[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we present a unique pattern of blunt force cranial trauma that was observed in 10 of a sample of 85 crania from a Cambodian skeletal collection comprised of Khmer Rouge victims. Initial examination of the trauma, which presents as substantial damage to the occipital with fractures extending to the cranial base, suggested the pattern was classifiable as a basilar or ring fracture. However, further investigation, including trauma analysis and historical research, revealed that this fracture type is distinctive from basilar and ring fractures. Historical data indicate that a particular execution method was the likely source of the trauma. Recognition of this trauma pattern is significant because it exemplifies the distinct fracture configuration resulting from an apparently categorical and methodical execution technique. Identification of this fracture type could potentially assist forensic investigators in the recognition of specific methods of murder or execution.
Journal of Forensic Sciences 10/2006; 51(5):996-1001. · 1.24 Impact Factor