The replication of depressed, localized skull fractures, an experiment using Sus domesticus as a model for human forensic trauma

by Yoshida, Sara J.

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis research developed and tested an experimental methodology for the replication of hammer-blow trauma in domestic pigs. Sus domesticus Endeben (Brock 198 1). wïth the aim of creating a viable analog or mode1 for the study of hammer-blow trauma in real forensic cases. A sample of depressed. localized hctures was created on pig skulls by striking the frontal bone of each skull with a single hammer blow. A range of trauma was observed. and was ranked using a five-part ordinal scale. When the experïmental sample \vas compared with trauma from a real homicide case. they were strikingly similar. indicating that pig skulls are well-suited to modelling trauma seen in human victims. Corollary radiographie studies conducted on the experimental sample found that there was no observable ndiopphic difference behveen fiozen and thawed specimens. and that radiographs should not be solely relied upon for interpretation of trauma without also examining the trauma directly in defleshed specimens. Pigs are advocated as viable models for the replication of hammer-blow trauma, and this modelling could provide valuable medico-legal information to be applied in real forensic cases. 1 am very grateful to Owen Beattie. my senior supervisor for his encouragement and advice. He has set an example of using his forensic knowledge in a wide scope. an example 1 would like to follow. Many thanks to Gail Anderson. a real d-ynmo in her field and a really supportive supervisor and mentor. 1 would also like to acknowledge Jack Nance for his editorial advice and William Haglund for serving as an external examiner, To the department staff. AM Sullivan. Robin Bane jee. Lynda Prrybyla Andrew Barton and Shannon Wood 1 sincerely thank you for ALL the help over the years. Also to Cathy D' Andrea for her endless encouragement. To al1 the forensic scientists. Cryil Chan of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Edmonton. Steven J. Dowell of the Los Angeles Coroner's Osce. and Brian McConaghy of the RCMP Crime Lab. thanks for al1 the imput and suggestions. Much appreciation for the Lucas Research Grant from the Forensic Science Foundation and for the Education Award from the Canadian Society of Forensic Science. Thanks to Dyane Kirk for ail her technical support and loyal friendship. Thanks to al1 my friends that endured these anxious years. Finally. 1 would like to dedicate this thesis to Brian Pegg who served as expenmental perpetrator and husband with dedication and zeal. you are the best!!!! Cheers to you Brian. i am forever grateful.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2000

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