Forensic Dental Evidence

Forensic Dental Evidence, 2nd Edition

An Investigator's Handbook

Forensic Dental Evidence, 2nd Edition,C. Michael Bowers,ISBN9780123820006


Academic Press




252 X 195

This book provides the necessary tools and practical suggestions for forensic scientists and investigators charged with analysis of a crime scene.

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Key Features

  • Contributions by internationally recognized and experienced forensic experts cover missing persons cases and mass disaster cases from around the world
  • Contains over 200 full-color photographs of crime scene evidence, human identification cases and bitemark details
  • Includes many new exoneration cases derived from the Editor's work with the Innocence Project


Forensic Dental Evidence: An Investigators Handbook highlights the discussion regarding unjust convictions caused by inaccurate bitemark opinions. The book focuses on cases that use forensic techniques, emphasizing modern methods and protocols. Through this book, the latest information available is offered to the forensic community. This book demonstrates expertise in forensic dentistry by presenting chapters on human identification in domestic and international situations; investigations on missing person and violent crimes against persons; mass-disaster planning and disaster response; and new threats from terrorist attacks on urban centers. Furthermore, it discusses topics regarding bitemark evidence, such as forensic photography, analysis and legal issues. The book also presents two chapters on new scientific topics: The Next Level in Victim Identification: Materials Properties as an Aid in Victim Identification; and DNA for First Responders: Recognizing, Collecting, and Analyzing Biological Evidence Related to Dentistry (chapters 3 and 8, respectively). This book is suited to anyone seeking knowledge on forensic dentistry; it will be of great value to investigators, lawyers, medical examiners, nurses, and dentists with an interest in forensic dental cases.


Forensic professionals (odontologists, medical examiners, researchers and practitioners), law enforcement professionals (police, investigators, police academies / training), dentists preparing to be an expert witness, legal professionals and forensic science post-graduate students

C. Michael Bowers

D.D.S., J.D.

C. Michael Bowers, DDS, JD is a practicing forensic dentist and consultant who has testified and worked on hundreds of cases where dental evidence has been involved. He is a former Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Odontology, a Senior Crime Scene Analyst for the International Association for Identification (IAI) and has written other articles, chapters and books on forensic dentistry. He owns and operates his own dental practice in Ventura, CA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Clinical Professor, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Deputy Medical Examiner, Ventura, CA, U.S.A.

View additional works by C. Michael Bowers

Forensic Dental Evidence, 2nd Edition

Contributors Photo Credits Foreword Preface to Second Edition Preface to First Edition Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Historical Dental Investigations     Overview     The Forensic Examination of Herakleides     The Aging of Herakleides     The Odontological Identification of Adolf Hitler, Using Cinematographic Documents          Introduction          A Short Biography of Adolf Hitler          Hitler's Death          Remains and X-Rays          High and Moderate Degrees of Concordance          Conclusions     Dental Forensic Identifications: The Beginnings to the Nineteenth  Century          Hesi-Ré: The First Dentist          Lollia Paulina: The First Record of Forensic Dental Identification          Dr. Joseph Warren: The First Forensic Dental Identification in the United States          Edinburgh 1814: The First Use of Dental Evidence in a Court Case          Tooth Eruption Patterns as an Age Determinant          Parkman/Webster Murder Trial, Boston 1850: The First Court Case Largely Built on Dental Evidence          John Wilkes Booth: Identification of the Infamous Assassin          The “Bazar de la Charité” Disaster Results in the World’s First Forensic Odontology Text 2. Dental Detectives     Who Is a Qualified Forensic Dentist? Advice: Use the Best     What Dentists Do     What to Do When “a Skull with Some Teeth” Has Been Discovered     The Use of Teeth by Forensic Science     Factors that Change the Appearance of Teeth Over a Lifetime     The Language of Dental Identification     Tooth Names and Quantity of Teeth in Adults and Children     Human Tooth Morphology     The Dental Investigator's Role in Forensic Case Work     Collecting and Preserving Useful Evidence     Scientific Dental Investigations     The Most Famous Bitemark Case of the 20th Century     Woman’s Identity Confirmed by a Missing Tooth 3. The Next Level in Victim Identification: Materials Properties as an Aid in Victim Identification     Introduction     Modern Challenges, Radiography, and Fluorescence     SEM and SLICE     XRF     Incinerated Remains     Collection and Analysis 4. Forensic Dentistry Investigation Protocols     Dental Uniqueness     Dental Autopsy     Terminology for Body Identification (from the ABFO Guidelines, www.abfo.org) 5. Recognition, Documentation, Evidence Collection, and Interpretation of Bitemark Evidence     The History of Bitemarks in the New World     Sequence of Events in a Bitemark Investigation     Recognition     Preliminary Bitemark Examination     Skin Distortions Affecting Biter Identification     Features Indicative of Bite Marks in Skin     Locations of Bitemarks on Humans     Variable Appearance of Bitemarks     Evidence Collection for Bitemarks     Photography     Impressions of a Bitemark     What the Dentist Does Next     Objects Bitten: How Certain Is the Dentist About the Biter?     What the Dentist Looks for in the Suspect's Mouth     Evidence Collection Protocols     Recovery of Bitemark Evidence from the Victim     Photographs of Potential Bitemark Evidence     Recording the Topography of a Bitemark     Documentation of Bite Mark Evidence     Live Victim Testimony     Recovery of Bitemark Evidence from a Live Person     Laboratory Analysis of Bitemark Evidence     Evidence Collection from a Suspect     Dental and dna Evidence Collection from a Suspect     Comparison of Injury and Suspect Dental Exemplars     Summary 6. Bitemarks in England and Wales     Introduction     The Process: Identifying a Bitemark and Collecting Evidence     The Process: Evidence Collection from the Bite Suspect(s)     The Process: Comparison     The Process: Report and Trial     Summary 7. Legal Issues Concerning Bitemark Evidence in the United States     Legal Factors of Evidence Collection and Its Use in Court     The Fourth Amendment: Arrest Search and Seizure     Admissibility of Expert Evidence Based on Relevance and Scientific Reliability     National Academy of Sciences (NAS) 2009 Review of Bitemark Evidence     Report Concerns About Certain Forensic Disciplines     Report Concerns About Bitemark Analysis     Types of Dental Testimony by Dentists     Use of Bitemark Evidence in Jurisdictions Using the Frye Standard for Admissibility     Use of Bitemark Testimony Under the Federal Rules of Evidence     Typical Questions Law Enforcement Asks Regarding Dental Evidence     The Scientific Limitations of Bitemark Testimony     Bitemark Guidelines     Scientific Literature on Bitemark Identification     The Accuracy of Skin as a Substrate for Bitemarks     Uniqueness of the Human Dentition     Future Improvements to Bitemark Identification     Wrongful Convictions and Erroneous Bitemark Opinions     The Innocence Project/Network     Erroneous Bitemark Opinions that Were Overturned by DNA 8. DNA for First Responders: Recognizing, Collecting, and Analyzing Biological Evidence Related to Dentistry     Why DNA?     DNA Applications in Forensic Dentistry     Sample Collection Techniques     Behind the Laboratory Door     Interpreting DNA Evidence 9. Missing and Unidentified Persons: The National Crime Information Center Dental Enhancements     The Function of the Dental Enhancements     History and Development of the Dental Functions in NCIC     Collection of Dental Information     The NCIC Missing and Unidentified Persons File Data Collection Entry Guides     The National Dental Image/Information Repository     Comparison Logic     The NCIC Dental Crossmatch Report ($.M)     NCIC Offline Search     NCIC Records Entered Prior to April 4, 2004     Juvenile Runaway Issues     Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) Conversion Issue     Wanted Persons Issues     Other Missing and Unidentified Persons Resources     Conclusion 10. The Disaster Victim Identification System: Its General Structure and the Swiss Involvement     Introduction     Interpol and DVI     The Disaster Victim Identification Guide     The Swiss DVI Organization     Disasters     The Swiss DVI Team in Thailand after the Tsunami     The Back-Office in Berne, Switzerland     Conclusions 11. Recognizing, Documenting, and Analyzing Physical Evidence in Abuse Cases     Child Maltreatment     Abuse During Pregnancy     Physical Injuries During Dating Relationship     Spouse Abuse (Intimate Partner Violence)     Elder Abuse and Neglect     Techniques for Recording Evidence of Traumatic Injuries     Conclusion 12. Managing a Mass Fatality Incident     Introduction     Dental Response     Temporary Morgues     Processing Human Remains     Identification Methods     Challenges in Mass Disaster Management     Family Assistance Center     Mental Health Counseling     Aftermath of a Commercial Airline Accident     MFI Recommendations for Medical Examiners’ Needs     International DVI Teams Cooperating During an Event 13. Identifying Victims of 9/11 At the Office of Chief Medical Examine City of New York 14. Australasian and Multinational Disaster Victim Identification     Overview     Local Incidents     Regional Assistance     Multinational Disasters     Simplifying Deployments     Conclusion 15. Photography and Forensic Dental Evidence     Photographic Duties     Standard Photographic Protocols     Conclusion 16. The Use of Digital Imaging in Human Identification and Crime Scene Analysis     Measuring the Physical Characteristics of Two- and Three-Dimensional Evidence     Bitemarks     Digital Comparison of Bitemark Evidence     Dental Identification: The Uses of Digital Imaging Index

Quotes and reviews

"This book, really more impressively a treatise, leaves no (dental) stone unturned in explicating the history, the savoir faire, the investigative potential, the litigation and the research firmly establishing the foundations of dental identifications in the firmament of the forensic sciences." - James E Starrs, Professor Emeritus of Law & Forensic Sciences, The George Washington University 

"Forensic Dental Evidence: An Investigator's Handbook is a must-read for all participants in the criminal justice system--judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, investigators and police, to name a few--as well as all forensic odontologists. C. Michael Bowers, one of the world's most renowned forensic dental experts, draws upon a wealth of his expertise and that of others to put forth in a highly accessible book information and guidance that will surely prevent misidentifications and wrongful convictions." - Maurice Possley, Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University Law School, Santa Clara, CA; Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist

"...this book comprehensively covers concepts and protocols necessary for criminal investigation involving dental evidence and will be of educational value and interest to many categories of reader. It is practical, up to date, informative, well-illustrated and appropriately cautionary."-- Judith A Hinchliffe, Independent Forensic Odontologist, New Zealand in Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology (2011)



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