HABEAS CORPUS - Forensics, Coroners and Decomposition
A salon in the cemetery with Dr. Peter Dean and Dr. Anna Williams
Saturday 24th October from 1:00 to 2:30 pm

Determining the cause and manner of suspicious deaths is highly technical work, dependent on crime scene findings, autopsy observations, toxicology tests and a close analysis of medical files. DR PETER DEAN will explore the history of death investigation in this country, looking at how the system developed from its early days in Medieval England, through the centuries to the current day, also taking a look at the first use of forensic science and pathology.

Taphonomy, the study of decaying organisms, is an essential tool in the crime-solving process, where determining the time of death can be crucial to an investigation. Forensic anthropologist, DR ANNA WILLIAMS, will discuss the various stages of decomposition, describing how different combinations of gases are emitted at each stage of the process and how these observations are measured at crime scenes and autopsies. She will also make the case for opening a "body farm" in the UK to allow decaying corpses to be scientifically studied.

Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's Gin Cocktail. Please click here to buy.

Dr Peter Dean
is a former GP who spent 26 years as a Forensic Medical Examiner with the Metropolitan Police and continues to work in death investigation. He has also advised on a range of television drama series including "Silent Witness”, "Waking the Dead”, "Whitechapel” and “Ripper Street".

Dr Anna Williams is Principal Enterprise Fellow in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Huddersfield. She is an expert in forensic osteology and decomposition and has appeared on TV and radio discussing anthropology and forensic science. She writes an award-winning blog called Forensic Anna:thropology.

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