Title

Identifying Sharp-Force Trauma - Serrated vs. Non-Serrated Blades

Date

5-26-2016 11:00 AM

End Time

26-5-2016 1:00 PM

Location

WUC Pacific Room

Department

Criminal Justice

Session Chair

Misty Weitzel

Session Title

Forensic Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Misty Weitzel

Presentation Type

Poster session

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine the accuracy of techniques devised to identify characteristics of knives used to inflict damage on bone. According to the FBI’s Unified Crime Report, of the nearly 12,000 people murdered in 2014, over 1,500 were killed by sharp force trauma with cutting instruments. While much research has been dedicated towards understanding the different effects on bone caused by sharp and blunt force trauma, forensic anthropology is only beginning to differentiate between individual weapons. Currently, perimortem trauma associated with knives is understood to present as predominantly clean, linear puncture damage, rarely exhibiting radiating or concentric fractures; however, it has been observed that different types of knives create distinctive features. Thompson and Inglis (2009) found that fracture patterns from stab marks could indicate the use of either a serrated or non-serrated blade. To test this hypothesis, this study will measure stab wounds inflicted by a third party on the ribs of a domestic pig, and identify them as either serrated or non-serrated. An error rate will then be calculated to determine the overall precision of the technique.

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May 26th, 11:00 AM May 26th, 1:00 PM

Identifying Sharp-Force Trauma - Serrated vs. Non-Serrated Blades

WUC Pacific Room

The purpose of this study is to determine the accuracy of techniques devised to identify characteristics of knives used to inflict damage on bone. According to the FBI’s Unified Crime Report, of the nearly 12,000 people murdered in 2014, over 1,500 were killed by sharp force trauma with cutting instruments. While much research has been dedicated towards understanding the different effects on bone caused by sharp and blunt force trauma, forensic anthropology is only beginning to differentiate between individual weapons. Currently, perimortem trauma associated with knives is understood to present as predominantly clean, linear puncture damage, rarely exhibiting radiating or concentric fractures; however, it has been observed that different types of knives create distinctive features. Thompson and Inglis (2009) found that fracture patterns from stab marks could indicate the use of either a serrated or non-serrated blade. To test this hypothesis, this study will measure stab wounds inflicted by a third party on the ribs of a domestic pig, and identify them as either serrated or non-serrated. An error rate will then be calculated to determine the overall precision of the technique.