A review of the changing culture and social context relating to forensic facial depiction of the dead

Caroline Wilkinson (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The recognition of a decedent by a family member is commonplace in forensic investigation and is often employed as identity confirmation. However, it is recognised that misidentification from facial recognition is also common and faces of the dead may be extremely difficult to recognise due to decomposition or external damage, and even immediate post-mortem changes may be significant enough to confuse an observer. The depiction of faces of the dead can be a useful tool for promoting recognition leading to identification and post-mortem facial depiction is described as the interpretation of human remains in order to suggest the living appearance of an individual. This paper provides an historical context relating to the changing view of society to the presentation and publication of post-mortem facial depictions and discusses the current ethical, practical and academic challenges associated with these images.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-100
    Number of pages6
    JournalForensic Science International
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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