Volume 44, Issue 1 (January 1999)

    Use of an Alternate Light Source for Tattoo Recognition in the Extended Postmortem Interval

    (Received 5 February 1998; accepted 8 June 1998)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    With increasing frequency the art of tattooing is permeating Western culture. In the United States, this rise in popularity has been accompanied by the adoption of more personalized and intricate designs; hence tattoos are becoming increasingly useful as tools for personal identification in medicolegal settings. Although pathological examinations indicate tattoos become more distinct given removal, or slippage, of the epidermal layer and/or following saturation with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, information on the degenerative change of tattoos during the postmortem interval has not been presented. This technical note provides an assessment of tattoo enhancement methods and presents a new method to enable better recognition of tattoos during the postmortem interval. Our results indicate certain tattoos remain visible and identifiable given extensive soft tissue decomposition. The use of an alternative light source proved most useful in illuminating tattoo inks throughout decomposition.


    Author Information:

    Bennett, JL
    The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

    Rockhold, LA
    The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN


    Stock #: JFS14430J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS14430J

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    Author
    Title Use of an Alternate Light Source for Tattoo Recognition in the Extended Postmortem Interval
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30