Imaging Wound Ballistics - Taking Full Advantage of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

A special issue of Forensic Sciences (ISSN 2673-6756).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 17909

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Forensic Medicine and Imaging, Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190/52, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Interests: forensic radiology; postmortem imaging; postmortem 1H-MRS
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Guest Editor
Department of Forensic Medicine and Imaging, Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190/52, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Interests: 3D imaging; photogrammetry; photography; postmortem imaging; multispectral imaging; computed tomography; 3D reconstruction and visualization; gunshot wounds

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We set up the Special Issue “Imaging Wound Ballistics” in Forensic Sciences, which covers the use of any imaging technique across the electromagnetic spectrum to document, detect, preserve and examine gunshot-related injuries or the effectiveness of a bullet in ballistic experiments.

The standard imaging technique used for the documentation of gunshot-related injuries is certainly photography. The result, a photograph, is a two-dimensional (2D) image created by visible light, which is defined as electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be perceived by the human eye. Visible light lies between ultraviolet (shorter wavelengths) and infrared radiation (longer wavelengths). The latter is commonly used for the detection and visualization of gunshot residues. Recent approaches apply photogrammetry to reconstruct three-dimensional (3D) models based on multispectral photographs (within the range of ultraviolet and near-infrared radiation). Moreover, 3D multispectral imaging allows one to document the entire external body within a broad range of electromagnetic radiation. Furthermore, it enables detecting and visualizing latent injuries and bruises in the subcutaneous tissue. To obtain information from the inside of the body, electromagnetic radiation with very short wavelengths (X-ray imaging) or very long wavelengths (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) is necessary. Radiographs (X-rays) are used to locate lodged bullets and are applied to detect bony injuries. Furthermore, 3D (X-ray) computed tomography (CT) additionally provides a better soft tissue contrast than radiographs and allows one to align the dataset according to the bullet path. MRI, in turn, yields a much higher soft tissue contrast than X-ray imaging and facilitates the detection of small soft tissue injuries. Therefore, CT and MRI are valuable imaging techniques in radiologic wound ballistics.

Since wound ballistics can be considered as the interdisciplinary intersection of forensic medicine and terminal ballistics, the imaging of ordnance gelatin, ballistic soap, or other simulants used in experimental studies are of great interest to this Special Issue.

The Special Issue “Imaging Wound Ballistics” welcomes articles (reviews, communications, original studies, technical reports, and case reports) that focus on the application of imaging techniques in gunshot-related injuries in humans, animals, or simulants in a forensic context.

Mr. Dominic Gascho
Mr. Sören Kottner
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Radiologic Wound Ballistics
  • Terminal Ballistics
  • Forensic Imaging
  • Forensic Photography
  • Surface Scanning
  • Photogrammetry
  • Multispectral Imaging
  • X-ray Imaging
  • Computed Tomography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Micro-CT
  • Microscopy
  • High-speed Camera
  • Gunshot Residue
  • Projectile
  • Bullet Trajectory
  • Shooting Incident Reconstruction
  • Virtual Autopsy

Published Papers (3 papers)

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11 pages, 2753 KiB  
Article
Correlations of Autopsy and Postmortem CT in Fatal Ballistic Injuries
by Pierre Gach, Lucile Tuchtan, Julien Mancini, Clémence Delteil, Pierre Massiani, Christophe Bartoli, Marie-Dominique Piercecchi and Guillaume Gorincour
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 190-200; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010015 - 26 Feb 2022
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Abstract
Purpose: To study the respective contributions and correlations of autopsy and PMCT in fatal ballistic injuries. Methods: A single-center retrospective descriptive study was carried out over a 10-years period (2008–2017) that included cases of fatal ballistic injuries that had undergone unenhanced PMCT followed [...] Read more.
Purpose: To study the respective contributions and correlations of autopsy and PMCT in fatal ballistic injuries. Methods: A single-center retrospective descriptive study was carried out over a 10-years period (2008–2017) that included cases of fatal ballistic injuries that had undergone unenhanced PMCT followed by autopsy. In addition to demographics, the main data collected independently at autopsy and PMCT were the number of injuries, their trajectory, distances from the sole of the feet of the entry and exit wounds, projectile caliber and gunshot residue, detailed examination of the injuries, and detection of effusions. Results: Initially, 225 cases were included, of which 158 complete records were analyzed. The mean age of the victims was 41.5 years, and 93% were male. PMCT and autopsy findings were concordant concerning the number of injuries, their trajectory, and distance of the entry and exit wounds from the sole of the feet. Findings were not concordant regarding gunshot residues on the skin (autopsy more efficient) or detection of effusions (PMCT more efficient). The limitations of PMCT were the positioning of the limbs outside the field of acquisition and the impossibility of reliably determining the caliber of the projectiles. Some discrepancies were related to occasionally missing autopsy data, particularly the distance from the sole of the feet or measurements of the volume of effusion. Conclusions: This study provides more detailed knowledge of the accordance of autopsy and PMCT in analyzing fatal ballistic injuries. Full article
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16 pages, 5461 KiB  
Article
Defining Patterns and Behaviours of Forward Spatter Gunshot Misting
by Eugene Liscio and Bianca Ledo
Forensic Sci. 2021, 1(2), 86-101; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci1020009 - 9 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 9537
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to study forward-spatter misting patterns by shooting a firearm through a chamber of blood encased in ballistic gel to determine if there is a relationship between bloodstain pattern size as a function of distance and orientation. There [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to study forward-spatter misting patterns by shooting a firearm through a chamber of blood encased in ballistic gel to determine if there is a relationship between bloodstain pattern size as a function of distance and orientation. There is a lack of research on forward spatter, blood travelling in the direction of a bullet, as most studies focus on back spatter, blood travelling in the opposite direction of a bullet. A bullet was fired through ballistic gel containing a blood chamber, depositing bloodstains onto a large sheet of butcher paper as the target surface. In total, there were 34 trials. The distances observed were 10, 20, 40, and 80 cm, the angles tested were 30°, 60°, and 90°. The orientation between the ballistic gel and paper target varied. A criterion was established to observe the overall area and symmetry of the bloodstain patterns. Statistical analyses indicated a negative linear relation relationship between the bloodstain pattern size and the paper’s angle and distance (R2 = 0.78) and the vertical symmetry of the bloodstain (R2 = 0.87). The orientation between the ballistic gel and paper target can impact the bloodstain pattern’s symmetry and size. Full article
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4 pages, 2392 KiB  
Case Report
A Suicide Attempt with a Velo-Dog Pocket Revolver in an Alleged Victim of Carjacking
by Carlos Durão and Ricardo Jorge Dinis-Oliveira
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 107-110; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010008 - 2 Feb 2022
Viewed by 2697
Abstract
In hospital emergencies, we can have the most picturesque and impressive cases, from the simplest to the most complex. Violence cases are not rare, and among these are the injuries caused by firearms, which may vary in severity depending on the affected region [...] Read more.
In hospital emergencies, we can have the most picturesque and impressive cases, from the simplest to the most complex. Violence cases are not rare, and among these are the injuries caused by firearms, which may vary in severity depending on the affected region and the energy of the projectile. Head injuries are generally very serious, and it is rare the individuals survival without sequelae. This work reports a 38-year-old man who was admitted to the emergency room alone in the morning, walking, lucid, and oriented, mentioning that the night before he was in the car and that he had been shot in the head in an attempt at carjacking. On examination, he had only one entry wound in the right temporal region, and the history revealed a suicide attempt with a very rare firearm: a Velo-Dog. We hypothesized that the low-density energy of this revolver, which historically used to be carried by cyclists as a defense against dog attacks, may partially explains the non-skull penetration. Full article
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