• Human Identification

    Information on human identifications.  

Uniqueness of human dentition not proven

A new publication has found that the uniqueness of the human dentition remains unproven.  Bitemark analysis is based on two predicates; that the human dentition is unique and secondly that this uniqueness is appropriately recorded in the bitten substrate.  It is, however, important to note that some will argue against the need for uniqueness – […]

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Mississippi Death Row Case Faults Bite-Mark Forensics

Great story from NY Times here. In one of the country’s first nationally televised criminal trials, of the smirking serial murderer Ted Bundy in Florida in 1979, jurors and viewers alike were transfixed as dental experts showed how Mr. Bundy’s crooked teeth resembled a bite on a 20-year-old victim.Mr. Bundy was found guilty and the […]

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Stats again inappropriately applied in odontology

We don’t seem to learn from our lessons.  Many years ago a paper was published that tried to establish the statistical basis for the individuality of the human dentition.  It was flawed for a number of reasons but the main was that the statistics used the premises of the product rule.  Whats this then?  Simply its that […]

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Twin study suggests caution in dental ageing techniques.

Ageing papers – they are normally of little interest to anyone – especially given that the techniques are so well established and there has been endless re-iterations of them.  However, I thought this paper, Twins and the paradox of dental-age estimations: A caution for researchers and clinicians The biological age difference among twins is frequently […]

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Kieser – No evidence of contextual bias in bitemarks

A few weeks ago we reported on the death of Jules Kieser – a leading odont researcher from New Zealand.  His last publication, currently in press at the journal Science and Justice – looks at the impact of contextual bias in bitemarks – and, interestingly, finds none. Contextual bias has been shown to impact other […]

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DNA from Bitemark convicts former LAPD officer

This is a story from 2012 – but shows how bitemark evidence, in the form of biological evidence can help in cases.  The case is well described in this video, called “One of their Own”, by the 48 hours team.  DNA recovery from bitemarks was first described in the literature in 1999 when Sweet and […]

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BBC Exposes expert witnesses for hire – can you buy justice?

The BBCs leading documentary programme, Panorama, has undertaken an expose of expert witnesses in the UK. Looking at document examiners, a wildlife expert and a CCTV specialist they undertook secret filming of each. In every case the reporter indicates their guilt and yet the experts agree to prepare reports that would seek to exonerate them. […]

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Sad loss of leading odont researcher

We learnt from the New Zealand Society of Forensic Odontology that on the 11th June Professor Jules Kieser of New Zealand passed away. A quote from the Secretary of the New Zealand Society of Forensic Odontology stated, “He was a very important part of our society and was one of those rare people who was […]

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