Sunday, July 19, 2009

Trace Human Remains on a Concrete Floor

Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 53, issue 6 (November 2008), pp. 1437-1442.

Analysis of Suspected Trace Human Remains from an Indoor Concrete Surface

Carolyn M. Zimmermann, √únige A. Laskay, and Glen P. Jackson

Abstract: This paper describes the sequence of analyses used to determine the nature of a stain located on the floor of room in the former Athens Mental Health and Retardation Hospital in Athens, OH. The location of the stain was reported to be the position in which a decomposing body was discovered on January 11, 1979. The current stain is found to contain strong evidence for both natural decomposition products and deliberate adulteration. [...]

[Excerpt from p. 1437.]

Although the floor was supposedly cleaned after removing her
body, there now (December 2007) is present a very distinct white
mark on the floor in the shape of a human body (Figs. 1 and 2).
This ‘‘stain’’ has fueled numerous ghost stories and urban legends
in the community, and has been featured in a TV documentary
⁄ drama. Until recently, however, the stain has never been
chemically identified or explained.

[Thanks to Peter Darben. -- bc]