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An autopsy case of suicide with three knives: a forensic and anatomical discussion

Authors Apostolov A, Hristov S, Krastev D, Kalniev M, Krastev N

Received 11 June 2013

Accepted for publication 26 July 2013

Published 19 September 2013 Volume 2013:3 Pages 1—5


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

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Aleksandar Apostolov,1 Stanislav Hristov,1 Dimo Krastev,2 Manol Kalniev,3 Nikolai Krastev3

1Medical University – Faculty of Medicine, Department of Forensic Medicine and Deontology, 2Medical University – Sofia, Medical College J Filaretova, 3Medical University – Sofia, Department of Anatomy and Histology, Sofia, Bulgaria

Abstract: We present a case of a 30-year-old man who committed suicide, using three knives, after a domestic disturbance in which he repeatedly stabbed his wife. During the inspection of the corpse of the man at the scene, two knives were found embedded in the neck and one in the abdomen. During the autopsy, we found two stab-incised injuries on the anterior surface of the neck in the lower section of the second segment bilaterally, one injury on the left side of the chest, and eleven injuries in the abdomen of the deceased with varying depth. Wound channels ranged from 1.5 cm to 20 cm. Despite our expectations that some of the major arterial and/or venous vessels in the neck would be cut, we found breaks in only small vessels, nervous structures, sublingual glands, and muscles in the course of the wound channels. In this case, we define such an autopsy finding as rare, or rather, as a rare accident. The inflicted stab-incised injuries as individual anatomical lesions would not lead to certain death. At the time of autopsy we revealed that the fatal injury was in the abdomen, wherein the abdominal aorta was cut. This led to the development of acute blood loss. In the genesis of death, a puncture-incised injury of the left lung was involved, leading to the development of hemopneumothorax. With regards to the possibility of murder, we did not find any cuts or puncture-incised injuries on the body of the deceased man which could be described as "defensive", or such that could have been received while trying to escape. During the police investigation, evidence for the presence of a third person at this domestic incident was not found.

Keywords: injuries, types of injuries and digital photography, forensic autopsy, suicide

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