This report described the use of forensic entomological data in examining three homicide cases that occurred in the southern city of Bari, Italy (Introna 211). For all three cases, insects were collected from the victim’s body, which was situated in an open space. The cases involved determination of time of death of the victims. In addition, the environmental parameters were also considered in the estimation of time of death, including the temperature at the time of discovery of the bodies, as well as the humidity of the area.
The amount of rainfall was also noted. The developmental stages of the maggots were determined and this information facilitated in the calculation of the approximate time of death of the victims of these cases. The three homicide cases involved the analysis of larval stages of the insect species Saprinus aeneus, Chrysomya albiceps, Sarcophaga carnaria, Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis, Protophormia terraenovae and Calliphora vicina. Entomological analysis defined the time of date of the victims of each of the cases, regardless of the manner of killing that was involved.
One of the cases also included burning of the body, yet the presence of the insects provided reliable and credible information on the time of death of the murder victims. The information gathered from the analyses of these cases was brought to court and treated as crime scene evidence materials. This report describes the employment of forensic entomological data in the court case involving a homicide that occurred in Chiang Mai, Thailand (Sukontason 162).
The body of the victim was discovered in a state of decomposition. The time of death of the victim was based on the collected maggots of the blow fly species Chrysomya rufifacies, which was observed to be infesting one of the legs of the corpse. The larval developmental stage of the maggot was determined and this information was correlated with temperature of the scene of the crime. Analysis of the larval stage indicated that the victim was killed 6 days before the time of discovery of the body.
The authors of the report indicated that there was a need to further analyze this particular fly species because the city is known to harbor a huge number of flies in the area and thus it would be difficult to examine and cross-examine the court case if the evidence is singly based on the larval stages of the blow fly. The court case thus needed more information with regards to the biology and survival of this particular blow fly, since this insect species is known to dominate the city regardless of environmental locations and conditions.
The report is also the first court case in Thailand that involved forensic entomological data in the investigation of a homicide case. This report describes the employment of forensic entomological data in three homicide cases that occurred in New York City. All six criminal cases involved analysis of the maggots that were present in the decomposing bodies of the murder victims (Benecke 798). These maggots are generally found in particular developmental stages and the information gathered from these insects may help in the calculation of the time of death of the homicide victims.
The information on the postmortem interval may then be submitted in court for further investigation. One interesting angle that the report described is that one case involved maggots that fell off from the decomposing body and hide underneath the corpse and into the carpet or wooden floor. The maggots then re-emerged at the scene of the crime three months after the discovery of the body. At the same time, the maggots only emerged when there was a need to renovate the area where the crime happened.
Another case involved maggots that were collected from a mummified corpse. In another homicide case, the bacterial species Serratia marcescens were isolated from the gut of the larvae of the maggots of Muscina stabulans, thus provided not only postmortem invterval information but also the condition of the victim during the time of death. In another case, the presence of larvae of Parasarcophaga argyrostoma also provided information whether the victim was situated outside during the time of his death.
These forensic entomological data were used in court trials for the corresponding homicide cases. This court case involved the use of entomological data to support the forensic investigation of a corpse that was discovered floating in water in Chiang Mai, Thailand (Sukontason et al. , 2005). It should be understood that majority of forensic entomological investigations involve bodies that have been discovered in open land areas. This report is the first homicide case that has been documented to involve a watershed corpse.
Two insect species were collected from the surface of the body, namely Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya rufifacies Macquart. Postmortem estimation showed that the victim was killed 7 days prior to the discovery of the body. In addition to around 16 stab wounds, the specific species of blowflies were considered as important insect species that could be employed for forensic investigations. The evidence collected from this case was submitted to court and treated as evidence.
However, the authors indicated that there is a great need to conduct additional investigations in order to consider the effects of hydration on the ecological conditions of the corpse that harbor support for the survival of these insect species. The court case is still being investigated to date due to the lack of forensic evidence that would lead to a conviction that is beyond reasonable doubt. The legal importance of these two fly species was described in associated with its use in crime scene investigations.