Forensic Anthropology in a General Term Paper

  • Length: 8 pages
  • Sources: 6
  • Subject: Anthropology
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #83210711

Excerpt from Term Paper :

He is also recognized as the Killer Clown, due for his enjoyment of entertaining children in a clown outfit. The time the bones were established to be those of human beings, forensic anthropologists Charles Warren and Clyde Snow came in on the investigation and viewed the bones. The anthropologists started organizing and sorting out the bones, inspecting them carefully for any specific structures that may help validate the victims. However, some of their anthropology work was not successful because nine of the victim's bones could not be identified because they were not able to build the faces.

In the case study of a serial killer Robert Pickerton, it was even harder to remember the victims. From 2002 till 2007 the largest serial killer crime province in Canada was excavated by Forensic anthropologists (Lesson 1- Forensic Anthropology, 2009). His possessions were exposed to substantial hole by forensic anthropologists and bulky gear, plus fifty-foot conveyor belt and soil strainers to help identify human leftovers on the land. Trying to figure out the remains was made more difficult because of decay and the fact that many of the bodies where possibly eaten by the pigs on the farm. However, going back over 100 years to the Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen murder case, Forensic Anthropologist were able to shed new light on one of the most notorious murder cases in British history. In 1910, American born Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was convicted and found guilty for murdering his wife. He cut her body to pieces and buried her in the cellar. However, teams of modern forensic anthropologist believe that modern forensic science demonstrates that the leftovers buried in Crippen's basement were not the remainder of his wife. After a complex forensic DNA analysis was performed, anthropologist concluded that bones were not from his wife after getting the DNA from his wife living relatives. Decades later, forensic anthropologist was involved as forensic specialists in the case of the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. They were successful in getting an in depth scene of the victims autopsy findings, with a brief consideration of the basic instinct of hostility. With these findings, they were able support the hypothesis that at the foundation of this serial killer's actions were crucial unconscious emotional state of hostility that he had directed into a vicious unintentional liquidation of 17 young men.

Reading the Bones

Forensic facial reconstruction is the process of re-forming the nature of an individual whose name is never actually known. This procedure is done from their remains of the skeletons through a combination of skillfulness, forensic science, osteology, anatomy and anthropology. This method is easily the most notable -- as well as one of the most debatable -- methods in the field of forensic anthropology. In spite of this controversy, facial reconstruction has for forensic anthropologist proved fruitful often enough that research and methodological expansions continue to be progressive.

Possibly, one of the most demanding jobs forensic anthropologists have to face is regulating lineage, or race, from skeletal leftovers (Pietrusewsky, 2002). Difficulties happen because there are no generally agreed upon standards to describe ethnic groups in humans, the character of variation within and between populations, and the effects of reproducing among human populations. With that said precise determination of a person's roots from skeletal remains rests upon the analyses of the data (Ancestry And Forensic Anthropology, 2005). This is done from a forensic anthropological study learned by some of the tools that anthropologist use, qualified studies of skeletons of known lineage, and the level of application attained by the forensic anthropologist. One of the primary ways to determine when identifying a number of human skeletons is the gender of the person. There are a lot features of the human bones that can be reviewed to help start this, the most obvious being the pelvic bone. The use of the pelvic bone by itself has showed highly thorough in launching sex, with an accuracy of up to 95% (Byers, 2002). Nevertheless, this is not a practical notice when regulating the sex of a prepubescent child. The skull is similarly useful in the establishment of sex. Sex is usually simpler to start if the racial backdrop of the object is known, due to changes between different ethnic groups.


Forensic anthropologists have a lot to contribute to law enforcement and would as always welcome the chance to help in the successful resolve of an investigation. They work to resolve the sex, age, stature, ancestry, and exclusive descriptions of a decedent from the skeleton. In this day and time they have become a member of an integral part of most famous disaster teams. Through their anthropological training, a lot of forensic anthropologists have familiarity of excavation methods and mapping that are unparalleled in improving evidence. Therefore, they should give in the investigation of the crime scene and, particularly, in the retrieval of human skeletal remains.


Case Study: John Wayne Gacy. (2002). Retrieved October 1, 2011, from Forensic Science Central:

The Body Farm. (2005, September 1). Retrieved October 1, 2011, from Crime Library:

Lesson 1- Forensic Anthropology. (2009). Retrieved October 1, 2011, from Magic of Forensic Science HOL:

Ancestry And Forensic Anthropology. (2205). Retrieved October 1, 2011, from

Byers, F. (2005). Forensic Anthropology. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 23-24.

Pietrusewsky, M. (2002, July 5). Ancestry/Race Determination. Retrieved october 1, 2011, from

Poirer, D.A. (2007). Forensic Archeology: A Humanistic Science . Retrieved October 2, 2011, from Cultural Resource Managemnet:

Stuart James, J.J. (2006). Forensic Science University Package: Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, 2nd edition. Boston: Cambridge.

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