Forensic Investigation - Gun Shot Wound - Male Skull

  • 3 Replies

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Offline Cruisa

  • First timers
  • *
  • 2
    • View Profile

    I'm a grade 11 pupil at St. Andrews School for Girls and have entered a science expo for presentation in May 2012.  I have a replica of a skull, with a projectile wound (.32 calibre gun shot) to the left eyebank (point of entry) and an exit point in the left occipital lobe.

    As part of my forensic investigation, I need to determine :
       - the race of the victim
       - the gender of the victim
       - the age of the victim
       - the angle at which the projectile penetrated the skull (the shooter must have been at a higher point than the victim as the exit point is lower than the entry point)
       - was the victim on his/her knees or was the shooter on a staircase looking down at the victim
       - how far from the victim was the shooter (there are no clues as to a pressure point on soft tissue, nor gun powder residue)
       - how does one determine the trajectory of the projectile (.32 calibre gun shot)
       - was the gun shot fatal and why
       - if the gun shot wound was not fatal what would the life 'quality' of the victim have been
       - can one determine whether the victim was already dead prior to the gun shot
       - the concave nature of the exit point must be able to assist in determining the type of weapon and distance of the shooter to the victim.
       - what would the projectile look like after exit from the skull

    Your guidance and forensic knowledge on the above is truly appreciated. Please find attached two pictures of the skull.....1 X frontal view of the projectile entry point to the left eye bank, and 1 X exit point of the projectile in the left occipital lobe. Unfortunately the replica skull did not include bone fragemnts nor the projectile specimen.

    I have done some research on determining the race of the skull and gender and purchased books off the internet on forensics. I want to win this expo and I can achieve this with your collective help.

    Thank you,



Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • 12342
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Re: Forensic Investigation - Gun Shot Wound - Male Skull
« Reply #1 on: 08/03/2012 20:26:11 »

Kate, it's a lovely thought to do it together, but it's better for you to do it yourself.
References should be cool though, if someone have better one.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2012 20:28:31 by yor_on »
"BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT. If you see me running, try to keep up."


Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 6321
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Forensic Investigation - Gun Shot Wound - Male Skull
« Reply #2 on: 09/03/2012 08:54:19 »
Your picture looks like a real skull.  Is your replica of that skull?  Hopefully your skull has the top of the cranial cap removed so you can look inside.
You can find some of the answers on the web.  Look up individual questions such as M/F skulls (didn't you already answer that in your title?)

Try putting a dowel through the hole , then compare the skull to your own head.  It should be apparent whether it was shot from in front or behind, but you will find information about direction of bullets path on the web.

Look for information about other head trauma victims.  Some might be hard to dig up.  There was a story we studied in psychology of a construction that fell and impaled his head on a piece of rebar, and survived, but unfortunately I don't remember the specifics.  I'm seeing notes about a TV series "Impact Stories, S01E07".  Perhaps that is the same case.

You might look for some information about James Brady, one of President Regan's guards that was shot, although most of the information I'm seeing is from the early 80's.  For something more contemporary, you could read about Gabrielle Giffords, although it sounds like her injury was quite different than yours.  Why?

Do you have a model of the brain?  Try to figure out what was hit based on looking at the brain.
There is a lot of information about frontal lobe damage.
Also look at the innervation of the eyes. 
Would the brain stem have been hit?

Take  a lot of pictures of your skull to illustrate your findings.

Good Luck, it should be an informative project.  But, as yor_on said, you will do better if you do your own research.


Offline Cruisa

  • First timers
  • *
  • 2
    • View Profile
Re: Forensic Investigation - Gun Shot Wound - Male Skull
« Reply #3 on: 12/03/2012 11:15:23 »
Dear Sir,

Thank you for your guidance.