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anthropologists work on current criminal investigations and historical
questions. For this assignment, the student will choose one modern
forensic case and the forensic anthropologist who is/was associated with
the case. The student will systematically identify the role of the
forensic anthropologists in the recovery efforts, describe the
laboratory techniques and analysis methods that the forensic
anthropologist used to identify the victim(s) and the circumstances of
their death. Students will conclude their assignment by discussing how
and if this particular case made an impact on our understanding of
forensic anthropology or forensic science. Students have complete
creativity in this assignment and may choose any number of modern cases
that interest them. The important consideration is that the case be
modern (for example: Casey Anthony murder trial, Amanda Knox murder
trial, O.J. Simpson murder trial) or be an old case revisited by a
modern forensic anthropologist (examining the remains of Francisco
Pizzaro, or Czar Nicholas II).

Write a 6-8 page narrative that includes the following:

1. Case background

a. Identify the specific case your final project will focus on.

b. Summarize the event. When and where did it occur? Who was the victim?

2. The role of the forensic anthropologist

a. Identify the forensic anthropologist involved in the case.

·There may be more than one, particularly if this is related to a criminal investigation

a certified forensic anthropologist was not clearly involved in the
case, you may also describe the medical examiner or coroner instead.
Keep in mind that you will want to focus on the
methods/techniques/analyses that we studied in this class. If you only
find information about a forensic botanist that will probably not be
useful for this write-up and you may need to choose a different case.

Identify the role of the forensic anthropologists involved. Was the
forensic anthropologist used in recovery and analysis? Discuss their
role in the case.

c. Discuss the forensic anthropologist’s findings

§ Recovery of remains: describe the findings (if applicable).

§ Individual identification: what material did they have? What were some of the methods that they used?

§ Antemortem
analysis: what information was determined about the antemortem health
or condition of the victim(s)? How did the forensic anthropologist
determine this?

§ Postmortem
analysis: what information was determined about the time of death and
cause of death? How did the forensic anthropologist determine this?

§ Novel methods or analysis: what novel methods or analyses did the forensic anthropologist use in this case (if applicable)?

2. Significance and ethics

a. What was the overarching significance of this case?

b. Did this case lead to new discoveries or technologies in forensic anthropology?

Was the forensic anthropologist’s report called into question? Was
their testimony and/or report a more neutral piece of evidence in the

4. Works cited

Include two additional outside sources (no dictionaries or
encyclopedias) in your write-up. For part 2 of the assignment details,
you will likely want to consult courtroom reports or websites detailing
the evidence presented in the case. You may be able to find transcripts
of some testimony that is also helpful. You should both cite the
sources to demonstrate how you used the sources in your assignment and
also provide references. You should not use collaborative or personal
opinion sources such as blogs, social networking pages, Wikipedia,,,, Encyclopedia Britannica, etc.

Writing Expectations

All written submissions should be submitted using APA-style formatting. In part, this includes:

  • Typewritten
    in double-spaced format with a readable style and font and submitted
    inside the electronic classroom (unless classroom access is not possible
    and other arrangements have been approved by the professor).
  • Arial 11 or 12-point font or Times New Roman styles.
  • Page
    margins Top, Bottom, Left Side and Right Side = 1 inch, with reasonable
    accommodation being made for special situations and online submission

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