Concepts in Human Decomposition

1. Much of these readings deal with the context in which human remains are found. Compare the general condition of human remains in several contexts (terrestrial, and marine). Is there anything about the context in which remains are found that could account for their condition?
2. Using the internet, find cases of found human remains (these may also be case reports in the Journal of Forensic Sciences), and then compare to Table 1.3 on page 20 of H&S; list whether or not each item in that table is mentioned in the description of the scene for that case. If an item was not applicable, indicate it as such and explain why you think so.
3. Given all of this information, please comment as to the factors that would have a bearing on the rate of decomposition given the following scenario:

A perpetrator has killed an individual with a single stab wound in the front of the chest. The body was wrapped in an old shower curtain with many slits and openings, and then put into the trunk of a car. The body was in the trunk at night and the ambient temperature in the trunk was about five degrees Celsius. The body was then dumped in a forested area face up under a pine tree. The shower curtain wrapping of this fully clothed male (wearing denim pants and a t-shirt; socks and running shoes) is loose with many gaps. Discuss the factors that would affect the rate of decomposition given the limited information you have from this scenario. Also, what additional information would you want to collect from the scene in order to help you with the postmortem interval estimate?
4. As the first part of this book deals with buried human remains, the first thing I want you to consider is whether or not it is possible to bury a body without leaving any evidence that this has been done. Given that you have seen in the video the hallmarks of what to look for in a burial, how would a perpetrator try to cover up such evidence?

please refer to:
-Haglund, W.D., & Sorg, M. (Eds.) (2001). Advances in forensic taphonomy: Method, theory, and archaeological perspectives. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
-Pokines, J.T., & Symes, S.A. (Eds.) (2014). Manual of forensic taphonomy. Boca Raton: CRC Press.