Three cases of suicide by electrocution with low-voltage current were observed in five years (1994–1998) by medical clinical forensic examiners of an Emergency Forensic Unit of the Paris suburb among 2000 external death examinations. The cases involved one woman, aged 72 and two men, aged 38 and 41. In the last two cases, electric burns were retrieved under bared electric wires, placed on the arms or fingers in order to realize a hand-to-hand electric circuit involving the heart muscle. In the other case, the electric circuit between mouth and foot also involved the heart muscle.
Household low-voltage current delivered (220 V in France) had a sufficient strength to induce local muscular paralysis and heart fibrillation. In the three cases, blood samples taken have retrieved very high levels of muscular enzymes (CPK, LDH) correlated to the mechanism of electric death. The rareness of suicide by electrocution and its forensic characteristics are detailed in order to help the clinical forensic examiners, prosecutors, and police officers concerned by such death examinations.