abnormalities in the vanilla world · crime and punishment · death - the new live · forensics · macabre creativity · Mother Nature gets Her freak on

Of Maggots and Moths….and Mice and Men

So many uses for things like maggots and moths. They tell a detailed story about persons unknown who have been unceremoniously dumped into nature’s reluctant lap after a nasty homicide…or in a missing person’s case where someone, probably senile or under the influence, has wandered away, never to return in a living state. Well, gross as grubs and bless my soul, there is yet another use for entomology as detailed in my blog fabulous forensics. watch rence and david paulides – 100s of missing people in us national parks

Some entomologists study insects to learn more about this intriguing and most successful of all species on the planet.  Others teach.  Still others discover a new species and how it affects its ecosystem.  Forensics on the other hand, seeks to tell a sordid tale of rotting cadavers and to answer the question “my god, what is that disgusting smell?” 

When a Body has been Moved

It’s not that difficult to figure that one out when you happen to be a FE. FEs study which insects (or their lovely larvae) have infested the many orifices of the body to determine if the rotting one remains in its place of origin or if it has been moved.  Easy stuff.  Where larvae and insects are not usually located in a certain area, that’s a big tip for FE. It certainly speaks to the oddball appearance of a species of insect that otherwise wouldn’t be caught dead (oops) in a particular location. watch how can the study of insects assist crime investigators

In his book A Fly for the Prosecution, (love that), forensic entomologist M. Lee Goff tells of one such case. He collected evidence from a woman’s body found in an Oahu sugar cane field.(Sugar and spice anyone)? He noted that some of the maggots present were a species of fly found in urban areas, not in agricultural fields. He hypothesized that the body had remained in an urban location long enough for the flies to find it, and that it was later moved to the field. When the murder was solved, his theory proved correct. The killers kept the victim’s body in an apartment for several days while trying to decide what to do with it. The apartment smelled gorgeous by day 5, I’m sure. watch world of weird bejing food market

A forensic entomologist give detectives an estimate, to the day or even the hour, of when the body was first colonized by insects. Investigators compare this estimate with witness accounts of when the victim was last seen alive. Dr. Goff  provides a good example of a case where insect evidence established such a time gap. A body found on April 18th yielded only first instar maggots, some still emerging from their eggs. Based on his knowledge of this insect’s life cycle in the environmental conditions present at the crime scene, Dr. Goff concluded that the body had only been exposed to insects since the previous day, the 17th. watch forensic entomologist dr goff

According to witnesses, the victim was last seen alive two days prior, on the 15th. It seemed that the body must have been somewhere else, protected from exposure to any insects, in the interim. In the end, the murderer was caught and revealed he had killed the victim on the 15th, but kept the body in the trunk of a car until dumping it on the 17th. It almost sounds like magic….buggy magic, if you will. watch tragically hip – locked in the trunk of a car

Insects on Wounds Inflicted Prior to the Victim’s Death

When the heart is still beating, scratches, stab wounds, or bullet entries and exits will all bleed. Fresh, wet blood attracts necrophagous insects. Insects feed and lay eggs in these open wounds, which provide them additional points of entry into the body. Postmortem wounds tend not to bleed and often remain dry and clean (yes, I’m sure they’re as clean as a bath in Mr Bubble). Insects are much less likely to enter the body through wounds delivered after the heart stopped beating. Who knew insects could afford to be so finicky? watch insect forensics no 1

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