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A planned complex suicide by self-stabbing and vehicular crash: An original case and review of the literature

Christin, Emilie, Hiquet, Jean, Fougas, Jonathan, Dubourg, Olivier, Gromb-Monnoyeur, Sophie
Forensic science international 2018 v.285 pp. e13
accidents, blood, chest, crime, death, forensic sciences, necropsy, police, suicide, traffic
Suicide is a frequent manner of unnatural death, especially from a forensic point of view. Complex suicide is defined as a recourse to more than one potentially lethal mechanism to deliberately induce death. This paper presents a complex suicide with a novel combination of self-killing methods. A 27 year-old man, working as a butcher, was found dead in his crashed car. The facts were initially in favour of an obvious traffic accident until a knife was discovered penetrating the driver’s chest, requiring the police who were on the scene to carry out a criminal investigation. The cause of death was a major hemorrhagic process due to vascular thoracic lesions and internal blood loss. Based on the circumstances surrounding the death, the police investigations and the findings at the autopsy, the case was classified as a planned complex suicide. Through this original combination of two methods of suicide, this paper underlines the significance of a complete criminal investigation supported by a detailed crime scene inspection and autopsy examination.