POST-MORTEMS are drawings or retouched images of unidentified people from morgue photos. Dead people do not look like they are sleeping. Seeing someone lying peacefully in an open casket is not at all how they looked when they took their last breath. It took hours of work by the skilled hands of a mortician to make them appear the way you remember.
Death at the hands of another is horrific and violent and awful, and these are the faces forensic artists see every day. Our job is to do the forensic version of what mortuary specialists do. We digitally heal the broken bones, bullet wounds, and decomposition on the faces of the dead so they can be released to the public.
This takes much more than just knowing how to draw. Forensic artists use their knowledge of facial anatomy and post-mortem changes to do this work successfully. The responsibility is the same with facial approximations; until the investigator knows the name of the victim, the chances of finding their killer are virtually nonexistent.