Death Detective Earns PhD In Decomposition

7-1-2013 12-51-06 PM




Salute, Sergeant Diane Cockle” – Jane Hall





While Sergeant Diane Cockle is only the third female RCMP officer to earn a PhD, her SFU thesis is the world’s first to comprehensively study the progression of human decomposition at a crime scene.

It’s a subject that falls within the discipline of forensic taphonomy, the study of decaying oranisms.

Cockle’s morbid research topic stems from her work with the RCMP’s National Forensic Identification Support Services, based in Vancouver.

“In my role as a forensic anthropologist and death investigator, I need to reconstruct what’s happened to the body from the point of death, to the point of discovery,” says Cockle, who attends the scene of most B.C. murders and found bodies. Read more


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