On the usability of skull maceration in fatal head injuries caused by axes
We read with great interest the recent case report by Handlos et al. , investigating fatal chop injuries from an axe. We want to present the investigative approach we took on a murder-suicide case with similar injury patterns.
A young, initially unidentified female was found dead in public on a snowy winter day. She was found in a ditch next to the side of a road. Numerous severe injuries, partially involving smooth wound margins, were grouped on the head and both hands. During the scene investigation, accidental injuries (such as injuries caused by a rotary snow plough) or homicidal injuries (such as placing the head in a milling cutter with body dumping) were raised as possible differentials. Subsequent identification revealed the deceased worked at a landfill site in close proximity to the place where she was found.
The authors would like to thank Miss Dipl.-Ing. Simone Schulz for her skillful preparation techniques, and the public prosecution office for approval to publish this information.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 1.Handlos P, Uvíra M, Dokoupil M, Marecová K. Axe injury pattern in homicide. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12024-019-00112-7.