Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 106–109 | Cite as

The use of gasoline in a complex suicide

  • Milenko BogdanovićEmail author
  • Tijana Durmić
  • Bojana Radnić
  • Slobodan Savić
  • Dragan Ječmenica
Case Report


This case represents a planned complex suicide in which the victim shot himself in the head after dousing his living quarters with gasoline. The spark induced ignition of gasoline vapors and led to an explosion. Liquid gasoline is not flammable, but the vapor/mixture of gases above the surface of the liquid is. In this case the victim might have counted on the resulting fire and/or explosion, but we are not able to tell that with certainty. We have assumed that the plan was for the gunshot to the head to lead to instantaneous death, and for the flame and/or explosion to lead to the destruction of the body. The explosion launched the body out of the apartment, meaning it did not get charred. It is also our assumption that the victim did not expect that the explosion would eject his body from the flames and lead to less severe burns than he had calculated, making this complex suicide “less successful” than he had planned.


Complex suicide Self-incineration Gunshot Gasoline Explosive capacity Autopsy 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, Grant No. 175093 and Grant No.41022.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors hereby declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milenko Bogdanović
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tijana Durmić
    • 1
  • Bojana Radnić
    • 1
  • Slobodan Savić
    • 1
  • Dragan Ječmenica
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Forensic Medicine “Milovan Milovanović”University of Belgrade - School of MedicineBelgradeSerbia

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