Case study


How to cite: Pessoa CF, Loubet NSV, Falcão ACGP, Aguiar MSV. An atypical homicide caused by cut-throats in Brazil. Persp Med Legal Pericia Med. 2023; 8: e230621

Submitted 05/16/2023
Accepted 06/13/2021

Study approved by the Ethics Committee of the Legal Medical Institute of Porto Velho – RO, at meeting 003/2022, held on 07/08/2022. The authors inform there is no conflict of interest.


Conrado Falcon Pessoa (1)

Nathália dos Santos Vieira Loubet (2)

Ana Cecília Guedes Pereira Falcão (3)

Murilo Sérgio Valente-Aguiar (4)

(1) Centro Universitário São Lucas – UNISL, Porto Velho – RO, Brasil. (autor principal)

(2) Centro Universitário São Lucas – UNISL, Porto Velho – RO, Brasil. (autor secundário)

(3) Faculdades Integradas Aparício de Carvalho – FIMCA, Porto Velho – RO, Brasil. (levantamento bibliográfico e coordenador)

(4) Instituto Médico Legal Dr. José Adelino da Silva, Porto Velho – RO, Brasil. (coordenador e orientador)



When the police are called in to investigate a crime involving neck incisions, determining the nature of the wounds – whether they were inflicted by homicidal, suicidal, or accidental means – can be challenging. This is especially true if the medical examiner cannot be present at the crime scene or if there are no reliable witnesses to provide insight into the nature of the wounds.

In this case report, the victim’s body displayed four incisive wounds to the anterior part of the neck. Three of these wounds had hesitation marks, indicating that the cause of death was likely suicidal. However, two cervical constriction marks suggested the possibility of strangulation. As the police investigation progressed, it was discovered that these marks were consistent with the pattern left by the rope used by the killers to drag the body to a remote location away from the crime scene. The hesitation marks, on the other hand, were attributed to the killer’s alcohol intoxication.

All this information was crucial in enabling the medical examiner to rule out strangulation as the cause of death, and instead determine that the victim had died due to mechanical asphyxiation resulting from blood aspiration from the neck incisions. This conclusion enabled the crime to be classified as an atypical homicide. It is important to emphasize that sharing the findings from forensic autopsies of homicides is essential for the advancement and improvement of forensic medicine.

Keywords: Homicide, Suicide, Autopsy, Asphyxia, Strangulation, Neck injuries.

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