Volume 48, Issue 6 (November 2003)
Planned Complex Suicide by Self-Poisoning and a Manipulated Blank Revolver: Remarkable Findings Due to Multiple Gunshot Wounds and Self-Made Wooden Projectiles
A remarkable case of complex suicide with poisoning and multiple self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head is reported. After ingestion of a liquid insecticide, the victim shot himself twice in the head, once in each temple. Self-manufactured wooden dowels were used as projectiles in combination with conventional blank cartridges. The dowels had been glued on top of the blank cartridges and expelled by propellant gases. Moreover, the blank revolver used had been extensively manipulated in a rarely observed manner. Several occlusive devices had been removed from the barrel and the cylinder chamber to enable the expulsion of the wooden projectiles. The investigation of the methods used and the circumstances found at the scene pointed towards a planned complex suicide. A remarkable case with unusual projectiles, i.e., wooden dowels, fired by an extensively manipulated blank gun is reported, emphasizing the importance of close collaboration between the police firearm laboratory and forensic pathology in practical casework.