Abstract Short tandem repeats (STRs) or microsatellites have been recognized worldwide as a powerful tool for human identification. They have become widely used in human identification especially in criminal cases and mass disasters. Police departments are often interested in cases where tissues are already decomposed and only do bones remain to let them perform laboratory analyses. Bone is the most resistant tissue in animal body to time depending degradation and putrefaction, but it is often hard to extract DNA from it because of its highly mineralized structure, which makes DNA extraction and/or amplification hard to carry out. We have performed human nuclear DNA extraction and STR typing in three different cases, on bones and bone fragments from long time dead persons found buried, in the sea, almost completely burnt and whose tissues were already decomposed. We report these caseworks as we would like to show how forensic scientists are improving their skill in identifying people whose corps have undergone several kinds of processes, even independently on the time passed and the level of putrefaction of their tissues.