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Blood and Tissue Spatter Associated with Chainsaw Dismemberment

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Abstract: 

In response to the unexpected paucity of blood/tissue spatter at the site where a body of an adult woman was dismembered by an electric chainsaw, we dismembered two large pig carcasses with a small electric chainsaw in a controlled environment. These experiments demonstrated first that a large carcass could be easily dismembered by a small electric chainsaw. When the chainsaw bar is held parallel to the ground the majority of the blood and tissue is deposited directly beneath the saw and bar and very little elsewhere. If the discharge chute of the saw however is not oriented directly at the ground, larger amounts of blood and tissue may be sprayed on lateral surfaces or deposited some distance from the chainsaw. The characteristic striations created on the surface of wood as it is cut by a chainsaw can also be found on bony surfaces cut by a chainsaw.
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Keywords: blood spatter; chainsaw; dismemberment; forensic science; tissue spatter; tool marks

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pathology, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls, SD 57103.

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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