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Forensic Analysis of the Audibility of Female Screams

Acoustical engineers and forensic acoustical experts are sometimes called upon to render opinions on the audibility of specific sounds at a given distance. Such sounds include speech, gunfire, warning signals such as fire alarms or locomotive horns, and in certain cases, human screaming. The audibility of female screaming has been questioned in several cases, where the expert can use both analytical and demonstrative techniques in order to form an opinion. The determination of audibility may be refined in terms of detection, discrimination and identification. This paper addresses measurement and typical levels of female screams, and reports on two different audibility analyses.

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