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Posted by Scott on August 27, 2002 19:34:42 UTC

For instance, I can imagine a scenario in which a murder victim is stabbed to death, then exposed to open space for less than five minutes shortly after. I wouldn't think that an autopsy would show anoxia--he was already dead before the exposure. But I would think that the freeze-drying effect of the super cold vacuum would quickly effect any exposed blood--perhaps even powder some of it--and also leave tale tell signs on the dermal layer--particularly in the extremities.

Of course, whenever you freeze meat (granted, in a wet freezer, not a super cold vacuum) once you thaw it, the blood is rather watery. The blood has broken down.

In the scenario I've given (space exposure for less than five minutes, postmortem), I would not think the body would have time to completely freeze even at those super low temperatures (over 400 below), but surely there would be something noticeable to the trained eye. Just take into account how fast hypothermia sets into a victim who's still alive in cold water--never mind any vacuum.

Any thoughts?

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