|EVIDENCE||D. A. A.||PHOTO OPS||LINKS||CONTACT|
The AutopsyThe autopsy was performed at the Orange County Sheriff/Coroner's medical examiner's facility (California) on January 22, 1991. The following observations were taken directly from the autopsy report and autopsy photos:
Figure 3. (a) X-ray of the victim’s skull from the right side showing a depressed right occipital fracture; arrow points to the depressed fracture of the occipital region of the skull behind the right ear. The small bright objects are shotgun pellets. (b) The back of the head prior to cleaning; the dark red pattern on the back of the head is blood. The blood came mainly from the mouth and nose and flowed to the back of the head during transport of the body for autopsy at the Orange County Sheriff/ Coroner’s Office. The swollen area on the back of the head and neck is outlined by blood; the posterior of the right pinna not covered by blood shows ecchymosis typical of “Battle’s sign” (see text). (c) Autopsy image with the victim’s reflected scalp revealing part of the hematoma that had formed over the depressed skull fracture.
Skull Fracture: A 2.5 cm diameter, depressed (approximately 2 cm) occipital skull fracture was demonstrated on autopsy x-rays (Fig. 3a). A photograph taken prior to the autopsy (Fig. 3b) demonstrates massive swelling of the right posterior head and neck. A hematoma was discovered immediately under that swollen area (Fig. 3c) and immediately over the depressed skull fracture. All the shotgun pellets were located within the confines of the skull. There were no bone fragments or shotgun pellets within the hematoma. The x-ray (Fig. 3a) shows the fractured bone protruding inwardly not outwardly as would occur if the fracture was the result of the intraoral shotgun wound.