Essentials of Medicolegal Death Investigation

Essentials of Medicolegal Death Investigation

1st Edition - December 29, 2016

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  • Author: Matthew Lunn
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128036709
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128036419

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Essentials of Medicolegal Death Investigation uses a unique approach by combining medical issues, injury patterns, and investigative procedures to provide the reader with the basic fundamentals for a death investigation. The text introduces the reader to death investigation, common causes of death, and very specific types of death, including blunt-force injuries, gunshot wounds, and toxicology deaths. Each section includes case studies with written and visual descriptions. Written by a well-known and experienced medicolegal death investigator, the book fills a void in medicolegal literature for both students and professionals alike.

Key Features

  • Provides a valuable guide to the interpretation of medical death investigation for practitioners and students
  • Covers the following circumstances in death investigations: asphyxiation, blunt-force injuries, sharp-force injuries, gunshot wounds, toxicology deaths, and natural causes
  • Includes case studies with written and visual descriptions and discussion, as well as up-to-date literature review


Medical examiner/coroner staff, forensic science and criminal justice students, entry level professionals

Table of Contents

    • Dedication
    • Preface
    • Chapter 1. Introduction to Death Investigation
      • Death Investigation Systems in the United States
      • Professionals Involved in Death Investigations
      • Jurisdictional Issues
      • Death Certificates
      • National Efforts
    • Chapter 2. Death Scene Basics
      • Scene Evaluation
      • Performing an Exam
      • Postmortem Changes
      • Documenting Scene Findings as a Team
      • Obtaining a Medical, Social, Work, and Family History
      • Making a Positive Identification
    • Chapter 3. Cause and Manner of Death
      • Cause of Death
      • Mechanism of Death
      • Manner of Death
      • Contributing Factors
    • Chapter 4. Common Natural Diseases and Disorders
      • Cardiovascular
      • Respiratory
      • Gastrointestinal
      • Neurological
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 5. Asphyxiation
      • Strangulation
      • Suffocation
      • Chemical
      • Mechanical and Positional
    • Chapter 6. Blunt-Force Injuries
      • Abrasion
      • Contusion
      • Laceration
      • Fracture
    • Chapter 7. Sharp-Force Injuries
      • Incised Wounds
      • Stab Wounds
      • Chop Wounds
    • Chapter 8. Gunshot Wounds
      • Examination of Projectiles
      • Types of Firearms
      • Range of Fire
    • Chapter 9. Toxicology Deaths
      • Scene Investigation
      • Collection of Samples
      • Illicit Drugs of Abuse
      • Prescription Drug Abuse
      • Poisonings
    • Chapter 10. Special Death Investigations
      • Child Deaths
      • Water Deaths
      • Electrocution
      • Environmental Deaths
      • Mass Fatalities
      • Anthropology
      • In Custody
    • Chapter 11. Ethic/Legal Issues
      • Remains
      • Property
      • Evidence
      • Having the Right Culture
      • Certifying Boards and Membership Organizations
    • Chapter 12. Working With Families
      • Making a Death Notification
      • Cultural/Religious Issues
      • Proper Communication and Follow-up
      • Working With Families After the Certification
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 206
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: December 29, 2016
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128036709
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128036419

About the Author

Matthew Lunn

Matthew Lunn, MS, F-ABMDI, is a medical investigator and criminologist in the Denver metro area with extensive experience in the investigation of violent and high profile deaths having been an invited speaker at local, state and national trainings. In service to the profession, Mr. Lunn is the current Vice President for the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), a Director for the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB), is active on multiple committees for the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) and is appointed to multiple federal initiatives related to medicolegal death investigation. Mr. Lunn did his undergraduate studies at Iowa State University, earned his Master of Science at Regis University, and is completing his PhD at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Affiliations and Expertise

Binghamton University, a State University of New York - Decker School of Nursing and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs School of Public Affairs

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