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still alive
06-27-2012, 12:05 AM
Would this work? The murderer places--already in the maggot stage (instar one or two?)--on the tattooed limb or chest of the victim to both disguise time of death--the maggots were gotten from a dead pig--and to get rid of the identifying tattoo.

Thank you.
Renee
http://www.reneegoudeau.webs.com

lbender
06-27-2012, 12:31 AM
Depends how much time you have. We see maggots occasionally on live animals, but they only eat tissue that's already dead. Live, healthy tissue is untouched. It would take time after death for the tissue to become non-vital.

frimble3
06-27-2012, 12:37 AM
Would this work? The murderer places--already in the maggot stage (instar one or two?)--on the tattooed limb or chest of the victim to both disguise time of death--the maggots were gotten from a dead pig--and to get rid of the identifying tattoo.

Thank you.
Renee
http://www.reneegoudeau.webs.com
Do maggots feed much on the surface? I always got the impression that they want moist interior flesh? What's to stop them from wandering off, or burrowing in before they finish gnawing off the tattoo?
Might it work better if the murderer sliced off the tattooed skin and added maggots to disguise his handiwork?

Medievalist
06-27-2012, 01:36 AM
Maggots only eat dead necrotic flesh. Why not just remove the skin? Removing more skin than the tattoo covers would obscure the reason for the removal.

jclarkdawe
06-27-2012, 02:44 AM
Interesting idea. Reality is the number of people who know the correct answer here is going to be very limited, so I don't think you have to worry about it.

Maggots have their preferences in what they eat, besides just dead, rotting flesh. And I can't remember, but I think tattoos are down on the list of preferred flesh, but I'm not sure. You're also looking at some significant time, probably in the range of two or more weeks. You'd do better as Medievalist suggests and cut the tattoo off.

Adding maggots in a more appropriate fashion would cause some confusion as to time of death, but I'm not sure it would be especially significant. There are some other parameters that a pathologist looks at as well.

But who's going to know this, other then some attorneys and pathologists?

Have your killer slice the tattoo immediately after death, while you still have some blood seepage to go into the cuts, and add maggots. I'm not sure anyone knows for sure exactly what the results would be.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

still alive
06-27-2012, 03:55 AM
Thank you to all of you. I'd hoped the maggots could cover up the evidence of skin removal since that there was even a tattoo there is a form of ID.

But I guess removal of some of the skin and add maggots. I read that skin removal had to be deep because the ink is driven deep under the skin. And Jim, I hope you're wrong about tattoo ink being one of maggots least favorite things!

Also this was in 1922 and just using maggots for time of death was still cutting-edge forensics. I read somewhere that back then a flashlight and magnifying glass were high tech in suspicious death cases.

jclarkdawe
06-27-2012, 04:26 AM
I know that maggots can obscure a tattoo, which may be why people think that maggots will destroy tattoos first. But if the maggots are removed, and the appropriate chemicals applied, the tattoo will appear. And tattoos are very visible from the back side of the skin. I just can't remember for sure whether tattoos are actually a bit slower to go then other skin.

Back in 1922, I'd think of just pouring sulfuric acid on the skin.

You're right that 1922 was the beginning of modern pathology.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

still alive
06-27-2012, 04:41 AM
Jim, would the sulfuric acid stop the maggots' feeding?

jclarkdawe
06-27-2012, 05:20 AM
It would kill the maggots. But with the technology back then, I doubt anyone could read the tattoo. As far as the maggots are concerned, open the mouth and pour them in. That's where they're going to gravity to anyway.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

GeorgeK
07-01-2012, 08:35 PM
but they only eat tissue that's already dead. Live, healthy tissue is untouched..


Maggots only eat dead necrotic flesh. .

No, there's only a couple of species of fly whose maggots are not invasive. The general rule is that if you see maggots they need to be cleaned out or they will kill the host.

Dryad
07-08-2012, 10:48 PM
Maggots will go for the nice wet fleshy innards first and the eyeballs and such. The skin tends to stick around till towards the end of the decaying process. Definitely go with an alternative to actually remove the tattoo, but I think actively adding the maggots is a nice horrific touch. Maybe the body could be positioned in such a way that a skin scrape (a real gouger to effectively skin that area) seems accounted for and not suspicious. Perhaps some blood on some nearby farm equipment or whatever fits your scene. Even with early pathology, I think an unaccounted missing patch of skin would draw attention otherwise. I'm assuming you wanted the body unidentifiable and seemingly not tampered with.

Cheers!