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Behind The Tape

Wednesday, December 16 2009

Grrreetings, class! Today we will talk about insect activity on a body. Say it together, class, "Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!"

Depending upon your climate, insect activity (that's a nice way of saying "maggot infestation") on your body can happen pretty quickly. I won't go into the kinds of bugs that appear first and all that--this is a Kindergarten Crime Scene Class. Again, I'm not trying to be condescending, I really THINK in those terms. Most of us are not Forensic Entomologists. When a scene calls for that kind of scientist, we can certainly call one in for assistance.  (I just love bug people!)

Maggots are really the larval stage of flies. They are not the only insect to show up on a body. For our purposes though, they're the insects we'll focus on for today.

So where was I? OH! We were talking about insect activity in bodies! The point I want to stress for this lesson is that insects (maggots) tend to gather around openings in the body, i.e., the nose, ears, eyes, mouth and genitals. This is a given.  So . . . when you see a body that has insect activity in the chest cavity, there's a good bet that there is a HOLE in the chest caviity where the little boogers got started. Class, what causes holes in the chest?  RIGHT!  Bullets and knives!  (and hammers, hatchets, machetes, shotgun pellets, and so on, but you get the point.) If you see a body with lots of insect activity in places where they really shouldn't have it yet, you need to look a little closer. The death that on the surface looks like a natural, could be a murder!

And our quote for the day comes from Clifton Fadiman:

"The biochemist J.B.S. Haldane was engaged in discussion with an eminent theologian, "What inference," asked the latter, "might one draw about the nature of God from a study of his works?" Haldane replied, "An inordinate fondness for beetles."





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