International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 120, Issue 2, pp 110–114 | Cite as

Death by hanging while watching violent pornographic videos on the Internet—suicide or accidental autoerotic death?

Case Report


In deaths by hanging, it may sometimes be difficult to differentiate between autoerotic accident and suicide. Our report deals with a 30-year-old man who was found hanged in the living room of his flat. The deceased was wearing headphones connected to a PC. Within the deceased's view was a computer screen showing the last picture of a video file downloaded from the Internet with the head of an unclothed, allegedly hanged female. The deceased's left hand was inside his trousers in the genital region. The autopsy did not only show findings typical for hanging, but also advanced sarcoidosis, which was known to the victim. Although this basic illness could have been a possible motive for suicide, the circumstances in the presented case pointed more in the direction of an accidental autoerotic death. As far as we know, this is the first description of a death during autoerotic activity in which sexual stimulation was achieved by watching a video file downloaded from the Internet.


Autoerotic accident Lethal paraphiliac syndrome Suicide Hanging Internet 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity Hospital of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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