On the 26th December 2004 a tsunami hit the countries bordering on the Indian Ocean.
Forensic odontology alone was responsible for 70.3% of identifications, and in two more cases (5.4%) the identification was established using a combination of odontology and fingerprint information.
The missing victims were 3647. 2044 foreign victims, 1603 Thai victims. 90.36% of the foreign victims had been identified. 74.42% of Thai victims have been identified thus far.
Comparison of dental data in Phuket/Thailand was based on the registered data of victims (PM data) and missing persons (AM data). Due to the poor availability of AM dental data for the Thai population, only a small number of Thai victims could be identified by this procedure.
Hence a large majority of the identified persons were non-Thai victims, for whom ante-mortem dental data of high quality were easily and rapidly available.
One of main events that has evidenced the importance of forensic dentistry.
On 15 January 1978, two university students, Lisa Levy, and her roommate, Martha Bowman, became the latest victims of a notorious serial-killer in Florida, (US).
Levy was raped and struck on the head with a blunt object while Bowman was strangled with a pair of pantyhose. The police found few print smudges and sperm samples but they later turned out to be inconclusive.
There was also an odd bitemark on Levy’s left buttock and the investigating officer took its photograph for further analysis.
The suspect, Theodore Bundy, who had been seen fleeing the crime-scene area under suspicious circumstances by an eye-witness, was later arrested by the police.
His dentition was examined by a forensic odontologist, Dr. Richard Souviron, who then traced Bundy’s dental impression onto a transparent sheet and laid it over the real-size photograph of the bitemark.
At the trial, Dr. Souviron testified that the indention of the bitemark was unique and showed how it matches with Bundy’s dental impression.
At the end of the trial, the jury found Bundy guilty as charged and accordingly, the trial judge sentenced him to death.
This was the first case in Florida’s legal history that relied heavily on bitemark evidence.
The beginning was April 20, 1945, which the assault on Berlin by the Soviets was imminent. The next day, Hitler had a discussion with his armament minister, they both came to the conclusion that it would be better to end his life as Führer.
But there was the danger that he would be captured alive. He was afraid that his body might fall into the hands of his enemy to be displayed as a trophy. He gave orders that his body should be cremated. Also his mistress, Eva Braun, would die alongside him.
On April 30, Hitler sent for Bormann and told him the time had come. He would shoot himself that afternoon, and Eva Braun would also commit suicide. He wanted their bodies to be burned with gasoline that his chauffeur would obtain.
Hitler retreated behind the doors of his study, and Eva Braun followed him immediately.
Some 10 minutes later, the valet opened the door. They found Hitler and Eva Braun sitting alongside on a small sofa. Hitler's head drooped lifelessly. Blood dripped from a bullet hole in his right temple. His pistol lay by his foot.
Within minutes, the bodies of Adolf Hitler and his wife were wrapped in blankets. The corpses were then lifted from the sofa and carried through the bunker and into the garden.
Hitler's personal adjutant, who had been commissioned with overseeing the burning of the bodies, laid the bodies outside in the garden side by side in a suitable spot that is close to the bunker. Suddenly, extremely hazardous and unceasing rain of shells from the Soviet barrage continued to bombard the whole area.
Little remained of Hitler's and Eva's bodies. The intense bombardment that continued for another 24 hours played its own part in destroying and scattering the human remains.
When the Soviet victors arrived there on May 2, they immediately began a vigorous search for the bodies. Nine days later, they showed Fritz Echtmann, a dental technician who had worked for Hitler's dentist, a cigar box containing part of a mandibular bone with two dental bridges and one isolated dental bridge. Echtmann was able to identify from his records the dental work of Hitler.
The photographic document shown above was the upper arch gold bridge with crowns and abutments, and a double cantilevered pontic at each end. Also, shows several well preserved natural teeth in the mandible.
Hitler's dentist, Dr. Hugo Johannes Blaschke, who treated Hitler from 1934 to 1945. Later that year, he was captured and questioned by U.S. Army officers. He described there all Hitler's teeth characteristics and treatment history which were found to be compatible with the examination.
On other hand, five x-rays found in the U.S. National Archives, taken by Hitler's physicians which had been made in diagnosing of the sinus regions (Figure 2) which that's confirming both remnants and descriptions provided by Hitler's dentist.
The earliest dental identification began with the Agrippina and the Lollia Paulina case. Shortly after her marriage in the year 49 A.D to Claudius, Emperor of Rome, Agrippina, began plotting to secure her position.
Because she feared that the rich divorcee Lollia Paulina might still be a rival for her husband, Agrippina soon decided that it would be safer if Lollia Paulina was dead. Agrippina sent her own soldiers to kill Lollia Paulina, the soldiers were instructed to bring back her head. Cutting off the head after inflicting death was not uncommon in those days, the only positive proof of death being visual. Agripinna stared at the severed head, unable to recognize the distorted face; she parted the lips with her fingers looking for Lollia Paulina’s teeth, which were known to have certain distinctive characteristics. Only then was she satisfied that it was Lollia Paulina.
It marks the first use of dental identification of which there is record.