Case Report

International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 121, Issue 2, pp 143-146

First online:

A finite element model investigation of gunshot injury

  • Jean-Sébastien RaulAffiliated withInstitut de Médecine LégaleInstitut de Mécanique des Fluides et des Solides Email author 
  • , Caroline DeckAffiliated withInstitut de Mécanique des Fluides et des Solides
  • , Franck MeyerAffiliated withInstitut de Mécanique des Fluides et des Solides
  • , Annie GerautAffiliated withInstitut de Médecine Légale
  • , Rémy WillingerAffiliated withInstitut de Mécanique des Fluides et des Solides
  • , Bertrand LudesAffiliated withInstitut de Médecine Légale

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Multiple gunshot suicide can be a controversial subject mainly because of wrong opinions concerning immediate incapacitation or alleged backwards hurling. For the last 20 years, experts in medicine and physics have tried to demonstrate what really happens during a gunshot wound. Different methods have been used to achieve this aim such as basic physics or the use of empirical evidence. In this paper, using a finite element model of the human head, we demonstrate that no incapacitation or backwards hurling can occur from a gunshot fired between the eyes which did not enter the cerebrum.


Forensic science Human head Biomechanics of impact Finite elements Suicide