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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148151 Find in a Library
Title: Handling and Interpretation of Crossbow Injuries
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:39  Issue:2  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:428-445
Author(s): J C U Downs; C A Nichols; D Scala-Barnett; B D Lifschultz
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report details two homicides and one suicide committed using a crossbow and explains the implications of such cases for handling and wound interpretation by forensic pathologists.
Abstract: A medical examiner usually encounters an anecdotal account of bow injuries. The mechanism of an arrow injury is usually obvious if the projectile protrudes from the wound; however, the possibility of insertion into a preexisting gunshot wound should be considered. The two major types of arrowheads, field tip and broadhead, produce distinctive wounds. The arrow or bolt itself may be one of the only clues to the identity of an unknown assailant. No clear protocol exists in handling wounds of this type; it is suggested that the arrow be left in place until the patient or body is examined. Efforts should be taken to preserve any latent fingerprints on the arrow. Radiographs should be obtained to determine the wound course and to localize any projective or fragments. These and any intact portions of involved bone should be retained for possible comparative tool mark analysis. Photographs and 26 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Death investigations; Forensic medicine; Weapons
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