Mechanism of Death

On rare occasions, radiographic data can suggest the mechanism of death. In the previously mentioned case of the Cook of Ra, the depressed basilar skull fracture demonstrated no evidence of bony healing (see Figure 2.82). The images were reviewed by the deputy chief medical examiner for the state of Connecticut, Dr. Edward McDonough. He indicated that the fracture appeared to have been created by a rectangular-shaped object and produced from a blow that was delivered from right to the left. The direction of blow suggested that the implement was likely wielded by a right-handed individual. Dr. McDonough concluded that the injury should be considered the mechanism of death. The mechanism of death was also determined in another case, but required advanced imaging and will therefore be presented in Chapter 3.

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