The Dismembered Body

  • Guy N. RuttyEmail author
  • Sarah V. Hainsworth


This chapter presents a personal approach to the investigation of a dismembered body, exampled by the investigation of a dismembered limb from a homicide. It first presents an overview of the number of dismemberments encountered each year in England and Wales, the anatomical site at which the dismemberment is usually achieved, and common sites of disposal. It then presents an overview from a pathological viewpoint of an approach from scene to mortuary in considering the four standard questions of who the person was, where, when, and by what means they came by their death. By taking such an approach, it demonstrates how much information can be gained for the investigating police force by the examination of just a limb. The second part of the chapter then considers from an engineering viewpoint the instruments that may have been used to dismember the body and which methods can be used to identify the said instrument. Thus the chapter provides an overall approach to the investigation of a dismembered body.


Dismemberment Scene Evidence Cleaning Tool mark Saw Knives Impact Scissor action Stereo microscopy Scanning electron microscopy Environmental scanning electron microscopy Micro-computed tomography 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East Midlands Forensic Pathology UnitUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  2. 2.Department of EngineeringUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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