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The University of Sheffield

Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn


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


4.8 rating, based on 411 reviews

Start your review of Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

  • This course diverges a lot from the regular Futurelearn courses I had dealt with earlier. The course has something weighing in on me in every chapter; a sense of relief, a collective sense of duty, a genuine cause. Every click of the subsequent chapters turns pages of progressive investigation of years. This course is highly supererogatory. Meanwhile, kindly check Durham's "Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology" course, which would be an excellent follow-up to this one.

  • I like this course so much, it was helpful, consist all basic information and reading sooo interesting. I would like to learn more actually about this topic, so only pity this course is hort: only 2 weeks long.
  • Naser Aldhawi completed this course.

    Forensic Facial Reconstruction for me is quite new I learned many things about how to find the criminals or suspected murders and to investigate and the meaning of Forensic many specialists can participate, Anthropologist pathologist Anatomy and got new Idea that after death long period we can reconstruction human remains to find out the reason of the death and functionalist of many parts of the body and how to make clay for reconstruction
  • Fantastic course. I learned many things!!!!!

    Forensic Facial Reconstruction is a wonderful job. This course showed me something fantastic about the police's job. I recomend to everyone that loves investigation.
  • Ibrahim Ridwan Madaki
    I really appreciate this cause of mine initially I thought I can't do it the fact that I'm a law student but when I stated I find it more interesting and more important in time of finding Mr X's and the identification of the male and female skeleton and their ethnicity I indeed appreciate the cause
  • I've enjoyed this course a lot, everything was easy to understand. I managed to learn a lot within two weeks. Thank you.
  • Anonymous

    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,...
  • Anonymous
    Thoughtful and well organized without being overwhelmingly detail oriented, this is an excellent beginning course in facial reconstruction. I would recommend this course to background required. However, visual learners, people with an organismic biology background, and those with artistic talent and an interest in reconstructing the past, i.e. the past appearance of someone, will find this course not only interesting but engaging and perhaps spark continuation in further education in this field.

    Best to all,

    Tony Harper
  • Anonymous
    The course was very well presented and clear and concise. I wish when starting out my career many years ago I may have had the opportunity to do something like Facial Reconstruction as part of forensics. Of course it did not start until the mid to late sixty's and in those days very few people were aware of the work. Today it is much published and great opportunities for young people.

    The course was short but packed with so much information. Well done Sheffield.

    Is there another course that follows on from this?
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I found this course really interesting and informative as it gave a real insight into what it takes to reconstruct someone's face. I liked how the individual facial muscles were highlighted in separate diagrams as it made it much clearer to understand,...
  • Anonymous
    It is a very informative course detailing what can be achieved with this specific knowledge; it also gives an insight of what other sciences can be called upon to achieve a satisfactory end result in a case, these could be of interest to future learning also.

    The two media downloads was a good ending to the 'story' of the demise of Mr X as this contained a lot of information which did not need to be included in the actual science of facial recognition but was interesting to see the whole picture.
  • Anonymous
    It is really interesting to learn a part of this branch of science. I've studied Biology in university but this is much more interesting and bring me back those memories when i was still a student. Love to learn about new stuff especially about crime. I'm looking forward to the next interesting courses. Thank you so much
  • Great introduction to Forensic Facial Reconstruction. The course is well presented, with a lot of audio/video and examples.

    It would be wonderful if this course was followed by a course in Forensic Facial Comparison to complete the picture of facial identification.
    Thank you to all who made this course possible.
  • Anonymous
    I learned more in this course that could help jump start a career in forensics, it can be a game changer for most who look into this course. It’s fun and if you are serious about doing a career in forensics, I really recommend taking this course.
  • Anonymous
    A very interesting and interactive way of teaching about the work of Forensic Anthropologists and how to perform facial reconstruction. The fact that a real case was used turned the course into something much more appealing and addictive. Thank you!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very interesting course for a Private Investigator, USA. facial reconstructions were stunning! An excellent introductory course. I pared it with the Forensic Psychology : Witness Investigation course to keep me well rounded.
    Facial Reconstruction can be completed relatively quickly & has led me to sign up for three other courses.
    Class is not to hard for beginners, well done!
  • Anonymous
    This was a fascinating course, not too technical so easy to understand for the average person. Good, informative videos, excellent presentation. Well done to all involved with arranging this course.
  • Anonymous
    I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. The course is informative, interesting and very well presented. Although the course level is easy enough to follow it gives a good insight into the subject.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed the course it was interesting to learn the different prosses used in facial reconstruction. I would recommended it to people interested in forensics.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I found the course immensely interesting as it dealt with a real investigation of a murder and the application of justice. The techniques used in facial reconstruction are truly astounding. The course material was presented in an easy to understand way by the well trained and skilled professional researchers.

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