Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2014 - Volume 35 - Issue 1 > An Experimental Model of Tool Mark Striations by a Serrated...
American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000078
Original Articles

An Experimental Model of Tool Mark Striations by a Serrated Blade in Human Soft Tissues

Jacques, Rebekah MD*†; Kogon, Stanley DDS†‡; Shkrum, Michael MD*†

Collapse Box

Abstract

Tool mark analysis is a method of matching a weapon with the injury it caused. In a homicidal stabbing using a serrated knife, a stab wound that involves a cartilage may leave striations from the serration points on the blade edge. Assessing tissue striations is a means of identifying the weapon as having a serrated blade. This prospective study examines the possibility that similar striations may be produced in human soft tissues. Using tissues taken at the time of hospital-consented autopsies, stab wound tracks were assessed in a variety of human tissues (aorta, skin, liver, kidney, and cardiac and skeletal muscle). Stab wounds were produced postmortem with similar serrated and smooth-edged blades. The walls of the stab wounds were exposed, documented by photography and cast with dental impression material. Striations were identified by naked-eye examination in the skin and aorta. Photodocumentation of fresh tissue was best achieved in the aorta. Striations were not identified in wound tracks produced by the smooth-edged blade. Three blinded forensic pathologists were assessed for their ability to detect striations in photographs of wound tracks and had substantial interobserver agreement (κ = 0.76) identifying striations. This study demonstrates that tool mark striations can be present in some noncartilaginous human tissues.

Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Login

Article Tools

Share

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.