alexa Typical external skull beveling wound unlinked with a gunshot
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Anthropology Reports

Author(s): Delannoy Y, Colard T, Becart A, Tournel G, Gosset D, Hedouin V

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Lesions of the cranial vault resulting from firearms are traditionally described in forensic medical literature with many reports illustrating atypical bone lesions carried out to the skull by gunshot wounds. The authors present this report which illustrates an external beveled skull wound, associated with internal beveling damage, caused by a stabbing injury. A partially buried human skeleton was found in a forest. The examining of the skull revealed a hole resembling the exit wound caused by a bullet and two other smaller stab wounds. No typical entering bullet wound and no other bone lesions were found. During the course of the investigation, one of the perpetrators admitted to hitting the victim, using a sickle, and to hiding the body. For this purpose, he dragged the corpse with the sickle still implanted in the skull, using it as a hook. Upon retrieving the sickle, a piece of cranial vault was removed, thus creating an external beveled wound. In order to identify the mechanism which brought about this kind of lesion, experimental work was carried out on a human skull. In this particular case, the tip of the sickle penetrated into the bone, creating a lesion that would typically be produced with a stabbing instrument when applied with vertical force. When the body was dragged, using the sickle as a hook, this was a hand-produced vertical force, which was applied in the opposite direction. It caused the tearing of a piece of bone and the creation of an outer bevel. This atypical lesion should be made known to medical examiners and pathologists in order to help investigating and understanding of the circumstances of injuries.

This article was published in Forensic Science International and referenced in Journal of Anthropology Reports

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