Upcoming Episode of CSI: Miami to Feature Work of Trent University Graduate Student


Masters in Anthropology Graduate Stephanie Marciniak Contacted by TV Show about Research on
Saw Mark Patterns on Bones

Thursday, October 29, 2009, Peterborough

An upcoming episode of the popular TV show CSI: Miami will feature a photograph from a thesis research project examining saw mark characteristics on dismembered skeletal remains conducted by Stephanie Marciniak during her time as a Trent University graduate student in the Masters in Anthropology program.

CSI: Miami producers working on an episode involving saw marks, knife marks, and other types of trauma, contacted Ms. Marciniak recently after reading an article she published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. The article outlined Ms. Marciniak’s masters thesis, which explored the degree of modification to saw mark characteristics of dismembered skeletal remains when exposed to a controlled outdoor fire of limited duration.

“The results show that cremated bones exhibit a degree of preservation of saw mark characteristics, which depends on the saw utilized to dismember the remains and the variables of the fire itself, such as the position of the bone in the fire, the atmospheric conditions, and the fluctuating temperatures,” explained Ms. Marciniak. “There were certain saws that produced striae patterns which remained recognizable and identifiable despite the heat-induced effects of fire. Given the parameters of this study, I found it is possible to identify the class of saw based on the diagnostic characteristics present on the cremated bones.”

Ms. Marciniak’s research project was overseen by Dr. Anne Keenleyside of the Anthropology Department at Trent University. Her sample consisted of 36 adult pig hind limbs which were dismembered. Six handsaws and six power saws were used, with three limbs dismembered and burned for each of the saw types.

After speaking with Ms. Marciniak and viewing photos from her research project, producers of CSI: Miami have opted to use one of her photos showing the jigsaw striae pattern on bone as a prop for an upcoming episode, slated to air on November 9, 2009. 

Ms. Marciniak graduated from Trent in April 2008 with a Masters in Anthropology. Recently, she was accepted into the Visiting Scientist Program within the Forensic Anthropology Unit at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City. Only five individuals are selected for this prestigious program each year. Ms. Marciniak will begin her one-month placement in March 2010.


For more information, please contact:
Stephanie Marciniak,; or
Dr. Anne Keenleyside, Anthropology Department, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7852