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Online Course

Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

All-Time Top 100

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn

2.6k
Found in Science
  • Provider FutureLearn
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Finished
  • Language English
  • Certificate $59 Certificate Available
  • Effort 2 hours a week
  • Duration 2 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review

Overview

Solve the mystery of the body in the bag

On Saturday 22 January 2000, two men found a small holdall, abandoned on an industrial estate in the north of Sheffield. Upon opening the bag they made a gruesome discovery. A badly decomposed body.

Who was this person? Why did they die? Where had the body been stored all of this time?

On this course from The University of Sheffield, you’ll learn alongside the experts who worked to determine the identity of Mr. X. You’ll discover the forensic science techniques that were used to identify the body and understand the circumstances surrounding their death.

This course is suitable for anyone interested in how forensic anatomy and facial reconstruction can assist police investigations. No prior qualifications in forensic science or other disciplines are required.

Students and practitioners in the fields of archaeology, anatomy, and anthropology may gain valuable insights into the use of anatomy expertise in forensic work that they can apply to their study and work in the field.

Taught by

Katherine Linehan

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Reviews for FutureLearn's Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X Based on 128 reviews

  • 5 stars 80%
  • 4 stars 20%
  • 3 star 0%
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  • 1 star 1%

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  • 1
Anonymous
a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I signed up for this course following an email from Futurelearn and have to say that I am glad that I did. It is well paced and easy to follow and whilst it is obviously only covering the basics I feel that I have learnt a lot about the human skull, muscles and how a facial reconstruction is undertaken. There is a good mix of articles and video taking you through a case of an unidentified body. There was also good interaction online between the course participants and links to other information which was also very interesting. The University has obviously spent quite a bit of time putting this together and I would certainly recommend the course to anyone with an interest in facial reconstruction from either a crime solving or archaeological perspective.
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Anonymous
a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Fantastic course! I'm interested in CSI because of the TV series I've seen these years, so I joined this forensic course. As the name of the course suggests, I followed every steps to see how the final imagines and model were reconstructed based on a skull. From the body in a bag to the police finally arrested the killers, now I know the whole picture of facial reconstruction in this particular case. The professors and experts provided the evidence and methods in great detail which impressed me the most, thank you Sheffield!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I knew nothing about this subject when I started this course, which I did out of curiosity. I'm retired now and have been learning from these Future Learn courses for several years to keep my brain active and get knowledge of things that I know little about.

This course was so interesting and it was good to follow the case through from the beginning right to the end of result of seeing the murderers brought to justice.

Thank you to all the experts who put this course together.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Fascinating topic for a course and a good balance between science and context. There were a few bits that weren't so clear or had typos, but overall the course was engaging and often contained clearly expressed content. There were also some great discussion points and the ability to discuss the course with other participants online certainly enriched the course experience. A fab way to understand the real science at work compared with the tv portrayals of facial reconstruction and forensic science.
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Anonymous
a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Facinating look at a really worthwhile aspect of forensic science. The videos & notes were very well

laid out, thorough & accesible. Having someone who had actually been at the origional crime scene was a real bonus. The two mentors provided very helpful extra information as well as support & encouragement. Thanks to everyone involved. Definitely a course worth taking.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I gained a small understanding of how forensic reconstruction works. I do not see it of any use to me as I am far to old (71) to take up the full time course, but great to gain an understanding of how it all happens.

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
it was a beautiful course that made me see closely all that I watch in television series and documentaries criminal cases. Especially the videos they were instructive
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I enjoyed the course and found it very interesting. The quality of the presenters was impressive. One comment I have is that there was less interaction between the students and the mentor(s) than I've seen on any other course I've taken. For example, I noticed that questions were not answered (not just mine) and it was not until several sections after I asked a question that the course work pretty much answered it. Not even a response referring me to the future section. Another is not something that the course developers can do anything about and that was the number of students who didn't seem to understand that a course that concentrates on one aspect of an investigation is just that. One person in particular seemed to spend the course lauding his own experience - which did not include facial reconstruction - in crime investigation. He spoiled the course for me.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
8 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Very well done. I’m an embalmer and restorative artist working in the funeral industry for 24 years. I have have embalmed an estimated 2500 deceased human beings. I have completed a few hundred restorative art cases of which were minimal to extensive trauma. Cancer, suicide, homicide and general disfigurements. I have used the anatomical facial measurements on many of these cases. The old 5 eyes wide face method. If a case we have has at least a nose, ear, eye or mouth that gives us a base measurement, I can come very close to a restoration of the body to give loved ones a viewing and closure. I feel with my experience I could accomplish forensic facial reconstruction. Your course is my first step and it was very educational. I have purchased Caroline Wilkinson’s book and I anxiously await to receive it. Thank You. Ron Rhynders, Red Hook, NY USA.
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Anonymous
5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I believe this course is a very interesting subject for those who do not have any prior knowledge in this field and may be looking to find out whether or not future study in this area is for them. However, if you already have some experience in the field (for myself, I have a BSc in Biological Anthropology and am about to start my MSc in Forensic Anthropology) and are looking to increase your skills and widen your potential employment opportunities, this is not going to provide you with much. It was a fun way to spend half an hour, but not really a 'course'. There is no assessment aspect, and the information was very basic. As the course is free, I am not sure what I was expecting, but it may be more worthwhile to take a hands-on course in person that is paid for.
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Anonymous
3 weeks ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I did this course as it was very different from anything I had done before and it sounded fascinating , which indeed it was. It was intriguing how the information built to the point where only a facial reconstruction was likely to bring about the link needed put a name to the missing person. The actual steps in "building" the face were interesting, although this part wasn't as long as I had expected given the course title. Another example would have been good, but I can also see how it might have interrupted the flow. Nevertheless it was an interesting course, well put together with appropriate level of explanation along the way. It was pretty much self contained without much further reading. I was very pleased that I had picked this course to do.
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Anonymous
9 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Most of the sections in this course were crystal clear, but being biological there is never a never and never an always! The section on the ethnicity of skulls was most confusing and am sure this is how it is in real life with travel and international marriages and offspring being a bit of both. The quiz on the skulls was very difficult because some questions had two or more variables and if you got one right; was no good you needed two aspects right.

Overall I enjoyed the presentations and the video introductions were most helpful.

The cause of death or the cause of the murder was not revealed, only the motive. Murder was suspected as the body was concealed and the motive was financial gain.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
a week ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Loved this. Very short but very informative.

Would love to sit and pick the scientists brains over it all. Facial reconstruction sounds quite daunting but to be able to give a family closure, or answer years of historical questions based on reconstructing a face is just mind blowing. The techniques used and the imagination as well as combining markers with DNA, comparative medical records, and the tracing of any little detail takes so much time but what amazing work you all do.

Thanks for allowing me to take part in this. Graduated not long ago in Social Science so I'm missing learning a lot, was excellent to join this and delve more into the more intrusive side of science ☺
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
3 weeks ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Absolutely wonderful course, well-constructed and very satisfying to take. The mentors were actively commenting on student remarks so we got plenty of feedback. The session I took had several students who actually had qualifications in the area so that made it especially exciting. There were lots of short, informative videos with transcripts available for multi-modal learners. The only (tiny) improvement I could suggest is that there should be a front as well as a side labeled view of the head when they introduce the osteometric markers. This course is right up to the best I've taken with Future Learn.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
,Forensic Facial Reconstruction : Finding Mr. X .

I found the actual layout of this course to be clear and easy to follow, both forwards and backwards.

The subject matter was fascinating and very informative, to the extent that any questions I had, had been, or were about to be , answered.

The descriptions, videos, and diagrams were excellent.

I took this course to satisfy my thirst for knowledge which it did admirably, only wish there had been something comparable to Future Learn when I left school minus qualifications, seventy years ago.

Thank you again,

John Taylor.

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
8 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I loved the structure of the course: a case study alongside demonstrations and the quiz sections, which helped to cement learning. I loved that the mentors were actively involved, encouraging and kept discussion flowing by losing interesting questions. I've never been good at science, so it was satisfying to find I was able to follow these clear lessons and manage the practical tests. Mistakes on the quizzes only served to lock in the correct answers. I loved this course. Thank you so much! I feel privileged to have had access to such interesting content I could otherwise not afford.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
8 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I loved the structure of the course: a case study alongside demonstrations and the quiz sections, which helped to cement learning. I loved that the mentors were actively involved, encouraging and kept discussion flowing by posing interesting questions. I've never been good at science, so it was satisfying to find I was able to follow these clear lessons and manage the practical tests. Mistakes on the quizzes only served to lock in the correct answers. I loved this course. Thank you so much! I feel privileged to have had access to such interesting content I could otherwise not afford.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Thank you all. Very useful and practical course with many technical details in engaging and fascinating form.

For my reasons to learn, the course covered particularly important information where a science lies (with research and systematization) and where an art is (details that can't be predicted and analyzed being very personal for each individual).

Course is useful and important not only for those interested in forensic science but for everybody who confronts the facial recognition and facial reconstruction in his job.

It was a great pleasure. Thank you for having us.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This course was as fascinating as it was thorough, taking us from the basics of learning the skeletal differences of sex, ethnicity and age and then on to seeing a reconstruction. The fact that this was a real/contemporary case made the outcome i.e. identifying the individual and subsequently his killers much more satisfying. Hope that does not sound too ghoulish.

A huge number of people were involved in identifying the individual and it is reassuring to know that with such few remains (bones and hair) it was possible to restore the individual's identity and humanity.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
9 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This short Course opened up a fascinating world that most of us never get to enter.

It dealth with complex matters in a simple and easy-to-understand form without talking down to people who may not have scientific skills.

There was input from Mentors - very welcome and missed on Courses where that doesn't happen - so thanks for that.

It was a very enjoyable excursion and I would recommend it to anyone to do, merely from an interest point of view or as a way of extending their ideas as to how they wanted a career to develop.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

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