Volume 41, Issue 5 (September 1996)

    The Role of Forensic Anthropology in the Recovery and Analysis of Branch Davidian Compound Victims: Assessing the Accuracy of Age Estimations

    (Received 11 September 1995; accepted 5 February 1996)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Age-at-death estimations of 44 individuals (27 adults, 17 children) from the Branch Davidian sample were compared with their actual ages. Estimations were evaluated for bias and accuracy for the actual age at death. Although the overall average estimates correlated well with the actual ages (r = 0.946), several individuals displayed high residual requiring further analysis and review. These individuals displayed age-related features that did not correspond with the expected morphology for individuals of their ages. Several age estimation techniques scored these individuals with all bias in the same direction. These examples should serve as cautionary reminders that biology does not always correlate with expected outcomes, particularly in such multifaceted traits such as age.


    Author Information:

    Owsley, D
    Curators and research assistant, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

    Ubelaker, D
    Curators and research assistant, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

    Craig, E
    Forensic anthropologist, Medical Examiner's Office, Frankfort, KY

    Sandness, K
    Curators and research assistant, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

    Houck, MM
    Forensic examiner and supervisory special agent, FBI Laboratory, Hairs and Fibers Unit, NW Washington, DC

    Fram, R
    Forensic examiner and supervisory special agent, FBI Laboratory, Hairs and Fibers Unit, NW Washington, DC

    Woltanski, T
    US Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hickman AFB, Honolulu, HI

    Grant, W
    Anthropologist, US Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, HI


    Stock #: JFS14000J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS14000J

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    Title The Role of Forensic Anthropology in the Recovery and Analysis of Branch Davidian Compound Victims: Assessing the Accuracy of Age Estimations
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30