Forensic Radiology

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Forensic Radiology

Forensic Radiology


Forensic science is the broad name given to the specialized tools used by law enforcement investigators to solve crime. Although forensics is most commonly thought to aid investigators in cases of assault, rape, and homicides, they are used in white-collar crime as well. Students of forensic science may disagree about its origins, but most agree that in the modern era forensics began in the late nineteenth century.

Forensic techniques include fingerprinting, blood typing, genetic profiling, hair and fiber analysis, graphology, toxicology, chemistry, and odontology (the study of teeth). Although it is not considered to be a forensic tool per se, psychological profiling is an important new means, especially in the apprehension of serial killers. Designed by agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), psychological profiling defines behavioral patterns which distinguish one criminal from another.

Criminal investigations employ dozens of people to carry out the many tasks of solving a murder, from detectives to laboratory technicians. One key member of any murder investigation team is the coroner or medical examiner (ME). MEs observe the victim and the crime scene, conduct an autopsy, and report the findings to a district attorney.

History of Forensic Radiology

One of the significant members of the forensic team is the forensic radiologist. The field of forensic radiology includes the investigation pertaining to the legal cases, and procedures, which are part of court investigations. It also incorporates the execution and analysis of radiological examinations. Radiology is a branch of science, which seeks to solve mysteries and expose what is implicit within the body. In addition, forensic radiology does not have limitations within the human body only. Forensic radiology is different from other diagnostic procedures because its application is beneficial in other forms of investigation such as examining art which is not original, examining the authenticity of artifacts, and investigating fake documents.

The x-ray was discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. After the emergence of x-ray, experts from fields such as science, medicine, law, and journalism, started to recognize the scope and usefulness of Roentgen's discovery in legal medicine. The identification of a person who has fractures on his body, but difficult to recognize due to mutilation of body, is possible with the help of the x-ray.

In 1895, x-ray was first used in a court case in Montreal. According to this case, there was an accusation on Mr. George Holder, who was believed to have shot Mr. Tolson Cunning in the leg. Furthermore, the physicians could not find the bullet during investigation and physical examination. There was an indication of a wound, although it was healed. As the case progressed, the physician of Mr. Holder asked the physics professor from McGill University to develop an image of the leg with the help of a recently discovered method of x-ray. As a result, it took approximately 45 minutes to have the image of the leg through exposure, and an image was developed which showed the bullet placed between the tibia and ...
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