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NCJ Number: 67230 Find in a Library
Title: DETERMINATION OF DIRECTION OF FIRE FROM GRAZE GUNSHOT WOUNDS
Journal: JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES  Volume:25  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1980)  Pages:272-279
Author(s): D S DIXON
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: EXAMINATION OF EXPERIMENTALLY PRODUCED GRAZE BULLET WOUNDS OF SKIN SHOWS THAT SPECIFIC WOUND TRAITS MAY HELP DETERMINE THE DIRECTION ON THE SKIN OF THE BULLET'S PATH.
Abstract: GRAZE WOUNDS WERE MADE BY HANDGUNS ON THE HEAD AND ABDOMEN OF WHITE SWINE. WOUNDS WERE THEN EXAMINED VISUALLY AND MICROSCOPICALLY. IN ALL WOUNDS, ELONGATED TISSUE FRAGMENTS (SKIN TAGS) WERE PRODUCED CONNECTED TO THE WOUND'S MARGIN BUT PROJECTING INTO THE CENTER. EXAMPLES OF WOUNDS FROM .22 AND .38 CALIBER GUNS SHOW SKIN TAGS POINTING IN THE DIRECTION OF FIRE. FURTHER, UNDER THE MICROSCOPE, THE SKIN TAG NEAREST THE WEAPON APPEARS AS A LACERATION WITH IRREGULAR MARGINS AND TISSUE BRIDGED BY NERVES, VESSELS, AND SKIN STRANDS, WHILE THE SKIN TAG BORDER FARTHEST FROM THE WEAPON HAS A SIMPLE, ABRADED EDGE. IT IS MISLEADING TO SIMPLY STATE, AS SOME AUTHORITIES HAVE, THAT SKIN TAGS IN GRAZE WOUNDS POINT IN THE DIRECTION OF THE WEAPON, OR OPPOSITE THE BULLET'S PATH, SINCE SKIN TAGS CAN BE EASILY REORIENTED. HOWEVER, THE DIRECTION OF FIRE CAN BE DEPENDABLY DETERMINED IN A GRAZE WOUND BY EXAMINING SKIN TAGS BY HAND LENS OR DISSECTING SCOPE FOR THE LACERATED BORDER, WHICH IS EXPERIMENTALLY SHOWN TO BE TOWARD THE WEAPON. EXAMPLES OF ACTUAL GUNSHOT WOUNDS IN WHICH THE DIRECTION OF THE WEAPON WAS KNOWN BY A BYSTANDER SUPPORT THIS CONCLUSION. BULLET RESIDUE PATTERNS OR POWDER STIPPLING MAY BE USED IN SOME CASES TO CONFIRM THE DIRECTION OF FIRE. ILLUSTRATIONS AND FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Ballistics; Bullet hole identification; Criminal investigation; Evidence collection; Gunshot residue; Handguns
Note: PRESENTED AT THE 30TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, ST LOUIS, MO, FEB 1978
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67230

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