Forensic Anthropology Paper

Topics: Anthropology, Human rights, Forensic archaeology Pages: 3 (746 words) Published: March 1, 2015
Michaela Hurtienne

Anthropology 101

Forensic Anthropology

Forensic Anthropology has been a vital component in the investigation of genocides and homicides. Forensic archeologists and anthropologists excavate human remains and identify skeletal remnants, to discover information on how each individual died. Through this, they are able to figure out what had occurred in the death and why it happened. In one case in particular, known as the John McRae case, we can observe how the forensic recovery of human remains brought a severe murder to justice (Steadman 2003). Also, it brings to light the “disappeared individuals” around the world that mysteriously died in Argentina that later was found out to be genocide through the information of forensic anthropology (Kirschner & Hannibal 1994). In the criminal case of John McRae, McRae was convicted of first-degree murder of a fifteen-year-old boy, named Randy Laufer found through forensic archaeology and anthropology. At first, Randy Laufer disappeared and it was perceived as a case of a runaway teenager. A few years later, a neighbor who wanted to use the land as a pasture for horses purchased the McRae property. While excavating the land, the missing child Randy Laufer’s bones were uncovered (Steadman 2003). Immediately anthropologists came to investigate the remains and found skeletal evidence of a violent murder. The archaeologists excavate and expose the burial while the anthropologists classify the remains. Forensic anthropologists start by reporting positive identification of the biological profile, and when applicable they present the circumstances or manner of death (Steadman 2003). The anthropologists first saw dismemberment and mutilation of the bones, with cut marks along his clavicle and lumbar regions, and worst of all the sacrum area (Steadman 2003). Examining this helped them identify how he died and the murderer’s intentions. This depicted that McRae’s efforts were of “sexual sadism” (Steadman...
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