CASE REPORT PATHOLOGY/BIOLOGY
Suicidal Decapitation by Guillotine: Case Report and Review of the Literature
Article first published online: 7 MAY 2012
© 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 6, pages 1643–1645, November 2012
How to Cite
Hejna, P., Šafr, M. and Zátopková, L. (2012), Suicidal Decapitation by Guillotine: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 1643–1645. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02153.x
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 7 MAY 2012
- Received 25 May 2011; and in revised form 16 Aug. 2011; accepted 21 Aug. 2011.
- forensic science;
- cutting instrument;
Abstract: Suicidal decapitation is seldom encountered in forensic medicine practice. This study reports the analysis of a suicide committed by a 31-year-old man with a self-fabricated guillotine. The construction of the guillotine was very interesting and sophisticated. The guillotine-like blade with additional weight was placed in a large metal frame. The movement of the blade was controlled by the frame rails. The steel blade was triggered by a tensioned rubber band after releasing the safety catch. The cause of death was immediate exsanguination after complete severance of the neck. The suicide motive was most likely emotional distress after the death of his father. In medico-legal literature, there has been only one similar case of suicidal complete decapitation by a guillotine described.