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4 things happen when a firearm is discharged
- 1. fire or flame is emitted from barrel
- 2. smoke follows flame
- 3. bullet emerges from barrel
- 4. additional smoke and grains of burned and unburned gunpowder follow the bullet out
Depending on the material present on the body or clothing, and the degree of density, it _____ be possible to determine the distance involved.
Gunshot Entrance Wounds
- Generally smaller than an exit wound
- Typically round, neat hole with an abrasion collar, and gray or black ring around the edges
- Comparatively small amounts of blood
Gunshot Exit Wound
- Generally larger than entrance wound
- Ragged and torn in appearance, shreds of tissue extruding
- Generally a greater escape of blood than entrance and possible profuse bleeding
Factors that affect characteristics of wound
- type of ammo
- passage through body
- passage through clothing
- type of weapon
- part of body affected
Circular perforation caused by the bullet as it perforates the skin and bores through; result of friction between the bullet and the skin
Blackening effect around the wound's edges caused by discharge of lubes, smoke, and grime from barrel of weapon on the bullet
Entrance wound may appear smaller due to
Smoke and soot deposited around the wound; dirty and grimy appearance; easily wiped off; indicates that the gun was held closely, but not actually in contact; cloesth should be helad for examination
Sumdging or Smoke
Yellow singeing effect due to the discharfe of flame from the muzzle
Pinpoint hemorrhage dues to the discharge of burned powder; unburned powder or pieces of metal of the bullet from the blast are driven into the skin; can't be wiped off
Stippling or Tattooing
an irregular wound resulting from the bullet passing through another part of the body and reentering; may appear as an exit perforation
Bullet has struck another object before entering the body, leaving an irregularly shaped wound
1. Massive Destruction
2. Wadding usually embedded in the wound if fired within 10 ft.
3. Wadding can provide investigator with type of shot, gauge of gun, and possible evidence to ID the gun
- Muzzle held directly against the skin
- shape is result of bullet and escaping flame and gases
- perforation is larger than the diameter of the bullet
- wound is dirty looking
- skin edges are ragged and torn
- charring of tissue
- large and marked tissue distruction over boney areas (stellate)
___________ is the exception to the general configuration of entrance and exit wounds.
____________ is where the muzzle of the gun causes an abrasion on the body outlining the muzzle of the barrel and front sight.
Muzzle stamp or brand
__________ the path of the bullet or projectile as it passes through the body.
Factors that affect bullet tracks
- velocity of the bullet
- type of bullet
- ricochet factor
A _________ is caused by a sharp instrument or weapon, and is generally long than it is deep, and is deepest where first applied to the skin.
Cut or incision
Clean and sharp edges;
Longer than deep;
Difficult to determine type of weapon
Deeper than wide;
Possible damage to vital organs beneath skin & bone;
Internal bleeding with little or no external blood;
May indicate type of weapon
______________ injuries are evident by outwards signs such as lacerations and bruising.
____________ tear in the tissue which may be external or internal. Ragged edges, bruising, and tissue bridges.
A _________ will be a deep gaping wound with contusions and structural damage to body parts beneath.
Murder by __________ is extremely rare.
Deaths by Asphyxia
- Strangulaiton (manual or ligature)
- Inhalation of poison gases
Strangulation involves the chocking of a person either ________ (by the hands) or ___________ (using a ligature).
Evidence of Strangulation
- presence of new abrasion, bruises or fingernail marks on the neck
- presence of petechial hemorrhages in the conjunctivae
- evidence of trauma to the tongue
Characteristics of Hanging Deaths
- a body need not be completely suspended
- if the material used is small or rope-like there will be a deep groove across the neck
- minute areas of bleeding due to the rupture of small blood vessels will cause small black and blue marks within the groove line (person was alive)
- a person who died as a result of hanging might expel urine or feces
- lividity will be pronounced in the head above the ligature, and in the arms and lower legs due to gravity
The knot or tie of a noose should not be touched. Instead, the material should be ____, the ends should be _____ together to show original position.
cut and tied
__________ is the type of asphyxia that is the direct result of liquid entering the breathing passages, preventing air from going into the lungs.
___________ is the most indicative characteristic of drowning, which forms as a result of the mucus in the body mixing with water.
The most common type of asphyxia results from the ___________.
Inhalation of poison gases
____________ occurs when the passage of air through the mouth and nose is blocked.
Suffocation or smothering
Death caused by fire genearlly results from the ____________created by the the fire.
inhaltion of noxious fumes and gases
Evidence that a person was alive at the time of a fire
- smoke stains around the nostrils, in the nose, and air passages
- carbon monoxide in the blood
- blistering and marginal reddening of the skin
Autoerotic fatalities are usually
- nude or attired in female clothing or normal clothing
- contraptions or ligatures with padding
Autoerotic activities result in death when there is
- a failure with the physiological mechanism
- a failure in the self-rescue device
- a failure on the part of the victim's judgement and ability to control a self-endangering fantasy scenario
Five criteria for determining death during autoerotic practices
- evidece of physiological mechanism for obtaining or enhancing sexual arousal that provides a self-rescue mechanism or allows the victim to voluntarily discontinue its effect
- evidence of solo sexual activity
- evidence of sexual fantasy aids
- evidence of prior dangerous autoerotica practice
- no apparent suicidal intent
Suffocation, strangulation and chemical asphyxia are the three categories of
Autoerotic deaths in order of frequency:
- chemical asphyxia
exposing the genitals to an unsuspecting stranger for the purposes of obtaining sexual excitement
use of nonliving objects for sexual arousal
a sexual attraction to rubbing against the genitalia or body of another
Engaging in sexual activity with prepurbertal children.
Getting pleasure from being humiliated, bound, beaten, or otherwise made to suffer for sexual arousal.
The infliction of physical or psychololgical pain on another person in order to achieve sexual excitement.
Cross-dressing by heterosexual male for sexual excitement.
Repetitive looking at unsuspecting people who are either naked, in the act of disrobing, or engaging in sexual activity (peeping tom)
A sexual attraction to making obscene telephone calls
A sexual attraction to dead bodies; having intercourse with a dead body.
An exclusive focus on a part of the human body, a breast, leg, penis, etc.
Use of animals for sexual arousal
A sexual attraction to feces
A sexual attraction to the giving or receiving of enemas
A sexual attraction to urine
A sexual attraction to filth
The most common method practices in sexual asphyxia is neck compression or hanging with some sort of ________ between the neck and ligature to prevent any _________.
Padding and Markings
Autoerotic victim profile
white males ranging from 13 to late thirties
Location of Autoerotic Activities
secluded or isolated and affords the practitioner the opportunity to involve themselves in a private fantasy
most victims of suicide are not found in the nude; most victims of autoerotic fatalities are nude
- Is the victim nude, sexually exposted, or wearing articles of feminine attire?
- Is there evidence of masturbatory activity?
- Is there evidence of infibulation (things that cause pain)?
- Are sexually stimulating paraphernalia present (sex toys and porn)?
- Is bondage present?
- Is there protective padding between the ligature and neck?
- Are the restraints interconnected?
- Are mirrors or other reflective devices present?
- Is the suspension point within reach of the victim or is there an escape mechanism?
- Is there evidence of prior such activities?
- Does the victim possess literature dealing with bondage, escapology, or knots?
- Is there a positioned camera?