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Rigor mortis


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Someone dies, and their body stiffens. Rigor mortis.


Can they be adjusted in their position, while they are in rigor?


Mystery I am reading. They pick up a hitchhiker, they think he's asleep in the backseat, until they get where they going and find out he's dead. One arm had fallen off of the feet and was reaching down to the floor. He is in rigor. And he has his arm outstretched.


When the coroners arrive and go to take the body out of the van, they have difficulty because of the arm sticking out.


Could they bring the arm in, without having to break the shoulder joint or something? How rigid is rigor?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From what I understand when rigor sets in you can’t move limbs without damage but rigor dissipates within 12-24 hours. 
I believe it takes around 6 hours for full rigor mortis to set in. 

 

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2021_08_01_11_32_46.jpg.318c689705c454ddbb2627f9df26439f.jpg

 

Well....so much for me sitting in the recliner watching the Lone Ranger marathon! :huh:

 

 

 

Edited by Father Kit Cool Gun Garth
Forgot the quote
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1 hour ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

From what I understand when rigor sets in you can’t move limbs without damage but rigor dissipates within 12-24 hours. 

If one can trust television, you appear to be correct.

 

There was a Bones episode where they took a dead guy and dressed him in another guy's clothing, so they could fake the second guy's death. The corpse was in rigor, and when they were trying to get the second guys clothing on the corpse they either broke or dislocated his shoulder - don't remember.

 

Then there was an NCIS episode, where Ducky was explaining how the corpse had gone into rigor and then had gone out of it, so the guy had to have been dead for "so many" hours.

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Do you know why they always have that extra chair in the funeral parlor? 

For rigor mortis to set in.

I couldn't resist

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Previous comments are correct as to timeline for stiff/relaxed again. Having had some um, actual experience in death investigations, depends. Some you can move a bit, some are like really stiff. The ME doesn't like it when you break or damage things. SO.... you do the best you can to transport'em. (handy tip; when they been "down" longer, rigor is the LEAST of your worries. Trust me. You don't wanna know. Don't.

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1 hour ago, Dubious Don #56333 said:

(handy tip; when they been "down" longer, rigor is the LEAST of your worries. Trust me. You don't wanna know. Don't.

 

I was gonna say. Like picked fruits and vegetables they don't get any fresher.

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