Postmortem Fingerprinting and Unidentified Human Remains

1st Edition

Editors: Larry Miller
Authors: Marzena Mulawka
Paperback ISBN: 9780323266178
Imprint: Anderson
Published Date: 18th December 2013
Page Count: 132


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Fingerprinting is the least expensive and efficient forensic identification modality. Postmortem Fingerprinting and Unidentified Human Remains is an accessible and thorough guide to the forensic identification of postmortem fingerprint records from unidentified deceased—from fingerprint acquisition to submission and case management. The methods described in Postmortem Fingerprinting and Unidentified Human Remains use a number of different fingerprinting techniques to acquire examination-quality prints.  Additionally, methods for accessing databases for humanitarian purposes are discussed, bringing a modern value perspective to the topic.

About the Forensic Studies for Criminal Justice Series:
The Forensic Studies for Criminal Justice series consists of short-format content on new developments, unique perspectives, or how-to information on areas in forensic science—all specifically designed to meet the needs of the criminal justice community. Instructors wishing to provide their students with more in-depth coverage on certain forensic areas can add these digestible, inexpensive works to their syllabi without having to completely redesign their course, introduce overly complex material, or financially overburden their students. Law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals will find a wealth of valuable information to improve training sessions. Written by experts in the disciplines they are covering and edited by a senior scholar in criminal justice, Forensic Studies for Criminal Justice opens up the world of forensic science to the criminal justice community.

Key Features

  • Part of a new Anderson series presenting brief works on forensic science, written especially for students and law enforcement
  • Provides a thorough guide to handling and processing postmortem fingerprint records
  • Discusses various forensic fingerprinting techniques and methods for accessing databases


No. of pages:
© Anderson 2014
Paperback ISBN:

About the Editor

Larry Miller

Larry S. Miller is Distinguished Professor and Chair of Criminal Justice and Criminology at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). He received his Bachelor of Science from ETSU, a Master of Science from Eastern Kentucky University, and his Ph.D. in Health & Safety with collaterals in Forensic Anthropology and Criminology from The University of Tennessee. Miller, who has worked as a police officer, criminal investigator, and crime laboratory director, teaches in the area of law enforcement and is the author of several books on topics including criminal investigation, criminal justice report writing, police photography, and more.

Affiliations and Expertise

East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, USA

About the Author

Marzena Mulawka

Marzena (Mary-Ann) Mulawka, is an intermittent Medicolegal Investigator for the Victim Information Center Team, part of the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team of the Department of Health and Human Services. She has her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Urbana, IL and graduate degree in Forensic Sciences from San Diego, CA. She is also an advisory member for the Friction Ridge Analysis Committee of the Scientific Working Group on Disaster Victim Identification. Her Master’s Thesis, subsequent international publications, presentations, and recently published book on Postmortem Fingerprinting depict research that revealed a large gap in knowledge of fingerprint acquisition and submission of unidentified deceased fingerprint records. Her graduate research and prior experience with unidentified persons at the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office and New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner have lead to the identification of over 250 unidentified deceased, some cold cases dating back to the 1970s. From 2011-2014, Marzena worked as a Criminalist/Identification Coordinator for the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner. She began as a Criminalist in the Forensic Biology Division’s Missing Persons DNA Unit before being transferred to the Identification Division to establish the agency’s Fingerprint Unit, coordinate its operations, and serve as the fingerprint lead for the disaster morgue during mass fatality incidents. Prior to the OCME she worked at the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office in medicolegal investigations and reorganized the unidentified persons section.

Affiliations and Expertise

Identification Coordinator, Office of Chief Medical Examiner, New York City, NY, USA


"…a consolidated and thorough guide to the recovery, identification, and management of unidentified postmortem fingerprint records – topics from postmortem fingerprint processing to database submission and case management are discussed…a postmortem processing workflow is described, which delineates various basic and advanced fingerprint recovery techniques used to acquire examination-quality records."--The Journal, Spring 2014
"This concise, well-illustrated book delivers per its title. It is logically organized… the author should be congratulated on collecting together the various methods of taking and comparing fingerprints obtained post mortem. A basis for research is well-founded in this volume."--Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, April 13, 2014