Forensic Art Goes Digital, Assists Law Enforcement Agencies to Identify Deceased

Forensic Art Goes Digital, Assists Law Enforcement Agencies to Identify Deceased


Forensic Art

The modern world is grappling with many problems and there is ever increasing human mortality. Wars, floods and uncontrolled crime have taken a toll of humanity. In many cases of war crimes as it happened in the Genocide in Bosnia, there were mass burials without identification of the dead people. Floods in many countries wash away people to death. By the time the bodies are recovered, they cannot be identified due to the high state of decomposition. Many murders take place and often the criminals hide the bodies in jungles or unknown places. These bodies too are beyond recognition when they are recovered. It is in these circumstances that forensic art comes into picture. With scientific advancements in every field, human life has gone digital. Even this age old forensic art has embraced the digital technology! The law enforcement agencies are much to benefit from this makeover of the forensic art.

To aid with the identification of unknown deceased persons, forensic experts and artists require specific knowledge. There is a growing need to understand the physiological changes in deceased remains. Digital graphic art software is a potent tool for effectively removing the postmortem changes. It attempts to return a person to their appearance in life. The finished digital image is widely distributed in an attempt to identify the deceased and in some cases of those deceased bomb planters. The anguish of missing relatives can be understood. A digital image may help in providing solutions to find the missing person.

The Corel Painter Software and Wacom Cintiq technology are used in digital illustration with focus on fundamentals of the black and white digital process. Hybrid images are created by combining photographs and drawings to harness advantages of all the clues to identification at death. Experience in assessing and removing postmortem changes while utilizing the software helps in solving complicated cases. The artists use the skulls of the dead persons to recreate the image of the deceased. Natalie Murry is a famous American forensic artist and instructor. Her experience as a former law enforcement officer adds depth to her forensic expertise. Her work and her students work helped the law enforcement agencies in the U. S to identify the dead border crossers with the help of the digital technology.

Forensic Art 2
Digital Postmortem Illustrator and Instructor Natalie Murry at work.

 It is important to know that forensic anthropology is a specialization in anthropology and it is different from forensic science which specializes with chemistry and biology. The forensic anthropology is a vast field as a career option for many youth who are searching for career options. There is no shortage of vacancies at any given time due to the huge demand in different countries. In fact, many law enforcement agencies are hard pressed because of the lack of digital forensic facilities. Precious time is lost in solving the cases as they lack the personnel and the technology. The ultimate aim of law enforcers is to maintain law and order and reduce crime if it is not possible to entirely do away with crime in the world facing gigantic problems.

The digital forensic art will make the terrorists and criminals think twice before committing crimes because even if they are dead and decomposed, they will be identified! The number of unsolved cases may come down drastically, if this technology is widely used, it will help the crime investigators and the judiciary to punish the guilty and leave the innocent. The prime concern of all human beings is to make this world a better place to live in for ourselves and for the future generations. The digital forensic art is one endeavor towards that cherished direction.

Ahmed Mohiuddin SiddiquiWell-known international columnist, political analyst and senior journalist Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui’s articles are published across Asia, Africa and Europe. He writes for The Moroccan Times, The Tunis Times, India Tomorrow, KohramNews, The Etemaad Urdu Daily and for newspapers published from Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. You can follow him on Twitter at: @journopolana[/symple_box]