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Online Course

Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

All-Time Top 100

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn

(215)
4.4k
Found in Science Courses
  • Provider FutureLearn
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 2 hours a week
  • Duration 2 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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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 215 reviews

  • 5 stars 82%
  • 4 stars 16%
  • 3 star 0%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Anonymous
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
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.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I found this course really interesting and informative as it gave a real insight into what it takes to reconstruct someone's face. I liked how the individual facial muscles were highlighted in separate diagrams as it made it much clearer to understand, and the end of section quizzes were a great way to recap the information you'd just learnt. One of the only negatives is that the 'solving the case' video was a little unclear as constantly using 'he' made it difficult to know who was being talked about (either Mr X, son, or grandson) until you got further into the video which made finding out the story of the murder a little anticlimatic. The name of Mr X was also never revealed so I had to google that for myself.

Overall though I loved the course and it has definitely increased my interest in potentially pursuing a career in forensic science!
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Anonymous
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!
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Anonymous
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.
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Anonymous
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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Naser A
Naser completed this course.
Forensic Facial Reconstruction for me is quite new I learned many things about how to find the criminals or suspected murders and to investigate and the meaning of Forensic many specialists can participate, Anthropologist pathologist Anatomy and got new Idea that after death long period we can reconstruction human remains to find out the reason of the death and functionalist of many parts of the body and how to make clay for reconstruction
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Anonymous
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.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Very interesting course for a Private Investigator, USA. facial reconstructions were stunning! An excellent introductory course. I pared it with the Forensic Psychology : Witness Investigation course to keep me well rounded.

Facial Reconstruction can be completed relatively quickly & has led me to sign up for three other courses.

Class is not to hard for beginners, well done!
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I found the course immensely interesting as it dealt with a real investigation of a murder and the application of justice. The techniques used in facial reconstruction are truly astounding. The course material was presented in an easy to understand way by the well trained and skilled professional researchers.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I must say every time spent on this course was really worth... Who would have imagined how much the skeleton of a decayed corpse could reveal.. Kudos to all who were involved in finding Mr X.. This course is really eye opening
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Anonymous
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.

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Anonymous
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
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Bob S
Bob completed this course.
I have often watched the various tv shows and wondered if I could learn a bit more about foresics. You have done an admirable job for which I thank you.

Bob
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Anonymous
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
Anonymous completed this course.
This course, although short, packs in a lot of information - looking at skulls to determine the sex/age/ethnicity of the individual , at the muscles of the face (I had no idea there were so many different muscles in the face!) and following that, facial reconstruction. One of the interesting parts of the course is that as it progresses, the story unfolds of a true case which used facial reconstruction to solve a crime. The methods used then are now available using a computer, but the way in which the face was reconstruced in clay is really fascinating.

It's a worthwhile course - I did it for interest (I enjoy reading detective/forensic anthropology/forensic science fiction) and wanted to find out whether the authors were actually describing real life methods - and the short answer was yes, they do (or at least the ones I have been reading, do!)
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
A short course that laid out a brief, quite superficial overview of the subject. I give it 3.5 stars because it was simple and undemanding (I reserve the 5 stars for really involved courses in things like maths and physics), but it was quite interesting.

I would have happily completed a longer, more complex, course with more detail. I felt that the course as it is could have benefited from presenting more examples of real-life facial reconstructions and giving a little more information on the input of associated experts. I can read about relevant stories in the press, but it would be interesting to get a little more insight into other cases or general principles.

What I liked about the course was the way it all hinged on a real-life case history. I thought this was very well explained.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Taking this forensic facial reconstruction; finding mr. x 2 week course has been incredibly fascinating and satisfying. I loved learning about facial muscles, bone terminology, and connecting the pieces in order to understand and discover the identity of Mr.x. I enjoyed learning about his occupation, ethnicity, age, and characteristics that personalized him as the human being just like ourselves. What happened to him was heartbreaking. It is a shame that he went through so many procedures and pain to work and provide for his family, to have his own family betray and kill him in the end. It was satisfying to know that the son and grandson are now serving time for his murder, so he can finally rest in peace. I truly enjoyed taking this course. It is highly recommended. Thank you!
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Anonymous
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
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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