Correlation between chainsaw type and tool marks in sectioned bone
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This research determined if the patterns resulting from different chainsaw chain types impacting bone leave tool marks are dissimilar enough from one another to determine which type of chainsaw was used in dismemberment mimicking homicide cases. Multiple styles of commercially available chainsaw chains were used. The long bones of adult white tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were cut to produce false start cuts and complete sectioning to mimic typical human dismemberment. The cut areas were examined macroscopically and microscopically to note features common to each chain. The chains were compared to one another to note differences. It was proposed that each chainsaw would leave different tool marks. It was found that the style of tooth significantly affects the size of the exit chipping, size of the breakaway notch, angling of the kerf floor, and the mass of bone wastage produced. The most significant differences were produced with a standard tooth. The skip of the chainsaw did not create significant differences. This research has applications in forensic anthropology through the additional information on tool marks and the ability to identify specific tool types. The information is also useful to law enforcement investigations involving dismemberments.