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Stage 3: Rigor Mortis

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 6

The third stage of decomposition known as “Rigor Mortis” translates to “stiffness” [rigor] “of death” [mortis]. The stiffness in a body during the phase of Rigor Mortis is caused by a build up of lactic acid which causes chemical changes within muscles. In life, lactic acid, also known as “milk acid” plays various roles in a body’s biochemical process. The myosin and actin (proteins involved in muscle movement) in the body then begin to harden, causing all muscles in the body to harden for a period of time, as well. At the time of death, “primary flaccidity” occurs and Rigor Mortis begins within […]

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Stage 4: Livor Mortis

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 11

The fourth stage of decomposition, Livor Mortis translates to “blueish color” [livor] “of death” [mortis] although it has many names including “hypostasis”, “suggillation”, “cadaveric lividity”, “darkening of death” and “postmortem staining”. Livor Mortis begins when circulation stops, blood vessels become more permeable due to decomposition, and blood settles throughout the corpse. Red blood cells, which are very dense, travel and pool in the lowest areas possible, staining the tissue. This means in a hanging death, discoloration would be seen in the feet, fingertips and ear lobes. Males who die from hanging may also acquire what’s known as a “Death Erection” (or “Angel Lust”) due […]