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Unusual suicide with a chainsaw

Forensic Science International
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.02.011
  • Chainsaw
  • Autopsy
  • Suicide
  • Neck Injury
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract A 39-year-old male, with a history of multiple suicidal attempts and psychiatric pathology, a professional lumberjack, was found dead at the meadow with his throat cut and a chainsaw beside him. Autopsy revealed that all physical injuries were confined to the head, neck and left shoulder. Two major (long and wide) wounds were found and documented on both sides of the neck and head. A wound on the posterior and right lateral side of his neck and head was noted. Medical examiner noted an irregular rupture on the posterior-right side of the atlanto-occipital joint with impaired bone, but without any damage on the spinal cord. Another gaping cut was noted in the lower part on the left lateral side of his neck. Medical examiner noted that muscles of the left side of the neck, left common carotid artery, left internal jugular vein and left vagus nerve were completely cut off. The body of the C5 and C6 vertebra, with the spinal cord at that level, was completely cut. Also, there were multiple linear and striped parallel abrasions on the outer side of the left shoulder and one abrasion on the left lateral side of the neck. The conclusion of inquiries was “suicide by chainsaw”.

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