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NCJ Number: 218785 Find in a Library
Title: Skeletal Remains Identification by Facial Reconstruction
Author(s): Vincent M. Phillips
Date Published: January 2001
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Quantico, VA 22135
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Laboratory Branch
2501 Investigation Parkway
Quantico, VA 22135
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Case Study
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on the use of facial sculpturing to positively identify three victims of unnatural deaths.
Abstract: The reconstruction of facial features using facial sculpturing techniques has been widely criticized by forensic scientists for its lack of scientific reproduction of the final product and for its low statistical success rates. However, the practice of facial sculpturing dates back to biblical times and blends scientific and artistic skills to render a likening of an individual based on skull remains. The numerous techniques of facial sculpturing all rely on the published data concerning soft tissue thickness in different racial groups. The author notes that facial sculpturing is not meant to produce an exact likeness of an individual but rather to provide a reconstruction that may enable someone to make a cautious identification. In all three cases presented, the results of the facial sculpturing produced a positive identification and the relatives of the victims were satisfied that their loved ones had been correctly identified. Each brief case description contains a synopsis of the circumstances surrounding the case and explains the way in which the examiner went about reconstructing the face from skull remains. Photographs of the facial reconstructions and of the actual victims are presented in two of the cases. Figures, references
Main Term(s): Facial bone reconstruction; Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): South Africa; Victim identification
Note: From Forensic Science Communications, V 3, N 1, January 2001; downloaded June 11, 2007.
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