Effective investigation of events involving injury or death requires recognition of patterns of physical findings on the body and at the scene. Early recognition of those injury patterns allows investigators to properly assess the scene and begin procedures for collecting relevant evidence.
This course begins with an introduction to forensic pathology and the terminology used by medical professionals. Through visual presentation of hundreds of cases of injury and death, including homicides, suicides, accidents, and deaths from natural disease, the cause, mechanism, and manner of death are discussed and defined. Patterns of decomposition are used to estimate postmortem interval and time of death, and associated scene findings and evidence collected are detailed. Participants will explore categories of injury and their causes, such as blunt force trauma, sharp force injury, injuries from firearms, asphyxia, drug-related deaths, fire-related deaths, electrocution, drowning, and motor vehicle collisions. Special consideration is given to the investigation of injury and death in children.
Upon Completion: Participants will be able to:
• Have a good visual library of common injury patterns
• Recognize, collect, and preserve subtle trace evidence
• Recognize significant physical findings on bodies and at crime scenes
• Integrate knowledge with case facts to draw defensible forensic conclusions