Casper’s dictum is for (AIPG 2013)
|A||Identification of body|
|B||Time since death|
|C||Mode of injury|
|D||Depth insertion of knife|
Time since death.
a. Casper’s dictum relates to the rate of putrefaction- it says that putrefaction in water is slower than in air i.e. 1 wk of putrefaction in air = 2 wks in water = 8 wks in soil.
b. Putrefaction is retarded by: < 0 0C, > 48 0C, dry weather, ↓air velocity, tight clothing, > 2m deep grave, body in dry soil, body packed in coffin, infants not fed, wasting diseases like anaemia, poisoning by Carbolic acid, ZnCl2, Strychnine, heavy metals like As, Sb; in water slower than in air (Casper’s dictum).
c. Order of Putrefaction- earliest to last- larynx, trachea à Stomach, intestineà liver, spleen àBrain, Lungs à Heart, Kidney àBladder, Uterus/Prostrate à Skin, muscles, tendon à lastly, bones.
d. Identification data includes- Race & religion, ex, Age, General development & stature, Complexion & features, External peculiarities, such as moles, birthmarks, malformations, scars, tattoos, occupation marks, anthropometric measurements, fingerprints (dactylography, Galton system) & footprints, palatoprints, teeth, clothes, jewellery, handwriting, speech & voice, gaits, tricks of manner and habbit, memory & education.
e. Mode of injury is the mechanism of force causing the injury. Different modes of injury are– twist, fall from height, fall from stairs, Direct blow/assault/crush, Sport, Vehicle occupant, Pedestrian, Motorcyclist, Cyclist, Stress/Spontaneous fracture, Gunshot injuries, etc.
f. Depth of insertion of a knife- depends upon (1) condition of the knife- sharp tip, cutting edge, double-edged/single edged knife, (2) the resistance offered y the tissues or organs- bone, calcified cartilage, skin, (3) Clothing- multiple layers of tough cloth, thick leather jacket, (4) The speed of thrust of the knife, (5) Stretched skin is easier to penetrate than lax skin, (6) When the knife strikes the skin at right angles, it usually penetrates more deeply than when it strikes from an acute angle, (7) When the knife penetrates the skin rapidly e.g. if the body falls or runs on to the blade the momentum of the forward moving body is sufficient to cause fatal injury.