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Elayne Pope, Ph.D.

Elayne Pope, Ph.D. Fatal Fire Forensics LLC.

Dr. Elayne Pope is a Forensic Anthropologist who researches how the human body burns for application to fatal fire casework. She received her doctorate from the University of Arkansas in 2007 for “The Effects of Fire on Human Remains.” Dr. Pope has been a researcher and instructor for the San Luis Obispo Fire Investigation Strike Team (SLO FIST) Fatal Fire Death Investigation Course since 2008 where human cadavers are utilized to recreate fatal fire scenes (www.slofist.org). She worked as the Autopsy Supervisor and forensic anthropologist for 6 years at the Tidewater Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Norfolk, Virginia. Dr. Pope is a forensic consultant and owner of Fatal Fire Forensics LLC (www.burnedbone.com) who specializes in fatal fire case review and examinations, burn pattern analysis, skeletal trauma analysis, expert witness and testimony, training lectures and course instruction, and identification of fragmentary burned bone (human vs. non-human/non-bone). Dr. Pope has been an instructor for numerous IAAI state chapter conferences since 2002 and has testified as an expert witness in criminal state court cases since 2004.

Additional research interests include forensic anthropology, fatal fire investigation, skeletal trauma & injury patterns, burn patterns to the human body, identification of fragmentary burned bone, forensic taphonomy, forensic illustration.

Forensic Consultation Services

·Burn pattern analysis (normal and abnormal burn patterns)
·Structures, Vehicles, Confined Space, Outdoors
·Examination of traumatic injury
·Burn time estimates based on fire damage to the body
·Fragmentary bone identification (human vs. non-human vs. non-bone)
·Court illustrations/diagrams

Forensic Consultation Materials for Review

·Cover letter with case summary information with any specified questions.
·Crime Scene Photographs
·Autopsy Photographs
·Autopsy Reports
·Fire/EMS reports
·Witness statements relating to fire events
·Investigative reports (Fire, Law Enforcement)
·Legal documents (depositions, court transcripts)


•Elayne Pope Manuscript submitted (n.d.) Fire Environments and Characteristic Burn Patterns of Human Remains from Four Common Types of Fatal Fire Scenes. In The Forensic Evaluation of Burnt Human Remains: Forensic Science in Focus Series. (eds) Ellingham S., Adseria Garriga J., Zapico S., and Ubelaker D. Wiley Publishers. 
•Elayne Pope, Alison Galloway, and Chelsea Juarez Manuscript submitted (n.d.) Refined Classification System for Thermally Damaged Human Remains by Body Segment.
•Alison Galloway, Chelsey Juarez, and Elayne Pope Manuscript submitted (n.d.) How Human Bodies Burn: The process of thermal damage, body movement and shifting fuel loads in Book: In Path of Flames (eds) Kendal A, Mulligan C, and Galloway A. CRC Press
•Elayne Pope and O. C. Smith (2004) Identification of traumatic injury in burned cranial bone: An experimental approach. Journal of Forensic Sciences 49(3)431-440.
•Elayne Pope, O. C. Smith, and Timothy Huff (2004) Exploding skulls and other myths about how the human body burns. Fire and Arson Investigator Journal 55(4)23-28.

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