The Most Famous Bitemark Case of the Twentieth Century
Here are a few images I have obtained on the human bitemark evidence relating to one of Ted Bundy's trials. Another case eventually sent him to the electric chair. This is not a criticism of either the verdict or the testimony by any of the involved odontologists. The case is a good learning opportunity. Look at the elements of the photographs and the methods used to create exemplars (copies) of Bundy's unusual mandibular anterior dental pattern .
Figure One: The bite mark was on the buttock of a homicide victim.
Look closely at this long range view. One issue to consider in a bitemark case is the presence of "multiple bites" at the same anatomical position. This can make for a difficult time in
Identifying each dental arch and their associated teeth,
Separating the arches for independent analysis, and
Deciding on what to do with areas of the bitemark(s) that overlap.
This case has two bitemarks that are not concentric.
Here's a better pic with a ruler in place.
Figure Two: Notice the initials of the various dental examiners.
This image (sorry its a bit fuzzy) is the original bitemark photograph with two transparent overlays superimposed. One of the overlays is a hand drawn "hollow volume" type depicting the lower front teeth of Bundy. The second overlay (in blue) is a felt pen (?) drawing of the edges of Bundy's teeth. Look closely and you can see differing values of teeth area and definition between the two methods.
Here are some issues regarding this picture,
How is the placement of the wooden ruler in relation to the evidence?
How would you describe the tooth relationships to the overlays?
Do the overlays accurately depict the suspect's dentition.
Why were the upper teeth not used simultaneously in this exhibit?
Drop me a email and lets talk about it.
Here's a closeup of a wax bite of Bundy's lower front teeth .
Figure Three: Wax bite exemplar
You might describe this as "malocclusion." Notice the symmetry of the tooth misalignment from the midline. The two sets of three teeth are almost mirror images.
Here's a digital "selection" from a facial view of Bundy's teeth.
Figure Four: Frontal view of the suspect's teeth
Here is a "selection of the biting edges taken from Figure Three.
Figure Five: The edges of Bundy's teeth #22 through #27 made as a "compound overlay" via digital compositing methods of Adobe Photoshop.
Mike Bowers DDS JD
Diplomate, American Board of Forensic Odontology