Unconventional Murder Weapon: A 47-Year-Old Man’s Terrifying Encounter

2023-07-07 09:13:39

To remember

The fact that a woman tries to kill her companion although unusual is not an extremely rare fact, at least for lawyers, collaborators of homicide commissions and forensic pathologists.

For many centuries, women have most often used poison to kill. 47-year-old man’s ex-wife used a “modern and quite unconventional murder weapon“. This case was described by forensic pathologists in Hamburg.

The patient and his story

According to medical examiners, the 47-year-old spent an evening at his apartment with his adopted daughter and ex-wife. When the man fell asleep, his ex-wife took a drill with a length of 65-70 cm and stuck a bit into the man’s right ear. According to the authors, the bit clamped in the chuck had a length of 35 cm and a diameter of 10 mm. After the act, the woman would have fled. The man reportedly managed to escape from the apartment and draw attention to himself before losing consciousness.

Exam results

– The wound canal extended from the external auditory canal towards the center of the skull, with a slight forward inclination.

– Torn cartilaginous ear canal.

– After sliding the drill bit over the mastoid, continue the path obliquely forwards and downwards, along the long ascending branch of the mandible.

– Lesion of the internal jugular vein, rupture of the occipital artery and tearing of the accessory nerve, in addition destruction of the hypoglossal nerve and torn stylohyoid muscle.

– Perforated parotid gland, intraglandular destruction of certain branches of the facial nerve (consequence: peripheral facial paresis).

Treatment and evolution

After being admitted to the clinic, the man was immediately operated on and survived his injuries. After the operation, he developed an organic psychosyndrome with orientation disorders, psychomotor retardation and depressed mood. An accentuated left hemiparesis at the level of the arm with a weak spasticity remained durable.

The woman, who fled immediately after the incident, was sought on an international arrest warrant and eventually arrested. She confessed to the facts and cited as a reason repeated sexual violence by her ex-husband (judgment: a prison sentence of 3 years and 4 months).

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Discussion

As medical examiners explain, injuries from power drills are usually unintentional or related to suicidal intent. As an instrument, electric drills are relevant to both suicide and murder, as they are easily accessible and found in almost every home in varying sizes.

From a forensic perspective, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between injuries caused by power drills and those caused by suicidal intent, say medical examiners. Besides the existence of active and passive defense wounds or trial and hesitation wounds, the accessibility of the entry point of the suicide tool should be considered as an important aspect. In the case of the 47-year-old man, it was above all the absence of defensive injuries that raised the suspicion of suicide or attempted suicide. However, as the man was attacked in his sleep, he would not have had the opportunity to defend himself. Only the differentiated expertise, with a comparison of the configuration of the drill used (total length close to 70 cm) and the biometrics of the injured party’s arm, made it possible to exclude a suicide.

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