Roles of Psychological Autopsy in Investigation
Psychological autopsies are a rather recent phenomenon. Most estimates on when it began do not go back much earlier than the 1950’s. It was only in the late 1960’s with the work of Edwin Shneidman on the subject matter at the L. A. Suicide Prevention Center did the practice gain recognition and popularity (Selkin, 1994). Proponents of this practice believe that autopsies are of extreme importance in determining the cause of an ambiguous death (especially one where the hard evidence from the forensic department is not conclusive). The possible usefulness of psychological autopsies is not questioned.