Radiological dating methods
BEGINNINGS Anyone involved in death investigations quickly becomes aware of the connection between dead bodies and maggots.
He recognized and drew conclusions from the predictable pattern of succession of different insect species onto a corpse, and saw the significance of the duration of the life cycles of different carrion-frequenting insects.
But although the assumptions underlying his analysis were correct, he appears to have misinterpreted some of the life cycles of the insects involved, and his conclusions would probably not have passed muster in a modern courtroom.
Since these maggots had developed from eggs laid on the body parts by adult flies in the vicinity, the bodies could not have lain near the stream for less than 12 to 14 days.
This was the minimum time between the deaths and the discovery of the dismembered bodies.
In the mid-1930s entomological evidence came to the fore in a particularly brutal murder case, recently chronicled in New Scientist by Zak Erzinçlioglu.