“Comment Responses–3/27/05?

Thanks to all who have taken time to comment. Instead of responding to certain comments in the string, I’ve decided to address them in the new “Comment Responses? category. Hopefully they are easier to find this way.

Comment on “Top 10 Unique Things I’ve Done? by julia:

“Oh Holy Moly! You drove a car with a dead person on the hood? Why not just move it and then drive??

I was called out to a remote part of the county where a hunter found a body in a field. The roads leading to the field from the main roads had all been dirt prior to being turned into mud by a recent storm. I was able to slide my way to the scene, but the ambulance service that volunteered to transport the body got stuck. Rather than wait for the ambulance to be rescued, I proposed bagging the body, putting it on the hood of my car, and driving it to where the ambulance was located. One of the investigators seemed reluctant to go along with that suggestion. I pointed out that it was dark and there were no civilians around and that the only other option was to put the mud covered body bag into the black of his new Explorer. Within seconds, I had a body on the hood of my car.

Comment on “Grief Counseling 101? by The Cure:

“Once again… I don’t think I could do that. When you first started did you get really emotionally involved??

I don’t think I’d be able to address emotional involvement in just a few lines here, so I’ve earmarked the topic for a future post. Please stay tuned…

Comment on “Splitting Fibers? by MongaKim:

“Just curious…..do you watch Autopsy on HBO? I love that show…?

I have a tendency to avoid most of the forensic shows. Partly because it’s what I do for a living and partly because most of them focus more on the dramatic aspects of a case than on the scientific aspects. I understand the logic—if it were the other way around, virtually no one would watch. The one episode of “Autopsy? I recall seeing seemed to be more genuine than similar shows. I think the main reason is that basic cable shows have to rely more on empathetic narration and interviews to invoke a reaction in the viewer. HBO is free to be more graphic which allows the images to speak for themselves.

Comment on “Top 10 Unique Things I’ve Done? by The Cure:

“Wow! Hands down that is the most amazing list I have seen. That would be a tough job. I am not sure I could handle all the stuff with the kids. I would get to mad.?

Child deaths are another topic I’ll have to address at length in a future post.

Thanks again to all who have commented and subsequently provided topics to write about.

A Douglas

3 Responses to “”

  1. 1 Di
    March 28, 2005 at 3:09 am

    Hi! Thanks so much for signing this blog up on blogexplosion. It’s been awesome to find you and read all about your work.

  2. November 6, 2006 at 8:42 am

    hi all i cant get any one to ancer my question about my step son , who had taken 10 to 15 xanax and his old lady calamed he killed him self , with a22 browning automatic pistol but iv seen him take 5xanax and it knocked him out any hel would be apreshated and thay were only two drop of blood at the crime scene , thank you alot

  3. 3 Jennifer
    December 19, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    Your email does not work, so I’ll post it here.

    Renee Fox was last seen alive deep in a canyon not too far from Death Valley June 24th, late afternoon (4:30-5:00) by a family that offered assistance that was refused, but Renee did except water.

    She was later seen on the hwy, several miles away (considered to be true).

    She may have also been spotted in the closest town getting more water in a store between 8:30-9:00pm (not fact).

    Not too far from where she was last seen in the canyon, her purse was found the next day.

    After 7 long weeks of searching for her, Renee’s remains were discovered back in the canyon. She was nude, most of her clothing missing, and her arms were crossed over her chest. I can’t say for sure, but apparently only 30% of her body remained, and it is rumored that there were no indications that any animals or birds had found her, even though she was exposed (not buried).

    Renee had been battling a meth addiction. She preferred to smoke it. Renee weighed roughly 50 kilograms.

    Supposedly, she ingested 4.2 milligrams per kilogram of methamphetamine and 1.8 mg/kg of
    amphetamine. Is there a medical explanation to her arms being crossed over her chest?

    Some newspaper quotes:
    “He said pathologists believe Fox died “within minutes of taking the methamphetamine.” She apparently partially disrobed, laid down on the desert under a bush, crossed her arms over her chest, and died.”

    “It appears that Fox, under the influence of methamphetamine, and possibly suffering heat-related ailments, removed her clothes to cool off. She then walked several yards to a tall bitter brush that could have provided some shade. She laid down in the bush and died.”

    They believe she died that same day.

    After 7 weeks exposed to extreme heat (and nighttime cold), can they really say for sure? There is so much more to all of this, but it could take days to explain, and I’ll be happy if you even read this email… for the heck of it, this website will tell you her story…and then some.


    Even in a protected environment, the more time that passes after someone dies, the harder it is to say with any accuracy how much time has passed.  Generally the longer it’s been, the larger the range of the estimation.  For example, a man leaves for work in the morning and his wife is alive.  When he returns home in the afternoon, she is dead.  Several hours have passed, but according to the postmortem characteristics observed by the death investigator (degrees of rigor, livor, and algor mortis), they can only reasonably assume that she died 2-4 hours prior.  Let’s say that for some reason the wife isn’t found for a week and she has been dead so long that she is in the early stages of decomposition.  The postmortem characteristics listed above are of no use and the investigator can only resonably assume that she died between say 48 and 72 hours prior to being found.  So you can see that in as little as two days, the estimation of postmortem interval or “window of death” has gone from a range of 2 hours to 24 hours.  Of course, each scenario above takes place in an indoor environment.  These estimates are typically even broader in range when there are extremes like you described.  Depending on the condition of the body, the estimate may be as broad as weeks, months, or years.  I can only assume their estimate is based primarily on the time she was last known alive.  That said, I can only assume they felt she died that same day because of the amount of drug in her system combined with the compromising effects of exposure.

    A Douglas

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