(Received 4 February 1985; accepted 15 May 1985)
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External beam proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) analysis has been used to verify the presence of lead in the finger bone of a murder victim. The deceased, who had been buried several years, was known to have suffered a bullet wound to his right hand several yers before death. X-ray radiographs of the right second proximal phalanx revealed the possible presence of metal fragments below the surface of the bone. To verify the presence of lead in a nondestructive manner, the bone was scanned with a 1.5-MeV proton beam. PIXE analysis showed that lead was present only in the vicinity of the fragments previously detected in the radiographs. A study of gunshot residue in bone shows that the distribution of lead around the bullet hole is independent of the firing distance for distances greater than 0.6 m.
Forensic anthropology consultant, Rhode Island Medical Examiner's Office, Providence, RI
Chairman, Engineering Physics Program, Norman, OK
Associate professor of physics and astronomy, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Stock #: JFS11861J