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13.02.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2020

International Journal of Legal Medicine 2/2020

Analysis of false start bone lesions produced by an electrical oscillating autopsy saw

International Journal of Legal Medicine > Ausgabe 2/2020
Caroline Bernardi, Luísa Nogueira, Véronique Alunni, Gérald Quatrehomme
Wichtige Hinweise


- A stereomicroscopic study of false start lesions in human and pig bones caused by an electric oscillating autopsy saw
- The pattern of the false starts is determined by the depth of the lesions
- A typical pattern includes a “figure of 8” aspect (alternating narrower and wider parts of the wall with oval bone islands) and undulating striae
- This typical “figure of 8” shape of the walls has not been observed with handsaws

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Postmortem dismemberment results from the use of sharp or sharp blunt instruments. Saws produce specific bone lesions, and the observation of certain saw mark features allows for the recognition of certain characteristics of the saw and its teeth. At autopsy, sections of the skull and other parts of the skeleton are usually achieved using an electrical oscillating autopsy saw. In cases of dismemberment, this autopsy saw may create additional marks to those produced by the criminal activity. In order to help the forensic pathologist to differentiate the two types of marks, this experimental study used a stereomicroscope to examine 130 experimental false starts produced on animal and human bones by an oscillating autopsy saw. A flagrant succession of narrow and wide aspects of the walls (in a “figure of 8” shape), with obvious oval bone islands and undulating striae are patterns typically left behind by oscillating autopsy saws, but the depth of the false starts plays an important role in the variation of the features. In particular, superficial false starts tend to be associated with larger kerf widths, straight walls, and longitudinal bone islands.

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