I’ve come up with a new illustration and redesigned chart to reflect the updated 2012 soft tissue depth data from Drs. Stephan and Simpson. My goal was to have this information in a format that (I hope) will be easier for forensic artists to use.
And, I also decided to update the comparison chart including a portion of the Rhine table from 1980. Although I strongly encourage artists to use the Stephan markers, I know old habits die hard, so I thought showing a comparison of the two table might help people decide to make the leap. Remember, it’s our duty as forensic artists to stay up with current with newest research!
These charts are derived from Stephan C. “Tallied Facial Soft Tissue Depth Data (T-Tables)” 2012, available from www.CRANIOFACIALidentification.com, and Stephan, CN and Simpson, EK (2008) Facial Soft Tissue Depths in Craniofacial Identification (Part I): An Analytical Review of the Published Adult Data. Journal of Forensic Sciences 53(6): 1257-1272.
The Stephan/Simpson T-table uses weighted means and standard deviations to pool data across prior studies (see 1-52,55-66, plus Fisher and Moorman cited in 35 and Köstler cited in 24) thereby providing soft tissue depths at twenty-five commonly measured points.
In contrast to single studies, the T-table holds three prime advantages: i) systematic and random biases specific to each investigation/measurement method are pitched against one another to triangulate upon population parameters; ii) the data are based on very large sample sizes; and iii) small differences, relative to measurement errors, are not used to tenuously sub-categorize the data (54).