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.
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