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Just Science Podcast: Just Identifying Decedents through Postmortem Prints

NCJ Number
Bryan Johnson
Date Published
September 2022

In episode two of the Applications of Forensic Science for Human Identification season, Just Science sat down with Bryan Johnson, the Major Incident Program Manager in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Latent Print Unit, to discuss how postmortem prints can be used to help identify unknown decedents. One of the cheapest, easiest, and fastest methods of identifying individuals is through friction ridge prints; however, challenges can arise in cases where trauma or decomposition affect the quality of a decedent's hands. Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques available that can facilitate the collection of high-quality postmortem prints if the hands still possess the necessary layers of skin. Listen along as Bryan discusses the advantages of postmortem printing, why identification is accomplished by latent print examiners, and how friction ridge skin is formed. 

Date Published: September 1, 2022