Clothing

Individuals with self-inflicted firearm injuries can be nude, bare the entry site by opening their clothes, reclothe themselves after firing, or be clothed (55,59,73,105,

Fig. 25. Multishot suicide. Three gunshot wounds of head. (A) Two hard contact wounds under chin. (B) Wound tracks passed through the mouth and mid-facial bones exiting above and below the eye. The cranial cavity was not penetrated. (C) Third hard contact wound above right ear. (D) Wound track passed through the brain and exited from the left scalp. (Courtesy of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal.)

Fig. 25. Multishot suicide. Three gunshot wounds of head. (A) Two hard contact wounds under chin. (B) Wound tracks passed through the mouth and mid-facial bones exiting above and below the eye. The cranial cavity was not penetrated. (C) Third hard contact wound above right ear. (D) Wound track passed through the brain and exited from the left scalp. (Courtesy of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal.)

112,117,158). Shooting through clothing is not an indicator of homicide (158). Retention of clothing is essential in the police investigation (16).

Clothing alters the appearance of wounds by acting as an intermediary target (see Heading 9.). If clothing or other material is interposed between the muzzle and skin, then soot deposits on the fabric, and other characteristics normally associated with a contact range wound, are altered (Fig. 20; refs. 16, 55, and 59). Injuries caused by clothing acting as an intermediary target can mimic a contact wound (Fig. 38). Collection of clothing and any

Fig. 26. Hard contact gunshot entry, right temple. No soot is seen on the skin surface. The wound edge is stellate. A muzzle imprint (arrow) is evident. (Courtesy of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Chapel Hill, NC.)

other interposed material is essential (159). Soot may be absent on the wound (55). Soot is also obscured by dark clothing and blood (Fig. 20; refs. 103 and 160). Little bleeding around an entry usually involves a small-caliber weapon and an area of the body either under pressure from clothing or elevated. The edge of the material around the entry can be burned (60).

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