alexa "The Fire will do the Rest": Concealing Homicide throug
ISSN 2332-0915

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Opinion Article

"The Fire will do the Rest": Concealing Homicide through Posthumous Burning of Corpses

Zija Ismaili1, Bledar Xhemali1, Admir Sinamati1 and Gentian Vyshka2*

1Institute of Legal Medicine, Rr. Dibres 371, Tirana, Albania

2Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine in Tirana, Albania

*Corresponding Author:
Gentian Vyshka
Faculty of Medicine
University of Medicine
in Tirana, Albania
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 15, 2015; Accepted date: May 15, 2015; Published date: May 22, 2015

Citation: Ismaili Z, Xhemali B, Sinamati A, Vyshka G (2015) “The Fire will do the Rest”: Concealing Homicide through Posthumous Burning of Corpses. Anthropol 3: 146. doi:10.4172/2332-0915.1000146

Copyright: © 2015 Ismaili Z, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Arson and fire will render very difficult forensic evaluation of a crime scene, and in particular of a victim deliberately burned post-mortem. However, new methodological approaches have made possible to recover as many biological tissue as possible even in burned remains of human bodies, and thus to produce valid data for judicial purposes. The authors of the paper present pictures from two cases, the first one found inside a car that was set fire with the aim of erasing all traces of the crime. Careful forensic evaluation concluded in the favour of a subdural hematoma beneath a bone defect in the right temporal area of the skull, raising suspicions about a premortem injury, since heatinduced hematomas are mostly epidural in nature. The second case was an incomplete burn of lower extremities during a dying fire due probably to a self-extinct mechanism. Theories on both these eventualities are considered in the discussion section of the paper.


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