September 1998 Volume 31 Number 3
GUNSHOT RESIDUE-SIMILAR PARTICLES PRODUCED BY FIREWORKSP.V. MOSHER, M.J. McVICAR, E.D. RANDALL and E.H. S
The fireworks industry uses compounds of lead, barium and antimony in
the manufacture of a variety of pyrotechnic devices, with all three elements sometimes
being present in the same device. As these elements are used to identify gunshot residue
(GSR) particles, the possibility exists of some of these devices producing particles which
could bear some resemblance to GSR. During the course of this preliminary study, fireworks
were found that generate such GSR-similar particles, those particles being found both on
the hands of professional fireworks technicians, and in the combustion plume of
consumer-grade devices. Further work will be required to determine any impact such
fireworks might have on GSR analysis and interpretation.
DNA PATERNITY TESTING IN CANADA LABORATORY ERRORS AND THE NEED FOR MINIMUM STANDARDSJ.S. WAYE
This paper describes an independent review of three DNA paternity cases
originally investigated by a private paternity testing laboratory in Ontario.
Discrepancies were noted in all three cases, two of which were shown to be false
exclusions of paternity. These cases signal the need for minimum standards of practice for
parentage testing laboratories in Canada.
IDENTIFYING BIRD SCAVENGING IN FLESHED AND DRY REMAINSD. KOMAR and O. BEATTIE
Differentiating postmortem artifacts produced by natural taphonomic
processes from perimortem trauma is crucial in accurate crime scene interpretation,
particularly in cases involving the advanced decomposition of remains. Carrion experiments
reveal that repeated, extensive scavenging by common birds such as magpies and crows can
alter or obliterate evidence of perimortem trauma as well as create postmortem artifacts
similar in appearance to penetrating trauma. The location, extent and pattern of damage,
as well as characteristic wound morphology in soft tissue and bone, aid in the accurate
identification of bird scavenging. Differentiating bird modification to bone from that of
rodent and carnivore is illustrated, and the role of birds as agents of transport is
compared with that of other scavengers. A case study is presented in which bird, canid and
rodent created artifacts on bone are evident.