In struggles between assailants and victims, there is a tendency for teeth to be used as a weapon. Sometimes it is the only defensive tactic for a victim to inflict serious injury on the assailant. It is a well known fact, that in sexual attacks including sexual homicide, rape and child sexual abuse, the assailants more often than not bite their victims. This can be viewed as an expression of dominance, rage and animalistic behaviour. Not many people have the view that teeth can be such violent weapons (Sweet & Pretty, 2001).

Early recognition of bite marks is seen in old English Law where ‘member proper for defence; included arms, legs and anterior teeth’. The first bite mark case in the United States was the famous Salem Witch Trials, in 1692. Rev. Burroughs who was convicted and hanged used to bite his victims. During the trial his bite marks and of other people were compared to the victim’s marks. The judges readily accepted the bite marks as evidence. In 1870, A.I…

Source by Sue Micallef

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