Death Investigation

An Introduction to Forensic Pathology for the Nonscientist


  • Ann Bucholtz

Death Investigation: An Introduction to Forensic Pathology for the Nonscientist provides students and law enforcement professionals with an accurate, clear overview of forensic pathology. It presents death investigation at the scene and autopsy, providing readers with a broad understanding of forensic pathology and giving them a clear picture of what happens after the examination of the scene. Readers learn what first responders should (and should not) do at the scene, and get a forensic pathologist's perspective on the importance of preserving evidence. Death Investigation methodically explains what happens during autopsy to determine cause and manner of death - including particulars of blunt force trauma, sharp force injuries, asphyxia, and gunshot wounds - and how findings are presented in court.

Written for a criminal justice audience by a practicing forensic pathologist and educator, Death Investigation makes challenging forensics concepts accessible to nonscientists.

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Courses in death investigation and forensic science taught in criminal justice programs, investigation courses taught in sociology/criminology programs, and law enforcement training programs.


Book information

  • Published: January 2014
  • ISBN: 978-1-4557-7437-1

Table of Contents

  1. Overview of Death Investigation
  2. Death Scene Investigation
  3. Death Certification
  4. Time of Death
  5. Autopsy Procedure
  6. Identification
  7. Blunt Force Trauma
  8. Gunshot Wounds
  9. Sharp Force Injuries
  10. Sudden Death in Adults
  11. Sudden Death in Children
  12. Asphyxia
  13. Special circumstances

Appendix: Courtroom testimony