Time Since Death and Decomposition of the Human Body: Variables and Observations in Case and Experimental Field Studies

  • Mann R
  • Bass W
  • Meadows L
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Abstract

Much of the difficulty in determining the time since death stems from the lack of systematic observation and research on the decomposition rate of the human body. Continuing studies conducted at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, provide useful information on the impact of carrion insect activity, ambient temperature, rainfall, clothing, burial and depth, carnivores, bodily trauma, body weight, and the surface with which the body is in contact. This paper reports findings and observations accumulated during eight years of research and case studies that may clarify some of the questions concerning bodily decay.

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Authors

  • Robert W. Mann

  • William M. Bass

  • Lee Meadows

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