Document Detail

Suicide with associated acts of arson: two cases from Colorado.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16882235     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We report on two cases of suicide in which the victims started fires before their deaths. In one case the victim died of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after setting several fires in his residence. In the second case the victim hung himself after setting several fires in his residence and an adjoining building. In both cases, the victim's position was not near the origin of the fires suggesting that the arson was not a failsafe device to the primary mechanism of suicide. Neither victim showed a significant percentage of carboxyhemoglobin, or thermal damage from the fires. Both cases are remarkable in that, had the fire caused more damage to the remains and dwellings, a finding of suicide may not have been reached. We discuss similar aspects between the two reported cases and discuss differences observed with similar events such as complex suicide, suicide by self-immolation, and concealed homicide by burning. Similar cases should be reported to broaden our understanding of these complex events.
Thomas W Adair; Angela Fisher
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of forensic sciences     Volume:  51     ISSN:  0022-1198     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Forensic Sci.     Publication Date:  2006 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-08-02     Completed Date:  2006-10-12     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375370     Medline TA:  J Forensic Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  893-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Westminster Police Department, 9110 Yates Street, Westminster, CO 80031, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Firesetting Behavior*
Forensic Medicine
Middle Aged
Neck Injuries / pathology
Suicide* / psychology
Wounds, Gunshot / pathology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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