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Characteristics of sex-related homicides in Alaska

Henry, Tara MSN, FNP-C, SANE-A, SANE-P1

Journal of Forensic Nursing: June 2010 - Volume 6 - Issue 2 - p 57–65
doi: 10.1111/j.1939-3938.2010.01069.x
Original Articles

The identification and interpretation of anogenital findings postmortem is a critical component of a sex-related homicide investigation. The use of a colposcope to assist in identifying anogenital injuries in living sexual assault victims is well established. The use of a colposcope for postmortem anogenital examination has been briefly mentioned in a few publications, however, no studies were found regarding the types and sites of postmortem anogenital injuries identified with a colposcope in sex-related homicide cases. The purpose of this study was to describe the demographic, physical examination, and victim-suspect relationship characteristics of sex-related homicides in Alaska. Genital findings in living and deceased sexual assault victims in Alaska were compared. Implications: Given the results of this study, postmortem sexual assault examinations should be conducted in all suspected intimate partner homicides. Further implications for forensic nursing practice and recommendations for future research are discussed.

1Forensic Nurse Services, Anchorage, AK

Received: April 29, 2009; accepted: July 8, 2009

Correspondence Tara Henry, MSN, FNP-C, SANE-A, SANE-P, Forensic Nurse Services, 16372 Sandpiper Drive, Anchorage, AK 99516. Tel: 907–227–6654; E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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