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Forensic Sci Int. 2009 Aug 10;189(1-3):e9-12. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.03.028. Epub 2009 May 9.

Extended suicide using an atypical stud gun.

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Institute of Forensic Medicine, Stiftsplatz 12, 53111 Bonn, Germany.


Suicides with stud guns are uncommon, but are well documented in the literature. On rare occasions, stud guns are also used as a homicide weapon. This case report describes an extended suicide in which a husband killed his wife and their two dogs, which lived on the property. The husband then committed suicide with a shot from the stud gun into his skull. He was a 70-year-old pensioner, a retired butcher, who was found by his son. He was lying in a supine position on a carpet in the living room, with the stud gun stuck in his skull. During autopsy, high concentrations of an antihistamine were found in the blood of each corpse; this drug is used as a soporific. In contrast to the literature, which mainly describes powder deposits due to the use of conventional stud guns, in this case a stud gun was used in which the expanding gases and powder escaped together with the central bolt at the front of the device; powder drains were not involved. Detailed findings of the autopsy are given with reference to this type of stud gun.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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