The real CSI.
August 7, 2003 5:09 AM   Subscribe

If Adam is to be identified, and his killers found, a whole, if short, life must be reconstructed from a tiny, bloodless torso.
Two years ago a small boy's torso was pulled out of the Thames. This fascinating article details how forensic science is driving the investigation in to his murder.
posted by davehat (8 comments total)
I've been semi-following this ever since they found the boy, and it's certainly a groundbreaking case, in more ways than one. It'll be interesting to see, when they try the people who did this to this poor boy (they believe they have caught people involved), how the media will portray the supernatural aspect of the murder. The BBC is extremely level-headed about it, taking more of a "the lone anthropologist in the field" kind of tone about it, but I can just imagine what The Sun will do...
posted by Katemonkey at 6:02 AM on August 7, 2003

This is indeed an interesting story.

Here's another BBC piece - 'Last September a boy's torso was found in the Thames. Police now believe it could have been a "muti" killing, a human sacrifice practiced in southern Africa. Here, as seen in a BBC Two documentary, a mother reflects how she was forced to help kill her own child. '
posted by plep at 6:46 AM on August 7, 2003

That BBC News link is a little out of date, plep.

Try this one - Police investigating the murder of a boy whose torso was found in the Thames have arrested 21 people in raids across London..
posted by influx at 7:43 AM on August 7, 2003

Another piece of evidence in the growing mountain of a case that the vast majority of humanity is shit. If there is a god, he should have wiped the earth clean and started over with the fucking lizards long ago.
posted by UncleFes at 8:28 AM on August 7, 2003

There were indeed a few arrests a week or so ago. The fascinating thing is that the breaking of a people smuggling ring has undoubtedly been helped by some of the pioneering work of the forensic team.

Having discovered a body with no limbs, head and indeed very little blood, the police are gradually piecing together a picture of this child's tragic last days.

I hope that one day they track down who's child this is and how this happened. I have a feeling that a conclusions to this case is many years away.
posted by davehat at 8:34 AM on August 7, 2003

If a conclusion is reached at all.
posted by agregoli at 8:45 AM on August 7, 2003

"Strontium isotopes go unchanged in ratio from rock to soil to water to plants. Animals then eat the plants and drink the water. We then eat the plants and animals and they get passed on to us and stored in our bones in the same ratio. So, basically, the ratio of the strontium isotopes in the soil will be mimicked in our bone chemistry."

While this method may be effective in tracking down where someone in West Africa came from, isn't this technology somewhat ineffective in this age of globalization? Considering, at least the American diet, if someone were to use this method on my remains I'm sure they'd be fairly confused.
posted by mnology at 9:03 AM on August 7, 2003

That BBC News link is a little out of date, plep.

I thought it'd be interesting as background, rather than up-to-the-minute news. *shrugs*
posted by plep at 10:07 AM on August 7, 2003

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