Death, Decomposition, and Detector Dogs by Susan M. Stejskal
From Science to Scene

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Death, Decomposition, and Detector Dogs: From Science to Scene is designed to help police investigators and Human Remains Detection K9 handlers understand the basics of forensic taphonomy (decomposition) and how to most effectively use a human remains detection (HRD) K9 as a locating tool. The book covers basic anatomy and the physiology of canine olfaction along with some of the unique characteristics that allow a dog to work. Using concise and understandable explanations along with numerous photographs, the book covers the stages of decomposition and how they are affected by the environment; what is currently understood about the chemical profile of odor from human remains; how weather, topography, ground cover and terrain can affect odor dispersion; and different types of mapping and weather data that can be used before and during deployment of the HRD K9. The final chapter ties it all together by providing case reports about decedents who have been found in different locations in a variety of environmental conditions. By learning how these variables can affect how and what is found, handlers and investigators will be better prepared to meet the challenges of their jobs.

About Susan M. Stejskal

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Susan Stejskal, LVT, PhD, DABT, is a board-certified toxicologist, licensed veterinary technician, and Special Deputy/Human Remains Detection (HRD) dog handler with the St. Joseph County (Michigan) Sheriff’s Department. With more than 25 years of educational and professional experience, she has for the past 10 years participated in land and water searches throughout Michigan and the central Midwest. Stejskal is founder and executive director of Recover K9, a nonprofit organization that provides support for much of her service and educational work. Dr. Stejskal’s work in toxicology and pathology and her experience as a dog handler led to the development of practical forensic science training for law enforcement dog handlers, detectives, and crime scene technicians. She provides this training for police agencies throughout the country.
Published November 29, 2012 by CRC Press. 247 pages
Genres: Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences, Crime. Non-fiction

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