Death Investigation

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I have been reading a book called “Bodies We’ve Buried” by Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch. It is an inside look into the National Forensic Academy, which is the world’s top CSI Training School. Chapter 8 is about death investigation, which has always been interesting to me. I did not realize there were different stages of death. There are the earliest signs, such as cessation of breathing and circulation of blood. Within the first hour after death all the muscles in your body relax and there is extreme paleness of the skin, called pallor. The book tells that there are 3 M’s of forensic pathology: rigor mortis, algor mortis, and livor mortis. Rigor mortis is the contracting of the muscles in the body and usually takes 2-3 hours to begin, usually ending by 48 hours. When rigor has set in the person will be in the same position as they were when the death occurred. Heat will speed up the process of rigor, as cold temperatures will slow the process down. Algor mortis is the cooling down of the body temperature after death, and is a classic death measurement. Livor mortis begins immediately after death and does not end until about 5-6 hours after death. Livor mortis is the pooling of blood to the lowest points in the body, and plays a critical role in death investigation. When a person has died while sleeping on their back, they will have a purplish look to their backside from the pooling of blood from livor mortis. I think it is amazing that investigators can narrow down almost to the hour that the person expired.

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One Response to “Death Investigation”

  1. Solai Luke Says:

    This can be a interesting post! Many thanks for that! With all the best Luke aka couchgool.

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