Season 1, Ep 3, Hannibal, Abigail returns home after waking up from her coma and sees the word "cannibals" painted on their garage door.

You are watching: Dead body chalk outline

Then Abigail asks Will if a place is where her mom dies and hence expects to see a body outline in chalk; Will replies police only do a body outline if a person is injured and taken to hospital.

ABIGAIL: I was sort of expecting a body outline in chalk or tape.

WILL GRAHAM: They only do that if you’re still alive and taken to the hospital before they finish the crime scene.

I think it is logical for police to do this as they need to re-construct the crime scene but an injured person needs to be taken away soon thus they will draw a chalk outline.

But I think it is also possible to police to do a chalk outline for a deceased person as well; say they cannot finish re-constructing the crime scene before this dead body is taken away, they can do a chalk outline. Therefore, Will says is not entirely accurate.


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edited Oct 29 "20 at 15:56
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Laurel
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asked Oct 29 "20 at 9:55
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Yu ZhangYu Zhang
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This matches up with the experience of some investigators, according to the 2001 article Do crime scene investigators really draw a chalk line around the body?:

We also heard from cops and other crime-scene investigators in Los Angeles, New York city, New York state, Washington state, the District of Columbia, Ohio, North Carolina, New Mexico, and a few other places. A couple said outlining the body was done once in a while, but generally only in exceptional circumstances — for example, if the victim was still alive and had to be taken to the hospital before examination of the crime scene could be completed.

Most of the people they contacted for that article said that they didn’t use chalk (anymore?), however, because it contaminates the scene. It’s possible then that Will was referring to the policies of whoever handled the crime scene and not some universal rule.

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answered Oct 29 "20 at 16:00
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