Updated in 4/26/2010 5:33:27 PM      Viewed: 121 times      (Journal Article)
Journal of forensic sciences 47 (5): 933-6 (2002)

Identifying chop marks on cremated bone: a preliminary study.

Spencer de Gruchy , Tracy L Rogers
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this analysis is to evaluate the effects of burning on hacking trauma inflicted with a cleaver and to assess the diagnostic potential of cleaver marks exposed to fire. Thirty pig forelimbs (radius and ulna) and 30 beef ribs were each subjected to five blows with a cleaver and five cuts with a knife prior to burning in an outdoor fire. Bones were deliberately agitated to ensure maximum cremation and induce fragmentation. Results indicate that hacking weakens bone, making fire-induced fragmentation more likely at the sites of trauma. Chop marks were easily identified on burned bone, their characteristics largely unaffected by cremation.
ISSN: 0022-1198