinemia. A 60-year-old woman with renal disease and anemia presented with 3 days of weakness and months of gray skin discoloration. Her hemoglobin was 8.1g/dl with 24.5% methemoglobin. Despite treatment with methylene blue, exchange transfusion, and continuous renal replacement therapy, the patient died...
September 19, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Monika Židková, Rachel Horsley, Ondřej Hloch, Tomáš Hložek
Recreational use of the potent synthetic opioid 3,4- dichloro-N-(2-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl)-N-methylbenzamide (U-47700) is rising, accompanied by increasingly frequent cases of serious intoxication. This article reports a case of near-fatal U-47700 intoxication. A man was found unconscious (with drug powder residues). After 40 h in hospital (including 12 h of supported ventilation), he recovered and was discharged. Liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC/HRMS) or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) were used to detect and quantify substances in powders, serum and urine...
September 19, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Björn Bäckström, Jonatan Hedlund, Thomas Masterman, Joakim Sturup
Research on child-related risk factors for filicide is scant. We investigated whether prior healthcare use for injury (including poisoning) influences filicide risk. Victims (0-14 years; n = 71) were identified in a national autopsy database for the years 1994-2012 and compared to matched, general population controls (n = 355). Healthcare use data were retrieved from a national patient registry. Risks were estimated using odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). For females, prior inpatient care for injury conferred a statistically significant sevenfold risk (OR = 6...
September 5, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Glenn D Walters, Robert D Morgan, Faith Scanlon
This study explored whether the rational (certainty of punishment) and nonrational (criminal thinking) aspects of antisocial decision-making interact. A convenience sample of 319 undergraduates (106 men, 213 women) completed a measure of criminal thinking and responded to three fictional vignettes (i.e., cheating on a final examination in a class they were in jeopardy of failing, stealing $50 off a table in a dorm room, and selling marijuana for a friend) at three different levels of risk or certainty of apprehension (50%, 10%, and 1%)...
September 4, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Marcello Rendine, Carmela Fiore, Giuseppe Bertozzi, Dania De Carlo, Vera Filetti, Palmira Fortarezza, Irene Riezzo
The admissibility of human "odor mortis" discrimination in courts depends on the lack of comprehension of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the human decay process and of the lack in standardized procedures in training cadaver dogs. Blood was collected from four young people who died from traffic accidents and analyzed using HS-SPME/GC-MS at different decompositional stages. Two dogs, professionally trained, were tested to exactly locate blood samples, for each time point of the experiment...
September 3, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Gregory B Leong, Crystal Mueller, Mendel Feldsher
We studied all individuals (n = 41) who had been found not guilty by reason of insanity for arson and who were committed to a California state psychiatric hospital on October 1, 2016 in a cross-sectional analysis. This group of insane arsonists contained 33 (80.5%) males and eight (19.5%) females with a mean age at the time of the index arson of 35.9 years. At least 87.8% (n = 36) were considered to not have been participating in psychiatric treatment at the time of the index arson. Five (12.2%) of the insane arsonists had previously been found not guilty by reason of insanity for arson or had been convicted of having committed arson...
August 31, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Junko Fujihara, Naoki Nishimoto, Toshihiro Yasuda, Haruo Takeshita
In the present study, we used micro-Raman spectroscopy with high-resolution analysis to discriminate between bloodstains from infants and bloodstains from adults. Raman peaks were detected at 674, 754, 976, 1002, 1105, 1127, 1176, 1248, 1340, 1368, 1390, 1560, and 1611 cm-1 ; these peaks were derived from hemoglobin, albumin, and glucose. However, a peak was obtained at 1105 cm-1 , which was assigned to histidine; this peak was observed only for bloodstains from adults. Human adult hemoglobin (HbA) is composed of an α2 β2 tetramer structure, whereas human fetal hemoglobin (HbF) is composed of an α2 γ2 ...
August 31, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Cris E Hughes, Beatrix Dudzik, Bridget F B Algee-Hewitt, Ansley Jones, Bruce E Anderson
Assigning correct population affinity to a skeleton can contribute important information to an investigation-yet recent work highlights high error rates when classifying Latinos with a traditional tool, Fordisc 3.1 (FD3). Our study examines whether misclassification trends exist, and whether these can be used to infer population affinity. We examine the relationships among ancestry, geography, and FD3 misclassifications of Latinos using canonical variate analysis and unsupervised model-based clustering of craniometrics...
August 28, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Martin Kolopp, Alain Blum, Marc-Antoine Leupold, Laurent Martrille
In case of suicide, the presence of multiple entrance wounds is always suspicious. We report the case of a man who committed suicide by shooting himself three times in the chest and the skull with a submachine gun. The weapon seems to have been initially pointed in the precordium area with a lethal lesion of the proximal aorta. Two other projectiles were fired by the weapon and hit the neck and the skull of the deceased. The presence of three entrance wounds despite a first fatal wound could finally be explained by the characteristics of the weapon and wounds...
August 24, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Chi-Keung Li
Chinese characters had their root some 4000 years ago and, with the growth in population, are used by over 1.3 billion people worldwide today; it is inevitable that document examiners would encounter cases involving the examination of Chinese handwriting regardless of their location. Although there are extensive studies on the examination of English handwriting in the literature, similar studies on Chinese handwriting are relatively limited. We are seeking to explore the obstacles and challenges for a document examiner who is unfamiliar with Chinese characters to apply the principles of identification and elimination of authorship described in the literature to examine Chinese handwriting, and how can these document examiners demonstrate their competency for conducting Chinese handwriting examination...
August 24, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
John S Buckleton, Jo-Anne Bright, Simone Gittelson, Tamyra R Moretti, Anthony J Onorato, Frederick R Bieber, Bruce Budowle, Duncan A Taylor
Forensic DNA interpretation is transitioning from manual interpretation based usually on binary decision-making toward computer-based systems that model the probability of the profile given different explanations for it, termed probabilistic genotyping (PG). Decision-making by laboratories to implement probability-based interpretation should be based on scientific principles for validity and information that supports its utility, such as criteria to support admissibility. The principles behind STRmix™ are outlined in this study and include standard mathematics and modeling of peak heights and variability in those heights...
August 21, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Mircea A Comanescu, Tiffany J Millett, Thomas A Kubic
Law enforcement agencies routinely sample for gunshot residue (GSR) by bulk techniques and often submit swabs taken from other surfaces besides the hands of the suspect shooter. This study aims to establish the prevalence of antimony, barium, and lead on normally handled automobile surfaces by graphite furnace atomic absorption analysis. No positives were determined on 50 sampled automobile surfaces above cutoff (positive) from background levels. Transfers of GSR particles from shooter hands to automobile surfaces were found to potentially allow for positive GSR determinations, but such transfers seem to be dependent on the shooting conditions and length of GSR exposure...
August 21, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Junjian Cui, Xiaorui Zhao, Nini Liu, Sergey Morgachev, Daixi Li
In this study, an automatic and robust crime scene shoeprint retrieval method is proposed. As most shoeprints left at crime scenes are randomly partial and noisy, crime scene shoeprint retrieval is a challenging task. To handle partial, noisy shoeprint images, we employ denoising deep belief network (DBN) to extract local features and use spatial pyramid matching (SPM) to obtain a local-to-global matching score. In this study, 536 query shoeprint images from crime scenes and a large scale database containing 34,768 shoeprint images are used to evaluate the retrieval performance...
August 21, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Amvrosios Orfanidis, Helen Gika, Eleni Zaggelidou, Orthodoxia Mastrogianni, Nikolaos Raikos
In several medico-legal cases, bone samples analysis may provide the only source of toxicological information. This case study reports the analysis of a human bone specimen, belonging to a 46-year-old man, found 3 months after his death due to cervical-thoracic injuries in a motorcycle accident. Bone specimen was the only available material for toxicological analysis, among few skull hair and rotten skin. Analysis was performed by a newly developed and validated ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method, following simple and efficient sample pretreatment...
August 21, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Josep De Alcaraz-Fossoul, Michelle Mancenido, Emmanuel Soignard, Nathaniel Silverman
In most latent fingermark aging studies, two-dimensional (2D) features are obtained from photo images, scans, or inked impressions. However, some relevant information is possibly being missed because fingermarks are three-dimensional (3D) objects that age in all three dimensions. A feature that has not been carefully examined is how the height of ridges changes over time. In this report, a 3D imaging technology-called optical profilometry-is introduced as a tool for the visual examination of the aging process...
August 21, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Hugo F V Cardoso, Julia Meyers, Helen M Liversidge
This study provides an update on a quantitative method for immature age estimation based on postnatal deciduous mandibular tooth length. Two known sex and age skeletal collections from Western Europe were sampled (n = 97). Linear regression models for age estimated were calculated for each individual tooth, each sex, and sex combined sample using classical calibration. Prediction errors, residuals, and percentage of individuals whose real age fell within the 95% prediction interval were calculated. The teeth which develop earlier in life, the incisors and the first molar, showed the greatest precision, while the canine showed the least...
August 20, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Petra Maass, Louise Jacqui Friedling
Craniometric studies of South Africans yield high accuracies of sex and ancestry classification, but most assess only inter-group variation of Black and White individuals, excluding the highly heterogeneous Colored group, which constitute a significant proportion of the population. This study applied a geometric morphometric approach to the neurocrania of 774 Black, Colored, and White individuals to assess sex and ancestry estimation accuracy based on the detected morphological variation. Accuracies of 70% and 83% were achieved for sex and ancestry, respectively, with ancestry-related variation contributing the largest proportion of overall observed variation...
August 20, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
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