Author(s): Tmer AR, Akan R, Karacaolu E, BalsevenOdaba A, Keten A,
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Abstract Although there have been a great number of studies focussing on antemortem burns or fire-related deaths, the present study is the first dealing exclusively with postmortem burnings aiming to cover up a homicidal action. This study aims to draw attention to postmortem burning following homicide by determining the general characteristics of a series of burned corpses. Thirteen cases of homicide involving postmortem burning were included in the scope of the study. The cases were examined with regard to age, gender, place of death or discovery, autopsy findings, accompanying injuries and manner of death. Eleven of the cases were male and two were female. Victims' ages ranged between 24 and 62 years with a mean age of 43.5 years. All of the victims were discovered in unfamiliar places. Autopsy findings indicated postmortem burning of corpses to cover homicide. Discovering a burned body in an unfamiliar, outdoor or abandoned place, scene or autopsy findings attributable to a violent death, presence of accelerant use and absence of vitality signs are factors indicative of postmortem burning following homicide. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Forensic Leg Med
and referenced in Anthropology