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NCJ Number: NCJ 232864     Find in a Library
Title: Knife and Saw Toolmark Analysis in Bone: A Manual Designed for the Examination of Criminal Mutilation and Dismemberment
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Steven A. Symes Ph.D. ; Erin N. Chapman M.S. ; Christopher W. Rainwater M.S. ; Luis L. Cabo M.S. ; Susan M.T. Myster Ph.D.
Date Published: 12/2010
Page Count: 47
  Annotation: In order to advance the understanding and importance of the analysis of saw marks in bone, this project addressed the lack of research in this field; a related lack of standard terminology, definitions, and protocols for the documentation and analysis of this evidence; and a poor understanding and awareness among the forensic community of the evidentiary value and possibilities of this type of physical evidence.
Abstract: This project developed and presents standard definitions, documentation protocols, and analytical methodologies that enable more accurate and reliable analyses of saw marks in bone and other hard tissues. These efforts are presented in a brief, user-friendly manual that introduces saw-mark analysis to a wide array of forensic processionals. This is the first step in normalizing analytical and documentation protocols for this type of evidence. In developing the content of the manual, the project first relied on the creation, analysis, and documentation of a comparative sample of human remains cut with various serrated tools among a spectrum of the main commercial saw types and classes. The results can serve as a baseline comparative sample for future students and experimental designs on saw-mark analysis. The development of the manual also relied on a dissemination strategy that included a series of lectures (approximately 50 during the project period) delivered by the authors to a variety of forensic professionals. Further testing of the protocols in the manual and the reliability of various proposed markers for the analysis of basic tool parameters (class characteristics) was performed through inter- and intra-observer studies, controlling for the degree of experience and exposure of the participants to the instructional materials. The experimental component of the project also examined some common misconceptions regarding the evidentiary value of some major saw-mark elements.
Main Term(s): Forensics/Forensic Sciences
Index Term(s): Toolmark identification ; Bone analysis ; Investigative techniques ; Homicide investigations ; Forensic science training ; Knives ; NIJ final report ; NIJ grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2005-IJ-CX-K016
Sale Source: New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts
Supreme Court Building
Santa Fe, NM 87501
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Research Paper
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: See NCJ 232227 for the complete final technical report.
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