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Flashcards in Homicide and serious crime victims Deck (25)
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What are the three key elements of a homicide?



Who authorises the removal of the body?

OC Investigations


Who may the OC Investigation call upon to view the body in situ to gain an understanding and interpretation of the injuries

The pathologist and or crown solicitor


Name the 9 points that can be useful to brief experts on who were unable to attend the scene

1. Photographs/video recordings
2. First responders actions
3. identity of body
4. History- medical, drugs found at scene, action taken since body discovery
5. timeframes, last sighting, other timings impact upon time of death
6. Scope and priorities of investigation
7. Special evidential expectations and requirements
8. Environmental factors; weather, temperature, heating appliances, pollen influences
9. Information received by experts


Appreciation prior to body removal

10 steps to consider in the appreciation:

1. Notification/ response from coroner
2. Views of pathologist, ESR, forensic scientist and crown solicitor
3. Consultation with other experts
4. Requirement for examination/action needed before removal
5. Best route method for removal that minimises contamination
6. Supervision of removal
7. Chain of custody from scene to mortuary
8. Safe custody of exhibits
9. Family/cultural considerations
10. Appreciation and record of standing operating procedures for what and how items of protective clothing is used


Establishing if the body has been moved

It is not uncommon form movement of the body to have occurred during the initial stages of police and other emergency services response. . What two things must you remember where the body has been disturbed?

1. Do not attempt to restore the scene to it's original unchanged condition.
2. Make enquiries to enable the original unchanged scene to be subsequently reconstructed and photographed if required.


Samples taken at the scene:

Specimens should not be taken from the body unless where evidence would otherwise be lost or contaminated by moving the body such as:

1. Larvae and insects
2. Potential fingerprint evidence from the skin and/or items of clothing worn by the body
3. DNA swabs
4. Extraneous items such as loose hairs, fibres, glass, paint or other fragments
5. Firearm residue samples


Samples taken from the scene:

Specimens should not be taken from the body unless consultation has occurred between who?

1. ESR
2. Pathologist
3. OC investigation
4. Crime Scene Coordinator or OC Scene
5. Fingerprint Officer
OC Investigation has final say.


What is the four steps in removing the body from the scene?

1. Record body position by sketch, direct a police photographer to take photographs. Consider video recording or other imaging techniques.
2. Consult OC Scene, mark and record position prior to moving it
3. Record all details of position:
- Postion of limbs
- Appearance of the body
- Wounds and clothing
- Direction of any trails of blood present on the body
- Lividity
- Extent of any rigor mortis present
4. Consider what health risks may be presented by handling the body, cover hands, feet, head with paper bags to preserve trace evidence
5. Ensure clothing is not contaminated by touching foreign objects.
7. Wrap the body in plastic sheet and place it in a body bag.
8. Carefully search underneath where the body lay.
9. Retain, as exhibits all sheets, bags or other materials used to transport the body.
10. Obtain approval from OC Investigation to remove the body from scene.
11. Arrange a contracted undertaker to remove the body to the mortuary, account for security and continuity of the body as an exhibit at all times.


What is the primary role of OC body during a post- mortem?

To observe, document and deal with exhibits associated with the body, in a structured and methodical manner.


What are the primary reason form conducting a post-mortem? 7 points

- Determining where possible the mode and time of death
- Establishing how injuries/events contributed to death
- Determining the nature/size of weapons used
- Determining the approximate height and stature of suspect
- Providing areas of interest for subsequent interviews of witnesses or suspects
- Negating possible defences
- Identifying the victim, if any identity has not been established


Attendance at post-mortem

Section 38 of the Coroners Act 2006 prescribes who may attend a post mortem: 8 people

- Pathologist
- Coroner
- Any other pathologist assisting
- Doctor who treated deceased
- Doctor, nurse or funeral director representing the deceased
- Doctor representing the interests of suspect
- Any other doctor to trainee doctor
- Police
- Any other person authorised by coroner


Name the 5 Police staff who should attend a post mortem:

1. OC Investigation
2. OC body
3. a member specifically designated as exhibits officer for post mortem
4. Police photographer
5. SOCO or fingerprint officer if required


What must the legal representative of any suspect who has been or maybe charged be informed of?

Date, time place of post-mortem and advised that they are required to seek authority from Coroner for a doctor to attend on their behalf.


Name 6 experts who may be consulted regarding the conduct of a post- mortem:

1. Biologist
2. Medical Illustrator
3. Toxicologist
4. Ballistics expert
5. Crime scene examiner
6. Disaster victim identification


Taking exhibits to the mortuary

To avoid contamination when is it ok to take weapons to the mortuary?

After the post mortem examination has been completed.


What are the 5 steps the OC body must complete on arrival at the mortuary?

1. Ensure mortuary staff do not wash the body
2. Ensure the body is labelled and secure in fridge
3. Retain key used to secure body
4. Ensure body remains in present condition until PM commencement
5. Arrange formal ID of body


Where the identity of the Boyd cannot be established what methods can be used in consultation with the Coroner:

-DNA profiling
-Dental records
-Eye exams
-Medical records, scars, birth marks, implants, prosthetics, x-rays, surgical wounds, amputations, tattoos
-personal effects
-facial reconstruction


Information through skeletal remains

When skeletal remains are found what information can they provide us?

- Whether the remains are actual bones
- Whether the bones are human
- Age, gender, height and race of person


What is the 12 steps to stripping the body?

1. Must only be stripped in presence of pathologist
2. Remove from fridge and assist to take into examination room
3. Remove from body bag with minimal disturbance to body
4. Body bag, sheets and wrappings used to transported retained as exhibits
5. If necessary, direct police photographer to take additional photos before clothing is removed
6. Remove items of clothing; cutting should be avoided if possible, search clothing
7. Make inventory of clothing and possessions
8. Label each item of clothing/possession
9. Seal each item separately in paper bag or container
10. Ensure exhibits do not cross contaminate
11. Maintain security and continuity of body/exhibits
12. Consider placing a fine sieve in drain hole to collect trace evidence


Photographing the body

In addition to photographs taken at the scene, OC Body must ensure the photographer at the mortuary takes sufficient appropriate photographs of:

- body before it is stripped
- body after it is stripped
- close up photographs of any wounds, marks internal injuries and unusual features


What is the OC body responsible for?

Recording, labelling, packaging, sealing and securing all physical exhibits relating to the body, including samples taken during the post-mortem, must be sealed and packaged before leaving the mortuary.


Any item found at the crime scene or post-mortem examination which is mutual interest to the pathologist and the investigative team must be reserved/handled in accordance with standard exhibit protocols. Name three examples:

- ballistics projectiles
- Foreign items such as hairs, fibres, blood or semen on or in the body.
- Ligatures- any knot must not be cut at or undone as it maybe subject to a subsequent knot examination


Preparing the sudden death file.

OC body is responsible for preparing the 1S file what 5 things must this file include:

- Victim's formal ID statement
- POL 47 or POL47A (infant)
- Deceased person certificate 265
- Deceased person identification 265A


Second post mortem

A second or subsequent post-mortem may be directed by the coroner if:

-Pathologist is unable to determine cause of death in the initial p

-Pathologist is unable to determine cause of death in the initial PM
-A suspect's lawyer seeks approval from the coroner to conduct an independent PM
-The solicitor general orders a further PM after an application to the high Court.