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TERRORISM

  1. “Terrorism” means the use of violence for political ends, and includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public or any section of the public in fear.

    -Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989, s.20(1) (Quoted in "The Pathology of Trauma" 2nd Edition, Edited by J.K.Mason, page 71)

THROMBOSIS, DEEP VEIN

  1. Deep vein thrombosis is a hazard of long air flights.

    -Bernard Knight (Forensic Pathology, 2nd Edition, page 507)

TIME SINCE DEATH

  1. Estimating the time of death is one of the most difficult and inaccurate techniques in forensic pathology.

    -Milton Helpern in his book “Autopsy - The Memoirs of Milton Helpern, the World’s greatest medical detective”, published by St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1977, on page 116

  2. The time of death is sometimes extremely important. It is a question almost invariably asked by police officers, sometimes with a touching faith in the accuracy of the estimate. Determining the time of death is extremely difficult, and accuracy is impossible.

    -Bernard Knight, Legal Aspects of Medical Practice, 4th edition, 1987, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh page 115

  3. I will be the first to admit that if any physical or even mental disturbance occurs soon after the food is swallowed, the whole digestive process can be drastically altered.

    -Milton Helpern in his book “Autopsy - The Memoirs of Milton Helpern, the World’s greatest medical detective”, published by St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1977, on page 118

  4. Considering the variables which influence the rate of body heat loss, the best one can say about the reliability of algor mortis as a post mortem clock is that it permits a rough approximation of the time of death. Errors in over-estimating and under-estimating the post mortem interval based on body cooling are common, even in the face of considerable experience by those making the estimate. Body temperature as an indicator of the post mortem interval should be correlated with all other phenomenon and observations utilised in establishing the time of death.

    -Adelson, The Pathology of Homicide, 1974, Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, page 164

  5. To offer an unreasonably accurate time of death is worse than providing such a wide range on times that the police derive no help from it.

    -Bernard Knight in “The Estimation of the Time Since Death in the Early Postmortem Period”, Edward Arnold, 1995, page 2

  6. A medical witness who attempts to determine the time of death from temperature estimation in minutes or fractions of hours is exposing himself to a severe challenge to his expertise which may well amount to near ridicule, thus denegrating the rest of his evidence.

    -Polson, Gee and Knight, The Essentials of Forensic Medicine, 4th edition, 1985, Pergamon Press, Oxford, page 12

  7. It is often the least experienced medical witness who tends to offer the most accurate estimate of time since death.

    -Bernard Knight in “The Estimation of the Time Since Death in the Early Postmortem Period”, Edward Arnold, 1995, page 2

  8. Livor mortis, rigor mortis and algor mortis … provide, at best, “postmortem windows”.

    -Stephen J. Cina, Charleston County Medical Examiner’s Office, Charleston, SC 29425, USA (Quoted by him in his paper “Flow Cytometric Evaluation of DNA Degradation: A predictor of Postmortem Interval?”. American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology 15(4):300-302, 1994)

  9. The opinion of any doctor who offers a single time of death, instead of a range, must be viewed with suspicion.

    -Bernard Knight in “The Estimation of the Time Since Death in the Early Postmortem Period”, Edward Arnold, 1995, page 2

  10. No problem in forensic medicine has been investigated as thoroughly as that of determining the time of death on the basis of post mortem findings. Apart from its obvious legal importance, its solution has been so elusive as to provide a constant intellectual challenge to workers in many sciences. In spite of the great effort and ingenuity expended, the results have been meagre

    -Jaffe, A Guide to Pathological Evidence : For Lawyers and Police Officers, 2nd edition, 1983, Carswell Criminal Law Series, Carswell Ltd., Toronto, page 33

  11. Repeated experience teaches the investigator to be wary of relying on any single observation for estimating the time of death (or "duration of the post mortem interval"), and he wisely avoids making dogmatic statements based on an isolated observation.

    - Adelson, The Pathology of Homicide, 1974, Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, page 151

  12. Formerly, it was a hallowed "rule of thumb" that the rectal temperature dropped at an average of 1.5oF per hour, rather faster during the first few hours. This method was a guarantee of inaccuracy, but little has been found to replace it.

    -Bernard Knight, Legal Aspects of Medical Practice, 4th edition, 1987, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, page 119-120

  13. Some difference of opinion exists over the use of a thermometer at the scene of a suspicious death. Considerable caution must be employed when considering the taking of a rectal temperature with the body in situ. If there is any possibility at all of some sexual interference, whether homosexual or heterosexual, no intereference with the clothing or perineum must be made until all forensic examinations have been completed. Certainly, no instrument should be inserted into the rectum before trace evidence has been sought.

    -Polson, Gee and Knight, The Essentials of Forensic Medicine, 4th edition, 1985, Pergamon Press, Oxford, page 9-10

  14. The timing of the sequence of events concerned in the dissolution of the body cannot be done with accuracy and one must be cautious never to pronounce too readily that the decomposed state of the body is inconsistent with the time interval alleged.

    -Camps, Lucas, Robinson, Gradwohl's Legal Medicine, 3rd edition, 1976, John Wright & Sons, Bristol, page 91

TIRE IMPRINT EVIDENCE

  1. I am familiar with forty-two different impressions left by tyres.

    -Sherlock Holmes to Dr. Watson in “The Adventure of the Priory School” 1901

  2. A motor vehicle is used in 75 percent of all the major crimes reported today.

    -Given, Nehrich and Shields 1977 (Quoted in “Tire Imprint Evidence” by Peter McDonald, 1989 Elsevier, page 37)

  3. The ultimate goal of the tire track investigation is the identification of the vehicle producing the track.

    -Given, Nehrich and Shields 1977 (Quoted in “Tire Imprint Evidence” by Peter McDonald, 1989 Elsevier, page 67)

  4. Tire “Footprints” help solve Homicide cases (Title of article in Law and Order 1981)

    -Quoted in “Tire Imprint Evidence” by Peter McDonald, 1989 Elsevier, page 111

TONGUES OF SLIP

  1. “They told me you could help me, Dr. Zak… the people at the Funny Society.. .er.. . I mean the Forensic Society".

    -A patient (Henry Nash) over phone to forensic entomologist Zakaria Erzinçlioglu (quoted by Zakaria Erzinçlioglu in his biographical book “Maggots, Murder and Men - Memories and Reflections of a Forensic Entomologist” Harley Books, England 2000, on page 138)

TRACE EVIDENCE

  1. Every contact leaves a trace.

    -Edmond Locard (1877-1966), Pioneering French Criminologist

    (This is often touted as the “Locard’s Exchange Principle”. Although nothing is wrong in this statement, the true principle goes like this: “The dust and debris that cover our clothing and bodies are the mute witnesses, sure and faithful, of all our movements and all our encounters.” It is quoted on page 299 of “Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences” edited by Jay A. Siegel, Pekka J. Saukko and Geoffrey C. Knupfer. 2000 Academic Press.)

  2. For a long time he remained there, turning over the leaves and dried sticks, gathering what seemed to me to be dust into an envelop and examining with his lens not only the ground, but even the bark of the tree as far as he could reach.

    -Dr. Watson recalling the actions of Sherlock Holmes in “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”

  3. If evidence has been properly gathered and preserved, a mistake in interpretation may always be corrected. If the facts required for a correct interpretation are not preserved, the mistake is irreversible.

    -Alan R. Moritz, MD (Quoted in "The Pathology of Trauma" 2nd Edition, Edited by J.K.Mason, page 227)

  4. What is not looked for will not be found!

    -William J. Bodziak in his book “Footwear Impression Evidence” at page 2

  5. The best evidence in the world will not stand up in court if the jurors have doubts about its integrity.

    -Los Angeles Times (Quoted in “Criminal Investigation - Basic Perspectives” by Paul B. Weston, Charles Lushbaugh and Kenneth M. Wells, eighth edition, 2000, Prentice Hall, page 6)

  6. Trace evidence is one of the most valuable, misunderstood, misused and underutilised forms of physical evidence.

    -Peter R. De Forest in his chapter "What is trace evidence" in the book "Forensic Examination of Glass and Paint" edited by Brian Caddy, Taylor & Francis, 2001, page 23