Case Study: Skull to Photo Comparison for Identification Purposes
publishing April 2021 in the Journal of Forensic Identification
In this case, the Clark County WA Medical Examiner had a victim of a house fire who was unidentified. The home owner was the probable victim but the Medical Examiner was unwilling to sign off on the victim without further confirmation of identification. There was no living family to compare DNA, no dental records to compare, and no medical records. They asked that I do a skull to photo comparison to possibly assist in adding to the preponderance of evidence that this was their homeowner, or to rule this person out as the victim.
In previous cases, I've only done a basic comparison to advise a detective if a subject is absolutely not their victim or not if the features or bones of the skull did not fit the face at all. In this case though, I was able to locate a number of anomalies on the face that corresponded to the skull. They were compelling enough that the ME was comfortable in identifying this subject as the victim.
I present this case as an example to other artists who may not have gone to this extent in a comparison before in the hopes that it may offer them another option to attempt to get an ID in some specific cases.
Rotating the Anterior View of a Skull into the Frankfort Horizontal Plane for Postmortem Drawings
published in the Journal of Forensic Identification, Vol. 65 No. 5 September/October 2015
I wrote this article to assist other artists in drawing postmortem images when they had only anterior photos taken at poor angles to work with. Often, the photos taken at the scene or at the ME's office aren't taken with the artist in mind. They're often taken from the side of the victim or at an angle. They're not ideal to work with when trying to draw the victim with correct proportions. I came up with this method of turning the head to the profile and then into the Frankfort Horizontal to attempt to compensate for the inadequacies of the photograph and come up with the correct proportions for the anterior view. It may not work in all cases, but I thought it might help artists with some problematic cases.
I was artist of the month for Corel Painter in November 2018. This was a webinar I did with them to talk about the type of art I do with the Painter software.
Leslie Adami at KVUE Austin came by the house to talk about the Williamson County Cold Cases that I'm investigating.
KOIN TV Portland Feb 2018
KOIN TV did a piece on the unknown victim in this semi truck accident and fire. There were some witnesses who saw her at a truck stop before the accident. They were shown the reconstruction after I completed it and they said it resembled the girl that they saw. She was described as possibly Native American with hair parted in the center and wearing a feather earring.
This is an age progression I did for a tv show in Lebanon.