Screwdrivers can be used to inflict deep puncture wounds that may penetrate bone, including the skull, and cause lethal organ injuries. Although it has been suggested that screwdrivers cause typical incised wounds , this depends greatly on the sharpness of their tips. If, for example, the head of a screwdrivers is blunt, it may cause hybrid sharp-blunt force trauma wounds, as can be seen in Fig. 3 where the four closely placed wounds from a flat head screwdriver show slightly irregular central stab wounds with no tissue bridging but with subtly split edges and marginal abrasions/bruises. The Phillips head screwdriver in the reported case was sharper and so caused more typical sharp force injuries.
Screwdrivers have been rarely reported in the literature in cases of fatal assaults that have most often involved penetrating trauma to the torso or head [2, 3]. A screwdriver may be favored more in countries such as Greece where the possession of a concealed knife is illegal, but not a screwdriver . Such non-projectile penetrating cerebral trauma is rare accounting for only about 0.4% of all head injuries [5, 6] and has involved a variety of objects including crochet hooks, a toilet brush handle, an antler, scissors, knitting needles, crossbow bolts, glass, car antennas, crowbars, pitchforks, a chair leg, and umbrella ribs [4, 7,8,9,10]. In attacks with screw drivers, the skull is usually penetrated in areas such as the orbital plates (as in the reported case) and the nasal or squamous temporal bones where the bone is thin [4, 6].
This case demonstrates a very graphic recording on the victim’s body of the exact nature of the weapon that was used in the assault. In cases where a weapon has been removed from the scene, this may be an extremely useful finding in focusing investigations on looking for a screwdriver rather than another type of sharp object.