Journal Published Online: 01 March 1996
Volume 41, Issue 2

Identification of a Killer by a Definitive Sneaker Pattern and His Beating Instruments by Their Distinctive Patterns



A 39-year-old male service station attendant was found murdered on the floor of a gasoline service area by a passing motorist who had stopped for gas. The victim had been brutally beaten all over his entire body. After carefully examining the body and scene and taking selective photographs, special procedures were implemented in an attempt to preserve and transport the body without disturbing any items of evidence. In addition, specific evidentiary items were noted and collected for processing. The victim was meticulously examined externally at autopsy using a special protocol to locate clues that might assist in identifying a suspect or instrument of injury or death. Patterned impressions and subsequent DNA analysis proved successful in identifying the perpetrator of the crime and the instruments used in inflicting the beating.

It is the purpose of this paper to show how a meticulous examination of the body for the presence of patterned injuries and critical studies of these patterns and impressions led to the identification of a killer and the instruments he used in a brutal beating.

Author Information

Zugibe, FT
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pomona, NY
Costello, J
Rockland County Medical Examiner's Office
Breithaupt, M
Rockland County Medical Examiner's Office
Pages: 4
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JFS15433J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS15433J