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Suicidal Decapitation by Guillotine: Case Report

Shorrock, Kenneth M.B.Ch.B. L.L.B., M.D., F.R.C.S., F.R.C.Path., D.M.J.

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 2002 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 54-56
Case Reports
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A recently widowed man constructed a guillotine in the entrance to his cellar, having previously announced his intention to decapitate himself. A neighbor who saw the device from her house alerted the police. The deceased was found completely decapitated, still holding a pair of pliers that he had used to activate the mechanism. The findings of the resulting investigation are described, and the mechanism of suicidal decapitation is reviewed.

From Forensic Pathology, University of Sheffield, The Medicolegal Centre, Sheffield, U.K. E-mail: K.Shorrock@sheffield.ac.uk

Manuscript received June 9, 2001; accepted August 22, 2001.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kenneth Shorrock, Forensic Pathology, University of Sheffield, The Medicolegal Centre, Watery Street, Sheffield S3 7ES, U.K.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.