‘Gross’ Anatomy; Pictures of murderous wounds.

The following photos are real images of homicide victims and pictures from their autopsies.  They are graphic.

Blunt force trauma to the head often leads to skull fractures. The orbital plate of the base of the skull demonstrates multiple fractures (arrow) seen here in an older patient who fell backwards. The force of the blow was transmitted forward (a contra-coup injury pattern). [Image contributed by Todd Grey, MD, University of Utah]

Contrecoup Brain Injury A specific area of brain injury located directly opposite to the site of impact to the head that results from linear violent collisions of the brain with the skull.

A direct traumatic blow to the head may produce the pattern of skull fractures seen here at the vertex.

The vertex is the highest point of the skull.

Blunt trauma to the head can be suggested by scalp contusions with subgaleal collection of blood, as shown here.

Mechanical asphyxia, including strangulation, can be marked by the appearance of petechial hemorrhages on the conjunctiva, as shown here. Finding ligature marks on the neck, hyoid bone fracture, and/or soft tissue hemorrhages in neck and larynx may help to determine the mechanism of injury.

Sharp force trauma to upper arm and chest

This is a close contact gunshot wound. This particular wound appears when the victim is shot from a very short distance and when the barrel of the gun barrel  is put directly on the head.


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