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Medicolegal Investigation of Death: Guidelines for the Application of Pathology to Crime Investigation, Fourth Edition

NCJ Number
Werner U. Spitz M.D., Daniel J. Spitz M.D.
Date Published
1325 pages
The fourth edition of this textbook in forensic pathology contains 11 new chapters and an updated and expanded text throughout, along with new illustrations and contributors, as it presents information and describes procedures pertinent to the work of forensic pathologists in the course of a death investigation.
Each of 25 chapters focuses on some issue or procedure that will likely be encountered by a forensic pathologist at some time in his/her work. The first chapter provides an overview of the history and development of forensic medicine and pathology. This is followed by a chapter on crime-scene investigation, with attention to bloodstain pattern interpretation, biological evidence that may be found on the human body, and trace evidence. A chapter on time of death and changes after death addresses anatomical and chemical considerations, forensic entomology (study of insects), and exhumation. The identification of human remains and the specialties of forensic anthropology are discussed in two chapters, followed by a chapter on forensic odontology (bite mark identification, photographic techniques, and the use of digital analysis in bite mark identification). Two chapters discuss issues in the sudden and unexpected death from natural causes in adults and the investigation of deaths in childhood. A series of chapters focus on the following circumstances in death investigations: trauma and disease, blunt force injury, sharp force injury, injury by gunfire, thermal injuries, asphyxia, the investigation of bodies recovered in water, electrical and lightning injuries, road traffic deaths, the investigation of mass disasters, and trauma of the nervous system. Remaining chapters focus on microscopic forensic pathology, forensic aspects of radiology, death from drug abuse, the forensic aspects of alcohol consumption, the autopsy report, and selected autopsy procedures. Extensive tables, graphic and photographic exhibits, chapter references, and a subject index