Advertisement

International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 132, Issue 2, pp 643–648 | Cite as

Macroscopic and stereomicroscopic comparison of hacking trauma of bones before and after carbonization

  • Véronique Alunni
  • Luísa Nogueira
  • Gérald Quatrehomme
Original Article

Abstract

This experimental study examined lesions produced by a hatchet on pig femurs before and after carbonization. A total of 30 lesions were produced and analyzed using stereomicroscopy and then reexamined after carbonization. Not only was the sharp-blunt mechanism of the hacking trauma (V-shape, regularity of one edge, irregularity of the other edge, upraising, lateral pushing back, fossae dug laterally to the edge) still recognizable after carbonization; in some instances, the carbonization actually enhanced the features observed. Carbonization also did not significantly alter the measurements of the lesions. Carbonization tends to alter the structure of the bone especially in areas weakened by the blunt trauma.

Keywords

Forensic anthropology Bone trauma Hacking trauma Burned bones Hatchet marks Stereomicroscopy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Gérard Page for his help and Marie-Catherine Francino for her relevant advice.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    Eckert WG, James S, Katchis S (1988) Investigation of cremations and severely burned bodies. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 9:188–200CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Herrmann NP, Bennett JL (1999) The differentiation of traumatic and heat-related fractures in burned bone. J Forensic Sci 44:461–469CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ubelaker DH (2009) The forensic evaluation of burned skeletal remains: a synthesis. Forensic Sci Int 183:1–5CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Thompson TJU (2004) Recent advances in the study of burned bone and their implications for forensic anthropology. Forensic Sci Int 146(Suppl):S203–S205CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pope EJ, Smith OC (2004) Identification of traumatic injury in burned cranial bone: an experimental approach. J Forensic Sci 49:431–440CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thompson TJU (2005) Heat-induced dimensional changes in bone and their consequences for forensic anthropology. J Forensic Sci 50:1008–1015CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Keough N, L’Abbé EN, Steyn M, Pretorius S (2015) Assessment of skeletal changes after post-mortem exposure to fire as an indicator of decomposition stage. Forensic Sci Int 246:17–24CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ellingham STD, Thompson TJU, Islam M (2016) The effect of soft tissue on temperature estimation from burnt bone using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. J Forensic Sci 61:153–159CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Poppa P, Porta D, Gibelli D et al (2011) Detection of blunt, sharp force and gunshot lesions on burnt remains: a cautionary note. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 32:275–279CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Waltenberger L, Schutkowski H (2017) Effects of heat on cut mark characteristics. Forensic Sci Int 271:49–58CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    de Gruchy S, Rogers TL (2002) Identifying chop marks on cremated bone: a preliminary study. J Forensic Sci 47:933–936CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Marciniak S-M (2009) A preliminary assessment of the identification of saw marks on burned bone. J Forensic Sci 54:779–785CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Robbins SC, Fairgrieve SI, Oost TS (2015) Interpreting the effects of burning on pre-incineration saw marks in bone. J Forensic Sci 60(Suppl 1):S182–S187CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kooi RJ, Fairgrieve SI (2013) SEM and stereomicroscopic analysis of cut marks in fresh and burned bone. J Forensic Sci 58:452–458CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Collini F, Amadasi A, Mazzucchi A et al (2015) The erratic behavior of lesions in burnt bone. J Forensic Sci 60:1290–1294CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nogueira L, Quatrehomme G, Bertrand M-F et al (2017) Comparison of macroscopic and microscopic (stereomicroscopy and scanning electron microscopy) features of bone lesions due to hatchet hacking trauma. Int J Legal Med 131(2):465–472CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mairs S, Swift B, Rutty GN (2004) Detergent: an alternative approach to traditional bone cleaning methods for forensic practice. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 25:276–284CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Alunni V, Grevin G, Buchet L, Quatrehomme G (2014) Forensic aspect of cremations on wooden pyre. Forensic Sci Int 241:167–172CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Alunni-Perret V, Muller-Bolla M, Laugier J-P et al (2005) Scanning electron microscopy analysis of experimental bone hacking trauma. J Forensic Sci 50:796–801CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Schmidt CW, Symes SA (2015) The analysis of burned human remains. Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Schmidt CW, Uhlig R (2012) Light microscopy of microfractures in burned bone. Methods Mol Biol Clifton NJ 915:227–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ellingham STD, Thompson TJU, Islam M, Taylor G (2015) Estimating temperature exposure of burnt bone—a methodological review. Sci Justice J Forensic Sci Soc 55:181–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Zana M, Magli F, Mazzucchi A et al (2017) Effects of cremation on fetal bones. J Forensic Sci. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13414
  24. 24.
    Bohnert M, Rost T, Pollak S (1998) The degree of destruction of human bodies in relation to the duration of the fire. Forensic Sci Int 95:11–21CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Holden JL, Phakey PP, Clement JG (1995) Scanning electron microscope observations of heat-treated human bone. Forensic Sci Int 74:29–45CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kennedy KA (1996) The wrong urn: commingling of cremains in mortuary practices. J Forensic Sci 41:689–692CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Universitaire d’Anthropologie Médico-Légale, Faculté de Médecine, and CEPAM (CNRS 7264)Université Côte d’AzurNice Cedex 2France
  2. 2.Institut Universitaire d’Anthropologie Médico-Légale, Faculté de MédecineUniversité Côte d’AzurNice Cedex 2France

Personalised recommendations