Billingham Forensic Images

Friday, 25 May 2012

Taking Forensic Art To The Next Level

Remote composite sketches is it possible?, do they work? I have recently found out the answer to that and YES they do work. As a forensic artist myself I was so excited to see forensic art be taken to a new level and something that I myself will be adding to my services.
Sure remote composites are not new, some artists will say they have been doing them for years, however the technology that ID Forensic Art uses is just awesome and takes it to a different level. Don't be mislead, it may be digital art but the artist still has to manually draw the composite so art skills are a must.

ID Forensic Art has had huge success and it can only get better. The images you are seeing are the work of forensic artist Natalie Murry who is one of the artists behind ID Forensic Art. Natalie uses a Cintiq Wacom tablet for the sketch and video conference software for interviewing victims or witnesses, and don't worry the software is pretty much compatible with any computer.

As you can see Natalie has introduced colour to her sketches enabling her to set skin tones, eye and hair colour. There are mixed feelings about using colour amongst forensic artists, but I say each to their own, if it works for you you, use it. I personally like the colour touch and is something that I will be looking into at a later stage.
 I have been fortunate enough to actually see Natalie at work on the Cintiq, when she showed us a demo during a Karen T Taylor class I attended this year. We were all pretty impressed but then again Natalie probably made it look easy.

So, lets hear it for ID Forensic Art. I can only image what this must mean for small or remote Police Agencies that other wise would not have access to a forensic artist, now they have one at their fingertips, any time of the day or night across of the whole of America, and I am sure we will see this implemented across the across the world.
Just imagine how this is going to develop the possibilities are going to be endless, I for one am very excited about that.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

2-D Facial Reconstruction

2-D facial reconstruction is a technique used to rebuild the face to a likeness of when the person was living. This technique process is used when the human remains are skeletal or the face has such trauma that it is impossible to make an identification.
In 2 dimensional reconstruction the skull is photographed with all the relevant tissues depth markers in place, tracing paper or other form of transparent paper is placed over the image of the skull, the artist then draws on the transparent paper carefully following the tissue depth markers and contours of the skull. It is very important to follow the markers and shapes in accordance to the skull, being extra vigilant to the features such as teeth, orbital shapes, nose bridges and nasal apertures.

The renderings below are images taken during my class Karen T Taylor Advanced 2-D Identification Techniques.

Copyright (C) Jane Billingham 2012

Monday, 30 April 2012

Karen T Taylor Workshop: Age Progression

Day 1 of Karen Taylor Workshop. Today we utilised age progression. Age progression is used when an up to date depiction of a fugitive is needed or when a person has been missing for many years. A forensic artist must develop skills in order to process this type of forensic art. Many facial feature change over the years, skin looses its youthful look, hair recedes and lips can become thinner. Most changes are fairly predictable, for example wrinkles, sagging skin, what is most important is to know the persons life style such as eating habits, did they smoke, did they drink on a regular basis all these examples will show in the face as it ages.
Another way of progressing a face is by studying parents and siblings. Do they genetically age faster, is baldness predominate in the family and at what age.

Today I aged progressed Humprey Bogart. This is a prime example of how a persons life style reflects in the face. Bogarts face had aged progressively fast making him look much older then he was.

Example age progression Dr Clyde Snow

Friday, 30 March 2012

New DNA tecnology may help identify 3 victims of the Green River Killer

Green River killer Gary Ridgway left an array of victims on his killing spree. In 1983 Gary Ridgway pleaded guilty to murdering 48 women in the 1980s and 1990s.
All of the victims were identified, all but 3 that still remained unidentified today. Two of the victimes were located in Aurburn and Burein during the early 1980s. The third set of remains were located many years later in 2003 in Kent.
Bode Technology of Lorton, Va, have been able to extract a DNA profile using new DNA technology.

These 3 victims have remained unidentified but with the newly extracted DNA profiles maybe not for long. Clicking on the case numbers will direct you to more detailed information including who and where to contact if you recognise any of the victims.

source information

  • Estimated age: 12 - 18 years old (at closest estimate, 15 years old)
  • Approximate Height and Weight: 5'3"-5'9"; 110-130 lbs.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair. She was probably left-handed, and she had a healed skull fracture on her left temple.
  • Dentals: Available
  • DNA: mtDNA Available 
  • Case No: 97UFWA

  • Estimated age: 18 - 28 years old
  • Approximate Height and Weight: 5'0 - 5'4"; 120 - 140 lbs.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Her weight, hair color and eye color are undetermined due to skeletal remains.
  • Dentals: Available                     IDENTIFIED
  • Other: mtDNA available
  • Case No: 99UFWA

  • Estimated age: 14 - 19 years old
  • Approximate Height and Weight: 5'4"-5'8"; 120-145 lbs
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Her weight, hair color and eye color are undetermined.
  • Dentals: Available
  • DNA: Available
  • Case No: 98UFWA

North Yorkshire Jane Doe Exhumed

It has been over 30 years since the body of an unidentified Jane Doe was discovered in North Yorkshire. Know as the Sutton Bank Body police have recently exhumed the body in hopes to create a DNA profile. It was very successful.

Police were alerted to the discovery by an anonymous tipster. an unknown man made contact with the Police and informed them of the location of the body. That caller has never come forward and Police are making a fresh appeal for this man to make contact.

White Female
Found deceased on August 28th 1981 in North Yorkshire, UK. It is estimated she died at least a year prior to the discovery of her Skeletal remains.
Estimated Age: 38-40
Estimated Height: 5"2
Characteristics: Natural brown hair, she was of slender build and she had given birth to at least one child, possibly up to three
Poor dental health: See update information.

At 8.00am on August 28th 1981 a man reported the discovery of the body to Ripon Police. The body was found in weeds off a country road near Sutton Bank. The man remains unknown.

 North Yorkshire Police have confirmed that the forensic analysis on the samples taken from the body of a woman known as the “Sutton Bank body” has produced a full composite DNA profile.

* All her upper teeth were missing, she had an upper dental plate fitted and she had just six lower teeth.

* A post-mortem examination showed she had given birth two or three children.
* She had a displaced septum between her nostrils.
* Her toenails were painted pink - with varnish from the Max Factor Maxi range.
* She had an abnormality to her neck vertebrae, which would have cause back-ache.
* She had an old fracture to her ankle.

If you have any information regarding this case please contact:

North Yorkshire Police 01609 789452
Contact: unidentifieduk 01212860047 Case NO: UNIDUK05 Yorkshire


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Forensic art In Wolverhampton

I was invited to attend an event that was to show the many talented people we have here in Wolverhampton. I was asked to show my Forensic Art and was delighted to be able to do a live demonstration while I was there
The event was hosted by Wolverhampton Homes at the Molineux Stadium home of the Wolves and sponsors of Wolverhampton Homes.
I felt honoured to has been included in this event and I really hope that I have brought some attention to one of many crime fighting tools we have. I have been asked to participate in another one towards the end of the year and we hope to include the presence of other Police Organisations.

If you have any questions about forensic art, or are just interested in finding out about this valuable tool then please visit my website where you will find, videos, articles and illustrations that my be of interest to you.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Can You Identify Me?

Since becoming a forensic artist I have had the fortune to meet some of the most dedicated people in the quest of  naming the unidentified. Rebel J Morris the founder of Can You Identify Me and forensic Artist Betsy James Cooper who later joined forces with Rebel to bring one of the most expanding nonprofit organisations across the USA have been working to get these unidentified victims home. Read On..........

Can You Identify Me was born in 2007 as a blog dedicated to America’s Unidentified. It brings these individuals back to life if only for a brief moment to share some invaluable information along with their forensic reconstructions. Can You Identify Me gives the victim a first-person narrative and temporary Doe name until someone out there recognizes them. Once they are identified, they can be reunited with their families and the victims can rest in peace with a tombstone shining with their given name.
The site starts to grow, reaching hundreds of new people and peaking in the thousands.
The founder, Rebel J. Morris, retires from her paralegal career. She discovers social media and Can You Identify Me starts to find a wider audience.
The networking of the victims has grown to new levels reaching out to a larger and more expansive audience.
Founder Rebel J. Morris teams up with forensic artist Betsy James Cooper.
Can You Identify Me commences a flyer program recruiting truck drivers to distribute the flyers on their routes, and for the general public to distribute in the neighborhoods.
Early 2011
Rebel J. Morris and Betsy James Cooper join forces with a deputy coroner, an Emmy-winning former America’s Most Wanted producer and a mother who’s experienced the devastation of finding her missing daughter in a morgue as a Jane Doe.
Betsy James Cooper, as Executive Director of Forensic Art, commences providing free forensic art services for law enforcement throughout the country.
Can You Identify Me has expanded to start a national non-profit.
The expansion of the awareness for America’s Unidentified grows and the site is receiving thousands and thousands of views for these victims.
Mid 2011
Can You Identify Me plans to take the blog to an entirely new level by creating a wonderful website that will be interactive for law enforcement and educational for the public.
The flyer program now reaches new levels.
Can You Identify Me gains national and international media coverage.
Can You Identify Me is granted its Federal 501c3 status and the board of directors pushes forward with new plans for 2012.
Late 2011
The flyer program takes on new volunteers and plans to increase its distribution throughout the country.
Can You Identify Me increases national and international awareness of America’s Unidentified, reaching over 50 countries that span across 6 continents. Through its vast social network, Can You Identify Me now reaches hundreds of thousands of views for these victims.
The website development is underway.  

Can You Identify Me? is a nonprofit dedicated to America’s Unidentified.

You probably know by now that thousands of people have died in America and we don’t know their names. They are labeled John and Jane Doe. Some are buried in pauper’s graves; some remain on shelves in coroner’s offices throughout the country. They are America’s Unidentified.
You are currently visiting our unique blog experience. While dedicated to America’s Unidentified this experience differs from others. It’s not just the facts ma’am. CYIM gives each Doe featured in a narrative a temporary name, restoring each Doe's voice for a moment. CYIM features two to four narratives each month.
While our main site is under construction you will also find access to the Walls of Unidentified throughout the years, and our flyer program here on this site.
TEAM CYIM is working to bring forth a whole new dimension that will make a positive impact toward resolution of America’s Unidentified.

Rebel J Morris
Combining her knowledge of legal, administration and management, Rebel J Morris served for eighteen years as a certified paralegal. In her early years she worked her way up the chain for an Orange County Law Firm. During her service for the OC Law Firm she served as paralegal, civil litigation case manager and head of the commercial collection department. She maintained a solid closure rating, bringing both attorney & clients to amicable resolutions. After her twelve year tenure with the OC Law Firm she ventured out and founded Impartial Inc. where she served as CEO. While running Impartial she worked with both attorney and business clients. She would help the attorney organize his litigation through discovery with the goal toward amicable resolution. She would help the client organize their business operations for optimal performance.
In 2007, while still running Impartial she started the cold case blog, Can You Identify Me? Now retired from her paralegal career she serves full time running Can You Identify Me? which continues to grow daily. She serves not only as a cold case blogger, and blog manager, but also a liaison between the Missing and Unidentified Community to law enforcement throughout the country.

Betsy James Cooper
Betsy James Cooper attended the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Through the Dental department she developed a unique curriculum for her forensic studies. Her courses ranged from Forensic Pathology and Anthropology to studies in Criminal Investigation.
In 1987, the Bexar County Forensic Science Center contracted Cooper’s services to assist in the identification of their John Doe cases. To release this information to the public Cooper published a monthly column titled “Unidentified Person”.
Over the years Cooper has performed a variety of art services to aid in the apprehension of criminal offenders. Some of these services include composite drawings, three-dimensional facial reconstructions, two-dimensional reconstructions, age progression of wanted fugitives and image enhancement. Cooper’s artwork has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. She has worked with “Unsolved Mysteries” and her cases have been featured on “America’s Most Wanted” and the “Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Today, Betsy James Cooper has teamed up with Can You Identify Me? Together they have a plan to help solve the silent epidemic known as America’s Unidentified.
Founding Board Members:
Rebel J. Morris
Betsy James Cooper
Alice de Sturler
Mary Weir
Terri Ann Palumbo
Kelly Riddle

Board Advisors:
David Van Norman
Brian Jones
Jim Flynn

Beth T (Senior Volunteer) While a writer at heart, Beth's professional career has been in retail management. She joined CYIM in 2010 as a site administrator and quickly became much more to the team. She now serves CYIM as both an administrator and cold case blogger.
Elizabeth B (Senior Volunteer) Elizabeth brings her talents to CYIM where she volunteers with several programs including the flyer program and the awareness program in addition to spearheading special projects. Elizabeth’s work experience, natural skills, and passion for researching and unearthing the truth drew her to CYIM’s DOE cases. Elizabeth is a writer, an advocate for human and animal rights, and, as of late 2009,a CERT Team member.
Sheri K. (Volunteer Copy Editor) Sheri has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and a Certificate in Copyediting from UC San Diego Extension. After several years as a mystery bookstore owner, she has turned her passion for the written word to copyediting. Sheri volunteers her time and skills to Can You Identify Me? with the hope that her gifts will help identify the missing and bring closure to their families.

Kevin R. (Flyer Program)
Marian D. (Research)
Holly W. (Office Assistant)
Glenn H. (Grants)
Margaret S. (Marketing)
with Special Thanks to our web designers:
Amanda R. & Greg B.

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