A CASE OF A STAB-INCISED INJURY TO THE CHEST AND HEART - ACCIDENT OR HOMICIDE - FORENSIC MEDICAL CONCLUSIONS AND SOLUTION OF THE CASE


Authors: Atanas Hristov, Teodora Kiryakova, Mihaela Georgieva, Alexandаr Alexandrov
Keywords: self-inflicted injury, homicide, stab-incised wound to the heart, bio-trace analysis, forensic medicine

Abstract:
We present a case of a family scandal between spouses, after which a report was submitted to the police about the death of the man. An inspection of the scene revealed a dead male lying transversely in a bed with a stab-incised wound in the heart area and a kitchen knife with bloodstains on it on the table next to the bed. During the interrogation, the woman testified about the case and stated that she was a victim of domestic violence, her husband had taken a knife and they got into a fight, as they both fell on the bed in the following position – she was lying on the bed and her husband on top of her. After the fall, she managed to push him to the side, and then she saw that the knife handle protruded from his chest. She took out the knife, left it on the table, and began giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but her husband died before the ambulance arrived. The autopsy revealed a stab wound to the left side of the chest and an injury to the left ventricle from a single-edged weapon, with a wound length of 14 cm. Subsequent bio-trace examination revealed that the blade of the knife was 20.2 cm long, with blood staining along it 14 cm from its tip to the handle. These data, compared with the other available traumatic injuries on the bodies of the deceased and his wife, lead to the conclusion that it is a deliberate stabbing with the knife in the heart area with subsequent rapid removal of the knife. It is impossible for this stab-incised wound to occur in the manner described by the wife. Therefore, this case should be considered a homicide not an accident.Download article