Body in the bag

Martin Evison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In January 2000 passers-by stumbled up on a large hold all dumped in a derelict area of inner city Sheffield. To their horror the bag contained the mummified remains of a human being. The body was adipocerous and could not be identified from the soft tissues. There were no other items of clothing or personal possessions that could be used to identify the remains. The skeleton yielded a wealth of information relating to the individual during life – generating an “osteobiography”, or life history from the skeleton. A forensic facial reconstruction was undertaken from the skull and publicised in the local and national media. Within a week the body was identified and two individuals charged with murder. As the victim’s life history was revealed to the investigators, it was possible to compare this with the parameters derived osteologically. The “Body in the Bag” case emerged as a tour de force of the use of forensic anthropology to assist the police in human identification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S12
JournalComparative Clinical Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2004


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