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  1. #1
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    Defense Taphonomy Expert

    My very first thread, so please be gentle. Erase this if it's already been talked about on another thread.

    Of all the experts talked about in the hearing today, the one that interested and confused me the most was the Taphonomy expert. I am interested to know how the defense is going to use this expert at trial. According to[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taphonomy"]Wikipedia[/ame], "Taphonomy is the study of decaying organisms over time and how they become fossilized (if they do)".

    We all know Caylee's remains were not there long enough to be fossilized unless Baez is going with the remains are not hers because they've been there for hundreds of thousands of years, so what was found was a hundred thousand year old fossilized skeleton. It doesn't sound too far out a place for the defense to go, but I don't think that's what they want this expert for.

    Continuing with [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taphonomy"]Wikipedia[/ame]:

    "Archaeologists study taphonomic processes in order to determine how plant and animal (as well as human) remains accumulate and differentially preserve within archaeological sites. This is critical to determining whether these remains are associated with human activity. In addition, taphonomic processes may alter biological remains after they are deposited at a site. Some remains survive better than others over time, and can therefore bias an excavated collection.

    Experimental taphonomy testing usually consists of exposing the remains of organisms to various altering processes, and then examining the effects of the exposure."

    Sounds to me like Baez is trying to use science, through Taphonomy, to explain how Caylee's remains were placed at the disposal site at a later date. I really hope good notes and pictures were taken before Caylee was cremated because this expert does not have her actual bones to look at. Does this sound right to you people that are way more science oriented than me? What are you thoughts on how this expert could impact Casey's defense?

  2. #2
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    Thanks for this information, I am going to have to do some reading up on this.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Aedrys View Post
    My very first thread, so please be gentle. Erase this if it's already been talked about on another thread.

    Of all the experts talked about in the hearing today, the one that interested and confused me the most was the Taphonomy expert. I am interested to know how the defense is going to use this expert at trial. According toWikipedia, "Taphonomy is the study of decaying organisms over time and how they become fossilized (if they do)".

    We all know Caylee's remains were not there long enough to be fossilized unless Baez is going with the remains are not hers because they've been there for hundreds of thousands of years, so what was found was a hundred thousand year old fossilized skeleton. It doesn't sound too far out a place for the defense to go, but I don't think that's what they want this expert for.

    Continuing with Wikipedia:

    "Archaeologists study taphonomic processes in order to determine how plant and animal (as well as human) remains accumulate and differentially preserve within archaeological sites. This is critical to determining whether these remains are associated with human activity. In addition, taphonomic processes may alter biological remains after they are deposited at a site. Some remains survive better than others over time, and can therefore bias an excavated collection.

    Experimental taphonomy testing usually consists of exposing the remains of organisms to various altering processes, and then examining the effects of the exposure."

    Sounds to me like Baez is trying to use science, through Taphonomy, to explain how Caylee's remains were placed at the disposal site at a later date. I really hope good notes and pictures were taken before Caylee was cremated because this expert does not have her actual bones to look at. Does this sound right to you people that are way more science oriented than me? What are you thoughts on how this expert could impact Casey's defense?
    I've always felt that having Caylee's remains cremated was a ploy by the defense to be able to say later, "See, Casey didn't want her to be cremated and now we can't perform tests. She can't get a fair trial." We all know Casey's idea of a proper burial (two black trash bags, a laundry bag, and a little toddler's face plastered with duct tape dumped in a swampy, trashy area). I've always felt Jose's little speech about Casey not wanting her remains cremated was all for show in case they needed it as an excuse during trial.

    IMO

  4. #4
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    Taphonomy
    "Forensic taphonomy focuses on the perimortem (at the time of death) and intermediate postmortem (days to weeks after death) biological and biochemical transformations in order to determine the cause of death, estimate the approximate time of death, and to identify humans remains including the sex, age, race, and, whenever possible, the individual's identity. The understanding of how different environments interfere with the biological and biochemical changes in human remains, affecting the process of decomposition, is crucial for the forensic interpretation of mass graves, mass disasters, war crimes, and cold cases of murder." http://www.enotes.com/forensic-science/taphonomy

    Anthropology
    "Anthropology is the study of the behavior, origin, and physical and social development of humans. The term forensic refers to the gathering of scientific physical evidence for use in a court of law. Thus, forensic anthropology is the use of anthropology to gather and examine scientific evidence. Forensic anthropologists use a blend of sciences, such as biology, chemistry, physics, and anatomy to aid in the investigation of crimes.

    One of the primary roles of a forensic anthropologist at a crime scene is to identify human remains. A forensic anthropologist uses scientific methods and technologies to answer key questions about the crime such as: how many victims are present? Who are they? When did they die? How did they die? Most of the answers to these questions come from studying human skeletal remains.

    The skull provides the most information for physical anthropologists. Craniosacral, or skull measurements (especially between the eye sockets and the jaw bone,) often help forensic anthropologists determine the race, age, and sex of a body. Forensic anthropologists can sometimes recreate the likeness of a person from skeletal measurements. Teeth can be compared to dental records as a means of identification. Holes, fissures, stains, and other abnormalities indicate trauma and may help to determine cause of death." http://www.enotes.com/forensic-science/anthropology

    Why both? I don't get it. Can someone explain the reasoning as it relates to this case?
    As I received information, and relayed it to the defendant after her arrest, she continued to claim ignorance and at times, laughed at the situation. She still failed to show any outward signs of remorse or concern for her missing two year old daughter.
    --Yuri Melich, arrest warrant, July 16, 2008

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon_burrows View Post
    I've always felt that having Caylee's remains cremated was a ploy by the defense to be able to say later, "See, Casey didn't want her to be cremated and now we can't perform tests. She can't get a fair trial." We all know Casey's idea of a proper burial (two black trash bags, a laundry bag, and a little toddler's face plastered with duct tape dumped in a swampy, trashy area). I've always felt Jose's little speech about Casey not wanting her remains cremated was all for show in case they needed it as an excuse during trial.
    IMO
    BBM
    Wasn't Baez granted guardianship over Caylee's remains?
    Who remembers the hearing where Baez said something along those lines.
    Did Baez sign over the remains to Cindy and George?
    ----------------------------------------------------



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    "There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first is excellent, the second good, and the third useless.

    --Niccolo Machiavelli"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aedrys View Post
    My very first thread, so please be gentle. Erase this if it's already been talked about on another thread.

    Of all the experts talked about in the hearing today, the one that interested and confused me the most was the Taphonomy expert. I am interested to know how the defense is going to use this expert at trial.

    Sounds to me like Baez is trying to use science, through Taphonomy, to explain how Caylee's remains were placed at the disposal site at a later date. I really hope good notes and pictures were taken before Caylee was cremated because this expert does not have her actual bones to look at. Does this sound right to you people that are way more science oriented than me? What are you thoughts on how this expert could impact Casey's defense?
    IMO, that is exactly where Baez is going with this. IMO they trying to say that Caylee was disposed of after Casey was incarcerated, they may feel that this type of expert can she more light on how long the remains were there through Caylee's hair. They have no body/skeleton, so I assume they will use the bugs and hair in this analysis.
    Plus, another way to create reasonable doubt, trying to confuse the jury with this big word that Baez probably just learned from one of the law student.
    IMO, they are just running into a dead end with Casey's defense and is grasping at straws. The problem I see here, and I am no expert...is that since little Caylee's remains were cremated..against Casey's wishes may I add from what I understood; This expert will not be able to make a report that is 100% accurate of his finding. He is missing the key evidence. Caylee's remains, without them he can not do any testing on her skeleton, and not sure if the hair would give much information either. I would assume the State will bring that to the attention of the courts and what ever this expert has to say IMO, will only be his opinion which I believe would end up being hearsay which is not admissible.

    Here is a great Thesis article

    In Forensic Taphonomy: The Postmortem. Fate of Human Remains. William D. Haglund and Marcella H

    Estimating The Postmortem Interval In Forensic Cases Through The Analysis of PostMortem Deterioration of Human Head Hair.

    "Snip" http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/et...ier_thesis.pdf
    "Snip" http://www.priweb.org/mastodon/HP_ma..._research.html
    Taphonomy basically means "studying what happens to animals (or plants) between the time they die and the time they are found as a fossil.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intermezzo View Post
    BBM
    Wasn't Baez granted guardianship over Caylee's remains?
    Who remembers the hearing where Baez said something along those lines.
    Did Baez sign over the remains to Cindy and George?
    I thought he was and later gave them to Cindy and George and they were the ones that had Caylee cremated. I thought Casey had a fit because she wanted Caylee's remains buried so she could later visit the grave site. That is how I recall it. I could be wrong though.


    "Snip" http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,490225,00.html
    The mother of slain Orlando toddler Caylee Anthony expressed grief and disapproval Monday over plans for her daughter's public funeral.

    "I miss Caylee every day and every minute of every day," Casey Anthony said in a statement read by her lawyer Monday afternoon.

    "I can't be there for Caylee's funeral, but someday I want to visit her grave and want to tell her how much I miss her," the statement read. "I know they cremated her, but I still don't want the public with cameras and everyone around for Caylee's funeral service. I can't stop my parents from doing what they want. I truly hope



    Cremated Caylee Remains Not Kept At Home Over Theft Fears
    Girl's Grandparents Plan To Build Memorial For Slain Toddler
    "Snip" http://www.clickorlando.com/news/18697599/detail.html

    Conway said the decision to cremate Caylee was not made lightly by George and Cindy Anthony, who were concerned that a headstone would be a target for vandals. They plan to build a permanent memorial for Caylee, perhaps at a park.

    POSTED: Thursday, February 12, 2009
    Last edited by MADJGNLAW; 05-06-2010 at 05:41 PM. Reason: added two articles

  8. #8
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    Apparently KC signed authority over to her parents.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,490225,00.html

    Casey Anthony was charged with murder, and gave her parents the legal authority to plan Caylee's funeral.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MADJGNLAW View Post
    I thought he was and later gave them to Cindy and George and they were the ones that had Caylee cremated. I thought Casey had a fit because she wanted Caylee's remains buried so she could later visit the grave site. That is how I recall it. I could be wrong though.

    Madjgnlaw yes you are right. GA and CA just went against what Casey wanted and Jose Baez thought they would honor her wishes..oops!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MADJGNLAW View Post
    I thought he was and later gave them to Cindy and George and they were the ones that had Caylee cremated. I thought Casey had a fit because she wanted Caylee's remains buried so she could later visit the grave site. That is how I recall it. I could be wrong though.
    Yes, that is what I remember as well...I believe it was in hearing in January 2009.
    ----------------------------------------------------



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    "There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first is excellent, the second good, and the third useless.

    --Niccolo Machiavelli"


  11. #11
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    JSR is offline Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -Arthur Miller
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    I would assume JB and company are going to use this expert to either refute the expert report/testimony of the States witness that Caylee's remains were there long before Casey was finally incarcerated. Or two say that each skeleton reacts and deteriorates based off different environments/climates/situations so the time-frame the state gives is too unreliable based off all the various elements.
    Indeed the Irony IS Rich

    Jodi Arias- "Quick on the slime, Slow on the facts"- From Juan's Closing Argument

    "The difference between a stumbling block and stepping stone is the character of the person walking the path."- Travis Victor Alexander

  12. #12
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    JSR is offline Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -Arthur Miller
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    Also keep in mind that this is only a POTENTIAL defense witness. If this witness gives the same testimony as the States witness JB and company won't use them. JB and company are going to have a hell of a time refuting the botany evidence which in my humble opinion is KEY. Plants and bugs don't lie. My guess is that those plants and bugs can very accurately give a time-frame of when Caylee was "dumped" in that horrid location.
    Indeed the Irony IS Rich

    Jodi Arias- "Quick on the slime, Slow on the facts"- From Juan's Closing Argument

    "The difference between a stumbling block and stepping stone is the character of the person walking the path."- Travis Victor Alexander

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by What'sThatClue View Post
    Apparently KC signed authority over to her parents.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,490225,00.html
    Yes, I recall that as well. I also recall that the defense kept the remains in the morgue for a long time and people were beginning to ask why the defense would not release them over to the Anthony's and it was because they had to wait for Dr.Lee I think to come and do his autopsy as well as other. Something like that...it's been so long.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSR View Post
    Also keep in mind that this is only a POTENTIAL defense witness. If this witness gives the same testimony as the States witness JB and company won't use them. JB and company are going to have a hell of a time refuting the botany evidence which in my humble opinion is KEY. Plants and bugs don't lie. My guess is that those plants and bugs can very accurately give a time-frame of when Caylee was "dumped" in that horrid location.
    ITA JSR the defense will have a very difficult if not impossible time getting around these little facts.

  15. #15
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    Aedrys Thank You for opening this thread.
    Over at the 2009.10.09 Duct Tape Photos From Remains Released Thread there has been heavy debate about how the skull ended up in an upright position. Wonder if this has anything to do with that...? If it does, I find that extraordinarily coincidental.
    ...the humble opinion of Jo Schmo...0 number of Days Jury Deliberated for Caylee

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