The interpretation of sharp force fatality dynamics may be difficult in some cases, but a contribution to analysis of the phenomenon may be provided by case studies. Therefore, the purpose of our study is focused on identifying, in observed sharp force fatalities, reliable parameters that can differentiate a homicidal and suicidal manner of death, with particular reference to criminological parameters. Data derived from sharp force fatality cases in Padua and Venice from 1997 to 2019, anonymized and collected in Excel, included personal, circumstantial, clinical, and psychopathological–criminological data, as well as crime scene investigation, necroscopic, and toxicological data. Statistical analyses were performed using chi-square and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. Possible predictors of homicide were analyzed by logistic regression. Six parameters (bloodstains distant from the body, clothing lacerations, hesitation/defense wounds, number of injuries, and potential motives) were significantly different in the two groups (p < 0.05). An independent statistical association between potential motives explaining the crime (p < 0.001; OR 27.533) and homicide on multiple logistic regression analysis was highlighted. The absence of clothing lacerations was inversely related to homicide (p = 0.002, OR 0.092). To the best of our knowledge, this is one of very few Italian studies concerning the differential diagnosis between homicidal and suicidal sharp force fatalities. The dynamics of the event is established in most cases by the integrated evaluation of data from crime scene investigation and the autopsy. Nevertheless, in an atypical scenario, a psychopathological–criminological analysis may provide essential elements, and particular attention should be given to the identification of potential explanatory motives.

Criminological and Medico-legal Aspects in Homicidal and Suicidal Sharp Force Fatalities

Terranova C.
;
Doro L.;Viero A.;Montisci M.
2020

Abstract

The interpretation of sharp force fatality dynamics may be difficult in some cases, but a contribution to analysis of the phenomenon may be provided by case studies. Therefore, the purpose of our study is focused on identifying, in observed sharp force fatalities, reliable parameters that can differentiate a homicidal and suicidal manner of death, with particular reference to criminological parameters. Data derived from sharp force fatality cases in Padua and Venice from 1997 to 2019, anonymized and collected in Excel, included personal, circumstantial, clinical, and psychopathological–criminological data, as well as crime scene investigation, necroscopic, and toxicological data. Statistical analyses were performed using chi-square and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. Possible predictors of homicide were analyzed by logistic regression. Six parameters (bloodstains distant from the body, clothing lacerations, hesitation/defense wounds, number of injuries, and potential motives) were significantly different in the two groups (p < 0.05). An independent statistical association between potential motives explaining the crime (p < 0.001; OR 27.533) and homicide on multiple logistic regression analysis was highlighted. The absence of clothing lacerations was inversely related to homicide (p = 0.002, OR 0.092). To the best of our knowledge, this is one of very few Italian studies concerning the differential diagnosis between homicidal and suicidal sharp force fatalities. The dynamics of the event is established in most cases by the integrated evaluation of data from crime scene investigation and the autopsy. Nevertheless, in an atypical scenario, a psychopathological–criminological analysis may provide essential elements, and particular attention should be given to the identification of potential explanatory motives.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3338016
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