Just something I was thinking about. It is possible that Mr. Astor's body was in much worse shape than first thought. When his corpse was pulled from the dark waters of the North Atlantic, he had been dead for quite some time floating in near freezing water. He could have been much more beat up than just a broken jaw however, due to the cold water and that fact that his blood stopped pumping at the time of his death, swelling, bruising and other obvious signs of injury or trauma could have dramatically slowed or stopped. That's why morgues are so cold, why bodies are "put on ice" or whatever. Cold temperatures slow the decay process and keep injuries from looking as severe as they are. Maybe when he was first seen, fresh out of the water (if you will kindly excuse my unsightly usage of the words..)he didn't look that bad. Then after being out of the water for a while and warming even just a little bit, his decomposition started in earnest and the next who saw him saw a horribly bloated and disfigured shape of a man that looked something like J.J. Astor. After Rigor, Livor and Algor Mortis takes place, the body swells dramatically, usually starting in the abdominal region. This is due to the innards starting to liquify and releasing fluids and gasses into the abdominal cavity. If he went from a very cold extreme to a rather warm one, it is possible that this swelling caused his body to burst. Drastic Temprature changes can do that to a body as well. IF that did happen, now the observer sees a terribly disfigured and mangled body. The face swells (due in part to the same things that are happening inside the stomach and chest as well as the jaw injury) and now the only way to ID the body is by his hands and the ring on his finger, just as Gracie said. Interestingly enough, the hand are one of the last parts of the human body to begin their deterioration along with the feet. And just to clear up any rumors out there, the nails and hair do NOT keep growing. It looks like they do due to the flesh shrinking and loosening as the body decomposes. I apologise for the graphic nature and content of my post. But I am a forensic science student training to become a Criminalist and these are my thought proceses when posed with this kind of question. I hope I threw a little something into the mix of this very interesting Topic.