AJ 121: Death Investigation

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Prerequisite: AJ 101.
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: No
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

A multimedia examination of the medico-legal investigation of death. Focuses on natural and accidental deaths, suicides, and homicides. Special attention to deaths by gunshot wounds, burns, sharp force injury, blunt force trauma, and multi-casualty incidents. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • explain the difference between a coroner and a medical examiner
  • determine if a death falls under the jurisdiction of the coroner
  • identify normal post mortem changes
  • identify the differences between lacerations, abrasions and incisions as well other blunt and sharp force injuries e. identify the differences in contact, close and distant range gunshot wounds

Major Course Content

  1. History and Development of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
  2. Crime Scene
    1. Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation
    2. Biological Evidence on the Human Body
    3. Trace Evidence
  3. Time of Death and Changes After Death
    1. Anatomical Considerations
    2. Chemical Considerations
    3. Forensic Entomology
    4. Exhumation
  4. Identification of Human Remains
    1. Diverse Techniques
    2. DNA
  5. Anthropology
  6. Forensic Odontology
    1. Bite Mark Identification
    2. Advanced Techniques in Dental Identification and Bite Marks
    3. Advanced Photographic Techniques
    4. The Use of Digital Analysis in Bite Mark Identification
  7. Sudden and Unexpected Death from Natural Causes in Adults
  8. Investigation of Deaths in Childhood
    1. Feticide and Neonaticide
    2. The Abused Child and Adolescent
    3. The Differential Diagnosis of Child Abuse
  9. Trauma and Disease
  10. Blunt Force Injury
  11. Sharp Force Injury
  12. Injury by Gunfire
    1. Gunshot Wounds
    2. Shotgun Wounds
  13. Thermal Injuries
  14. Asphyxia
  15. Investigation of Bodies in Water
  16. Electrical and Lightning Injuries
  17. Road Traffic Victim
  18. Medicolegal Investigation of Mass Disasters
  19. Trauma of the Nervous System
    1. Forensic Neuropathology
    2. Boxing Injuries
  20. Microscopic Forensic Pathology
  21. Forensic Aspects of Radiology
  22. Investigation of Deaths from Drug Abuse
  23. Forensic Aspects of Alcohol
  24. The Medicolegal Autopsy Report
  25. Selected Procedures at Autopsy

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Printed and online news sources to identify active investigations regarding death Professional journals in the area of forensic pathology

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Students will prepare a five to seven page paper in APA format regarding a topic related to death investigation

Examples of Outside Assignments

Read and review text material Identify and evaluate contemporary cases regarding death Review case studies provided by the instructor to prepare for classroom activities Study for quizzes / exams Prepare a research paper

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture