The June 2007 issue of the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology outlines the forensic challenges associated with Diogenes syndrome deaths. First identified in 1975, sufferers of Diogenes syndrome are typically characterized by extreme social isolation, hoarding behaviour and squalid living conditions. Forensic evaluation of deaths is often complicated by lack of recorded medical histories, filth and clutter in the place of residence, and pet dogs that are mistrustful of strangers. Bodies are typically filthy, with parasitic infestations, and are often in an advanced state of putrefaction due to the social isolation of the deceased and the delay in the finding of the corpse. Bodies may also be characterized by postmortem gnawing by rodents or pets (eg, cats, dogs), with injuries caused by falls resulting from terminal illnesses or alcoholism. Treatable medical conditions are often present in advanced stages, and features of hypothermia may also be found. Identification of the deceased may be compromised by decay and/or postmortem animal activity. In addition to clinical characteristics, such cases can pose special difficulties in postmortem examinations.