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American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e318187df63
Original Article

Coins as Intermediate Targets: Reconstructive Analysis With Synthetic Body Models

Thali, Michael J. MD*†; Kneubuehl, Beat P. PhD†; Rodriguez, William R. PhD*; Smirniotopoulos, James G. MD‡; Richardson, A Charles DDS§; Fowler, David MD¶; Godwin, Michael*; Jurrus, Aaron*; Fletcher, Douglas PhD‡§; Mallak, Craig MD*

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Abstract

The phenomenon of intermediate targets is well known in wound ballistics. In forensic science, models are used to reconstruct injury patterns to answer questions regarding the dynamic formation of these unusual injuries. Soft-tissue substitutes or glycerin soap and ordnance gelatin have been well established. Recently, based on previous experiences with artificial bone, a skull-brain model was developed. The goal of this study was to create and analyze a model-supported reconstruction of a real forensic case with a coin as an intermediate target. It was possible not only to demonstrate the “bullet-coin interaction,” but also to recreate the wound pattern found in the victim. This case demonstrates that by using ballistic models, gunshot cases can be reproduced simply and economically, without coming into conflict with ethical guidelines.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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