William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Wednesday, 12, August, 2009

New England Seminar in Forensic Sciences Day 3

Filed under: Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 17:35

In the morning, started off with some infectious disease considerations, with a continuation about the hepatidides.  This is one thing that should scare the crap out of forensic scientists, it does me. 

Then we had a discussion about suicide, which is a hard call.  The medical definition of suicide is death due to the deliberate actions of ones-self.  It is one of the few diagnoses in which we worry about intent at the time, and even if people take steps to rescue themselves, it’s still a suicide.   A tidbit that I did not know, more often than not (in 15-30% of cases) is a note present.   So the absence of a note is not diagnostic.

We had a good review of forensic histology, and that is something that forensic people should probably do more of,  to catch more occult diseases.  Cost, though, is a consideration.

Belfast, ME is a lovely little town, and there was a tall ship in port, the Barkentine Peacemaker.  There was also a lovely wooden lobster yacht tied up next to her.  On the way back to campus, I went up the Fort Knox Bridge observatory, in the west pylon of the cable stayed bridge across the Penobscot.  It was well worth the price of admission, that view from 420 feet.   On the old Waldo-Hancock bridge, there were two peregrine falcons, one begging for food, I think, and making one heck of a rumpus.  And on the way back to campus there was a turkey buzzard by the side of the road.

The Maine Medical Examiner Meeting dealt with death styles of the rich and famous, with COD and Manners going back to Genesis 4.  (Blunt impacts to head, trunk and extremities, Homicide during family fight)


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