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Silent Witness – The Karla Brown Case

Possibly the next case to be over turned due to faulty, flawed and discredited bitemark evidence. This book was written by the prosecutor in the case and describes the discovery of the evidence years after the murder, the attempts made to identify the biter and the following trial.  Very self-congratulatory but the book provides some insight into the early days of bitemark evidence, when there was little scrutiny, and the esteem that the forensic dentists were held in – not only by the investigators but the court and jury.

The book also describes, but fails to recognise, an issue that is now well known – that bitemarks aren’t reliable.  There were two odontologists in this case – and their initial views about the likely dental characteristics of the biter were very different – one described an individual with spacing, the other with a crowded mouth.

The paperback version of the book – available from Amazon here – shows the alleged bitemark.  Its difficult to believe that anyone today would even call this a bitemark, much less have the willingness to link it to a suspect…..

About Odont1

Odont1 is a seasoned forensic dentist, researcher and educator with an interest in progressing the science of the discipline while retaining those elements that are evidence based and useful to the judicial system at any level.

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