Author(s): Sweet D, Pretty IA
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Abstract Teeth are often used as weapons when one person attacks another or when a victim tries to ward off an assailant. It is relatively simple to record the evidence from the injury and the teeth for comparison of the shapes, sizes and pattern that are present. However, this comparative analysis is often very difficult, especially since human skin is curved, elastic, distortable and undergoing oedema. In many cases, though, conclusions can be reached about any role a suspect may have played in a crime. Additionally, traces of saliva deposited during biting can be recovered to acquire DNA evidence and this can be analyzed to determine who contributed this biological evidence. If dentists are aware of the various methods to collect and preserve bitemark evidence from victims and suspects it may be possible for them to assist the justice system to identify and prosecute violent offenders. This paper reviews the recognition and recovery of this evidence and provides insight into modern methods used to investigate bitemark evidence from heinous crimes.
This article was published in Br Dent J
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research