Death Investigation: The Basics

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Death Investigation: the Basics is a hands-on manual to help new death investigators begin their first day on the job. Written by a fifteen-year-veteran of death investigation, it details, step-by-step, the procedures used by coroners and medical examiners. Includes flow charts, illustrations, and sample forms. Up to date information on the diagnosis of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and detailed procedures for the investigation of infant deaths are included.


  • How to identify a decomposed body
  • How to establish a time of death
  • How to conduct a scene investigation
  • Which cases require an autopsy
  • How to determine the range of fire on a shotgun
  • When to call a forensic pathologist
  • How to diagnose Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • How to fill out a death certificate
  • The difference between cause and manner of death

Learn how to track down vital evidence, identify basic gun-shot wounds, determine the cause of death, and much more. The book emphasizes the teamwork required for a successful death investigation and explains the roles of professionals involved, including coroners, medical examiners, physicians, emergency medical and law enforcement personnel, forensic specialists, nurses, funeral directors, the press, and legal experts. Real-life scenarios illustrate the situations death investigators encounter every day.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883620240
  • Publisher: Galen Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 167
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
1 Death Investigators 1
2 Determining Which Deaths To Investigate 5
3 Scene Investigation 19
4 Body Identification 64
5 Time of Death 72
6 Public Relations 77
7 The Autopsy 85
8 The Death Certificate 96
9 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome & Death Investigators 114
Bibliography 131
App. A Organizations 137
App. B Death Investigation Form 138
App. C Body Diagrams 143
App. D MMWR Guidelines For SIDS Death Scene Investigation 149
Index 165
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