Defense Taphonomy Expert

Discussion in 'Caylee Anthony 2 years old' started by Aedrys, May 6, 2010.

  1. Aedrys

    Aedrys If justice doesn't get you, karma will.

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    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?
     
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  3. darnudes

    darnudes Inactive

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

    jon_burrows New Member

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    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
     
  5. Star12

    Star12 New Member

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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?
     
  6. Intermezzo

    Intermezzo Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  7. MADJGNLAW

    MADJGNLAW New Member

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    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.

     
  8. MADJGNLAW

    MADJGNLAW New Member

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    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.





     
  9. What'sThatClue

    What'sThatClue New Member

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  10. Anais

    Anais New Member

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

    Intermezzo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that is what I remember as well...I believe it was in hearing in January 2009.
     
  12. JSR

    JSR Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the ri

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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.
     
  13. JSR

    JSR Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the ri

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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.
     
  14. MADJGNLAW

    MADJGNLAW New Member

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    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.
     
  15. Anais

    Anais New Member

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    ITA JSR the defense will have a very difficult if not impossible time getting around these little facts. :nono:
     
  16. okiedokietoo

    okiedokietoo New Member

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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.
     
  17. Intermezzo

    Intermezzo Well-Known Member

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    Amazon has:

    Forensic Taphonomy: The Postmortem Fate of Human Remains
    William D. Haglund (Author), Marcella Harnish Sorg (Author)

    I also found

    http://archlab.uindy.edu/documents/ForensicTaph.pdf

    AN OUTLINE OF FORENSIC TAPHONOMY

    “Taphonomy” is derived from ‘tafo’ (= burial) and ‘nomos’ (= laws): the study of the laws of
    burial. The field originally developed in paleontology to explain how and why extinct animals became
    fossilized and preserved in the geological record. More specifically defined, taphonomy is the study of
    the processes that affect the decomposition, dispersal, erosion, burial, and re-exposure of organisms
    after, at, and even before death. Taphonomic processes cause sampling bias or differential
    preservation of some species, individuals, or body parts over others. Thus the remains under study
    should be viewed as “fallout” from the environment, which has filtered and altered the remains so that
    only a portion of the information originally available is now presen
    “Forensic taphonomy” is a subfield of forensic anthropology that examines how taphonomic forces
    have altered evidence that is the subject of a medicolegal investigation. Two branches of forensic
    taphonomy include biotaphonomy and geotaphonomy

    BIOTAPHONOMY
    Biotaphonomy examines the remains themselves and asks how decomposition and destruction (or a
    lack thereof) of the hard and soft tissues was brought about. Biotaphonomic variables can be
    subdivided for convenience into three broad categories (Nawrocki 1995):
    • Environmental factors are external variables, such as climate (abiotic) and animals (biotic).
    • Individual factors are those that the subjects bring to the decomposition process themselves, such
    as body size and age at death.
    • Cultural (or Behavioral) factors are variables that characterize human mortuary activities, such
    as embalming, autopsy procedures, and assailant-induced trauma.
    GEOTAPHONOMY
    Geotaphonomy is the study of how someone who buries a body, and how the body itself, affects
    the surrounding geological and botanical environment. Phenomena of interest include:
    • disturbance of the soil, including compaction, aeration, and mixing of layers;
    • the production tool- marks in the walls of the burial shaft ;
    • production of footprints in the bottom of the grave;
    • disruption (acceleration or retardation) of plant growth and natural, subsoil root patterns;
    • alteration of natural water drainage and erosion patterns;
    • alterations of the surrounding soil pH.
     
  18. Swancat63

    Swancat63 New Member

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    I don't think now, that these experts can offer much of anything but an opinion, since they cannot examine the body. No concrete conclusion, only an opinion. JMO
     
  19. Marina2

    Marina2 New Member

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    re my bolded text.
    I wonder if this is what the taphonomist will testify about. Perhaps the expert opinion will be that Caylee's remains accelerated the growth of plants or roots making it seem that she was there longer than she was.
     
  20. wonders

    wonders My opinion's may not alway's be right but they are

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    Thank you Aedrys and good job.
    I don't think JB will have any luck in trying to refute the states evidence in the long run with taphonomy. IMO Caylee was cremated on purpose so that if technology were to come far enough to test her remains further there wouldn't be anything left of use. I also still feel that JB and co wont be able to jump the hurdles of the 31 days and goose chases KC lead LE on. And even everything that was found with Caylee as far as we know came from the Anthony home.
     
  21. Pensfan

    Pensfan Former Member

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    Maybe this expert could also be used to help KC avoid the DP.(?) (The duct tape around Caylee's face will play a big part in determining if she gets the DP. Maybe this expert is supposed to weave a story that during decomposition some duct tape came off the garbage bag and only appeared to have been placed over Caylee's face.(?)
     

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