Volume 49, Issue 5 (September 2004)
Homicidal Cerebral Artery Aneurysm Rupture
When a normally natural mechanism of death is induced by physical injury or intense emotional stress, it is appropriate to rule the manner of death as something other than natural. When the case-specific circumstances are such that the death occurs as a result of the criminal activity of another person, it is acceptable to rule such deaths as homicides. Presented herein is a case of homicidal cerebral artery aneurysm rupture occuring in an intoxicated, 46-year-old man who was punched in the face by another individual. The details of the case are presented, followed by a discussion of the controversies that exist when dealing with such cases. Guidelines for investigating similar deaths are presented, with emphasis on the timing of the trauma in relation to onset of symptoms due to aneurysm rupture.