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Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn

113 Reviews 1844 students interested
Found in Science
  • Provider FutureLearn
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Finished
  • Language English
  • Certificate $59 Certificate Available
  • Effort 2 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • 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
4.8 Based on 113 reviews

  • 5 stars 81%
  • 4 stars 18%
  • 3 star 0%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 1%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

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  • 1
Anonymous
5.0 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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 12 months 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
5.0 9 months 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
4.0 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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 9 months 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
5.0 a month 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
5.0 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
4.0 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
5.0 4 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
1.0 a month 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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
4.0 5 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
5.0 a month 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
5.0 4 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
5.0 4 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
5.0 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
5.0 a month 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
5.0 5 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
Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I found the mix of videos, articles, quizzes, discussions and other materials to be extremely helpful. Students seemed engaged and were posting interesting comments. This is a small taste of forensic anthropology but they did not hold back on professional information. It is very challenging to learn about facial elements without being able to touch the skulls but the illustrations, photos and videos were an excellent 2nd best. I thoroughly enjoyed this class and recommend it highly.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Claudia M
5.0 4 weeks ago
Claudia completed this course.
After taking the Introduction to Forensics, it felt like a completion of that course but in a different direction. It was an engaging class with information I have never read about when it comes to forensics. Many things were taught and explained with just enough information, not overwhelming. Interaction with the class is always a big draw when taking classes through FutureLearn. I will be taking more because I love to learn and your courses are just what I like to learn.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 5 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
As a 3rd year studying a module In forensic anatomy this course is really insightful and helps detail the train of events from finding a body to identifying it very clearly. It puts the knowledge we learn in lectures and during lab sessions into perspective as their use is clearly indicated here. It was also interesting to learn how to anatomical points we study on the skeleton are actually used in the process of reconstructing a missing person's face. A very interesting course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

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