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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 182170 Find in a Library
Title: Use of Microscopic Postmortem Changes in Anagen Hair Roots to Associate Questioned Hairs with Known Hairs and Reconstruct Events in Two Murder Cases
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:45  Issue:2  Dated:March 2000  Pages:495-499
Author(s): Joseph T. Tafaro M.A.
Date Published: March 2000
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The two cases examined show how postmortem changes in the roots of anagen hairs can be used to associate questioned hairs with known hairs, corroborate statements of witnesses and suspects, or assist the investigator in reconstruction of a crime.
Abstract: Because it is known that postmortem changes occur in anagen hairs after the death of the hair donor, a hair that exhibits postmortem banding or a brushy root was pulled from the skin of the donor after death. In Case 1, the fact that the head hairs (which have been associated with the victim) were found on the duct tape indicates the duct tape could have been wrapped around the victim's head. The sweater fiber (which also has been associated with the victim) found on one of these hairs gives more weight to this argument. This argument is corroborated by the accused's statement that duct tape was wrapped around the victim's head. In Case 2, the significance of the presence of brushy roots and the absence of roots exhibiting postmortem banding on questioned hairs found at the murder scene supports a strong association of the questioned hairs with the female victim and the exclusion of them from the juvenile victim. It also suggests that the victim was dead when the hair was removed from her head. In both cases inculpatory statements were made by the accused. 3 figures and 4 references
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Death investigations; Forensic sciences; Hair and fiber analysis; Investigative techniques
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