Suicidal hanging resulting in complete decapitation: a case report
This paper reports the case of a 22-year-old man, weighing 87.5 kg, who committed suicide by jumping from a bridge over a canal with a nylon rope tied around his neck. The drop height was between 3.70 and 5.30 m before the rope tightened and the subject was completely beheaded. The head sank straight under the bridge, while the torso floated 205 m downstream. Pertinent autopsy findings were a sharp decapitation wound with circumferential skin abrasion and cervical spin transection between C1 and C2. Decapitation is a complication of extreme rarity in the event of a suicidal hanging and is always related to a drop of several metres with a poorly extensible line used as the hanging ligature.
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