AUTOPSY REPORT 94-05135
I performed an autopsy on the body of GOLDMAN, RONALD at the DEPARTMENT
OF CORONER Los Angeles, California on June 14, 1994 @1030 HOURS
From the anatomic findings and pertinent history, I ascribe the death to:
MULTIPLE SHARP FORCE INJURIES Due To Or As a Consequence of
1. Sharp force wound of neck, left side, with transection of left
internal jugular vein.
2. Multiple stab wounds of chest, abdomen, and left thigh: Penetrating
stab wounds of chest and abdomen with right hemothorax and hemoperitoneum.
3. Multiple incised wounds of scalp, face, neck, chest and left hand
4. Multiple abrasions upper extremities and hands (defense wounds).
NOTES AND PROCEDURES
1. The body is described in the Standard Anatomical Position. Reference
is to this position only.
2. Where necessary, injuries are numbered for reference. This is
arbitrary and does not correspond to any order in which they may have been
incurred. All the injuries are antemortem, unless otherwise specified.
3. The term "anatomic" is used as a specification to indicate
correspondence with the description as set forth in the textbooks of Gross
Anatomy. It denotes freedom from significant, visible or morbid alteration.
The body is that of a well developed, well nourished Caucasian male
stated to be 25 years old. The body weighs 171 pounds, measuring 69 inches
from crown to sole. The hair on the scalp is brown and straight. The
irides appear hazel with the pupils fixed and dilated. The sclerae and
conjunctive are unremarkable, with no evidence of petechial hemorrhages on
either. Both upper and lower teeth are natural, and there are no injuries
of the gums, cheeks, or lips.
There is a picture-type tattoo on the lateral aspect of the left upper
arm. There are no deformities, old surgical scars or amputations.
Rigor mortis is fixed (see Form 1 of autopsy report).
The body appears to the Examiner as stated above. Identification is by
toe tag and the autopsy is not material to identification. The body is
The head is normocephalic, and there is extensive evidence of external
traumatic injury, to be described below. Otherwise, the eyes, nose and
mouth are not remarkable. The neck shows sharp force injuries to be
described below. The front of the chest and abdomen likewise show injuries
to be described below. The genitalia are that of an adult male, with the
penis circumcised, and no evidence of injury.
Examination of the posterior surface of the trunk reveals no antemortem
Refer to available photographs and diagrams and to the specific
documentation of the autopsy protocol.
The clothes were examined both before and after removal from the body.
The decedent was wearing a long-sleeved type of shirt/sweater; it was
On the front, lower right side, there was a 1 1/2 inch long slit-like
tear. Also on the lower right sleeve there was a 1 inch slit-like tear. On
the back there was a 1/2 inch slit-like tear on the right lower side.
Decedent was wearing a pair of Levi jeans bloodstained. On the outside
of the left hip region there was a 1-1/2 inch long slit-like tear. The
decedent also was wearing 2 canvas type boots and 2 sweat socks.
EVIDENCE OF THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION:
EVIDENCE OF INJURY:
SHARP FORCE INJURIES OF NECK:
1. Sharp force injury of neck, left side, transecting left internal
jugular vein. This sharp force injury is complex, and appears to be a
combination of a stabbing and cutting wound. It begins on the left side of
the neck, at the level of the midlarynx, over the left sternocleidomastoid
muscle; it is gaping, measuring 3 inches in length with smooth edges. It
tapers superiorly to 1 inch in length cut skin. Dissection discloses that
the wound path is through the skin, the subcutaneous tissue, and the
sternocleidomastoid muscle with hemorrhage along the wound path and
transection of the left internal jugular vein, with dark red-purple
hemorrhage in the adjacent subcutaneous tissue and fascia. The direction
of the pathway is upward and slightly front to back for a distance of
approximately 4 inches where it exits, post-auricular, in a 2 inch in
length gaping stab/incised wound which has undulating or wavy borders, but
not serrated. Intersecting the wound at right angle superior inferior is a
2 inch in length interrupted superficial, linear incised wound involving
only the skin. Also, intervening between the 2 gaping stab-incised wounds
is a horizontally oriented 3-1/2 inch in length interrupted superficial,
linear incised wound of the skin only.
In addition, there is a 1/2 inch long, linear-triangular in size wound of
the inferior portion of the left earlobe.
The direction of the sharp force injury is upward (rostral), and slightly
front to back with no significant angulation or deviation. The total
length of the wound path is approximately 4 inches. However, there is a
3/4 inch in length, linear, cutting or incised wound of the top or
superior aspect of the pinna of the left ear; a straight metallic probe
placed through the major sharp force injury shows that the injury of the
superior part of the ear can be aligned with the straight metallic rod,
suggesting that the 3 injuries are related; in this instance the total
length of the wound path is approximately 6 inches. Also, in the left
postauricular region, transversely oriented, extending from the auricular
attachment laterally to the scalp is a 1-1/8 inch in length linear
superficial incised skin wound.
Opinion: This sharp force injury of the neck is fatal, associated with
transection of the left internal jugular vein.
2. Sharp force wound of the right side of neck. This is a complex
injury, appearing to be a combination stabbing and cutting wound. The
initial wound is present on the right side of the neck, over the
sternocleidomastoid muscle, 3 inches directly below the right external
auditory canal. It is diagonally oriented, and after approximation of the
edges measures 5/8 inch in length; there is a pointed or tapered end
inferiorly and a split or forked end superiorly approximately 1/16 inch in
maximal width. Subsequent autopsy shows that the wound path is through the
skin and subcutaneous tissue, without penetration of injury of a major
artery or vein; the direction is front to back and upward for a total
wound path length of 2 inches and the wound exits on the right side of the
back of the neck, posterior to the right sternocleidomastoid muscle where
a 2 inch long gaping incised/stab wound is evident on the skin; both ends
are tapered; superiorly there is a 1 inch long superficial incised wounds
extension on the skin to the back of the head; inferiorly there is a 2
inch long incised superficial skin extension, extending inferiorly towards
the back of the neck.
There is fresh hemorrhage and bruising along the wound path; the
direction, as stated, is upward and slightly front to back.
Opinion: This is a nonfatal sharp force injury, with no injury or major
artery or vein.
3. At the level of the superior border of the larynx there is a
transversely oriented, superficial incised wound of the neck, extending
from 3 inches to the left of the anterior midline; it is 3 inches in
length and involves the skin only; a small amount of cutaneous hemorrhage
Opinion: This is a nonfatal superficial incised wound.
4. ImmediateLY inferior and adjacent to incised wound #3 is a
transversely oriented, superficial incised wound involving the skin and
subcutaneous tissue; there is a small amount of dermal hemorrhage.
Opinion: This is a nonfatal superficial incised wound.
SHARP FORCE INJURIES OF FACE:
1. There is a stab wound, involving the right earlobe; it is vertically
oriented, and after approximation of the edges measures 1 inch in length
with forked or split ends superiorly and inferiorly approximately 1/16
inch in total width both superior and inferior. Subsequent dissection
discloses that the wound path is from right to left, in the horizontal
plane for approximately 1-1/4 inches; there is fresh hemorrhage along the
wound path; the wound path terminates in the left temporal bone and does
not penetrate the cranial cavity.
Opinion: This is a nonfatal stab wound.
2. There is a group of 5 superficial incised or cutting wounds on the
right side of the face, involving the right cheek and the right side of
the jaw. They are varied in orientation both diagonal and horizontal; the
smallest is 1/4 inch in length; the largest 5/8 inch in length. They are
superficial, involving the skin only, associated with a small amount of
3. On the back of the neck, right side, posterior to the ear and
posterior border of the right sternocleidomastoid muscle there is
vertically oriented superficial incised skin wound, measuring 3/4 inch in
4. There are numerous superficial incised wounds or cuts, varied in
orientation, involving the skin of the right cheek, intersection and
mingled with the various superficial incised wounds described above. The
longest is a 3 inch long diagonally oriented superficial incised wound
extending from the right side of the forehead to the cheek; various other
superficial wound vary from 1/2 to 1 inch.
5. On the right side of the cheek, adjacent to the ramus of the
mandible, right, there is a 1-1/2 x 3/4 inch superficial nonpatterned red-
brown abrasion with irregular border, extending superiorly towards the
angle of the jaw where there are poorly defined and circumscribed
abrasions adjacent to the superficial cuts or abrasions described above.
It should be noted that the 5th superficial incised wound of the right
side of the mandible which measures 5/8 inch in length is tapered on the
posterior aspect and forked on the anterior aspect where it has a width of
6. On the left ear, there is a superficial incised wound measuring 1/4
inch, adjacent to the posterior border of the pinna. Just below this on
the inferior pinna, extending to the earlobe, there is an interrupted
superficial linear abrasion measuring 1 inch in length.
SHARP FORCE INJURIES OF SCALP:
1. The scalp is shaved postmortem for visualization. On the right
posterior parietal region of the scalp there is a sharp force wound,
diagonally oriented, and after approximation of the edges it measures 5/8
inch in length with a perpendicularly oriented skin cut at the midpoint.
Depth of penetration is approximately 1/4 to 3/8 inch into the scalp,
with associated deep scalp hemorrhage and a subgaleal hemorrhage beneath
the wound measuring 2 x 2 inches in transverse diameter. There is no
underlying fracture of the skull or penetration of the cranium.
Opinion: This is a sharp force wound that may represent either a cutting
wound of a superficial stab wound; nonfatal.
2. On the posterior parietal region, midline, to the left of the wound
described above there is a 1/4 inch superficial incised wound or skin cut
measuring 1/4 inch in length; both ends are pointed or tapered; extension
is 1/4 inch into the scalp with a small amount of deep scalp hemorrhage
but no subgaleal hemorrhage.
3. On the left posterior parietal region there is an injury that is an
abrasion, 1/4 x 1/8 inch in maximal diameter and an ovoid in
configuration; it is red-brown with a small amount of superficial skin
Opinion: This is a skin abrasion-bruise, noncharacteristic.
DESCRIPTION OF MULTIPLE STAB WOUNDS:
On the right side of the chest adjacent to the stab wound there are
multiple, irregular, brown abrasions consistent with ant bites.
1. Stab wound of right side of chest.
The stab wound is located on the right side of the chest, 22 inches below
the top of the head and 5 inches from the back of the body; it is
vertically oriented and after approximation of the edges it measures 5/8
inch in length. Inferiorly there is a squared off or dull end
approximately 1/32 in length; superiorly the wound is tapered.
Subsequent autopsy shows that the pathway is through the skin, the
subcutaneous tissue, and through the right 7th rib at the approximately
midaxillary line where the rib is totally incised. Thereafter, it enters
the right pleural cavity which at the time of autopsy contains
approximately 100-200 ml of predominantly liquid blood. The path is
through the lateral base of the border of the right lower lobe as the path
is through the pleura and the immediately subjacent pulmonary parenchyma
which is hemorrhagic; the pleural wounds are approximately 1/2-3/4 inch in
length; thereafter the pathway is from right to left and back to front and
through the pleural cavity where the wound path terminates on the anterior
rib cage where a 3/4 cutting wound is found on the posterior aspect of the
right 4th rib anteriorly at the approximate midclavicular line; there is
overlying bruising in the adjacent intercostal musculature. Estimated
length of the total wound path is 4 inches and as stated the direction is
right to left and back to front with no other angulation measurable.
Opinion: This is a fatal wound associated with perforation of the right
lung and a hemothorax.
2. Stab wound of right side of chest.
This wound is located on the right side of the chest, 21 inches below the
top of the head and 2 inches from the back of the body. After
approximation of the edges it measures 1-1/2 inches in length and is
diagonally oriented; the posterior aspect is dull or flat, measuring 1/32
inch and the anterior aspect is pointed or tapered.
Subsequent autopsy shows that the wound is through the skin, the
subcutaneous tissue, and the intercostal musculature and it penetrates
into the pleural cavity through the 8th right intercostal space without
striking rib. Thereafter the pathway is similar to stab wound #1 as it
passes obliquely through the pleura and subjacent hemorrhagic parenchyma
at the base of the right lower lobe; 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch pleural cuts
are evident both posteriorly and anteriorly. No other terminating point is
There is fresh hemorrhage and bruising noted along the wound path as well
as the hemothorax described above.
The direction is right to left with no other angulation or deviation
determined because of absence of fixed reference points. Estimated minimum
total depth of penetration is 2-3 inches.
Opinion: This is a fatal stab wound associated with perforation of the
lung and hemothorax.
3. Stab wound of right flank.
This is a diagonally oriented wound, on the right flank, 29 inches below
the top of the head and 3-1/2 inches to the back of the body. It measures
3/8 inch in length and involves the skin and subcutaneous tissue without
penetrating the chest wall or abdominal wall. No square or dull edges are
evident. Both ends are rounded or tapered.
Opinion: This is a superficial cutting wound, representing either a
superficial stab wound or an incised wound.
4. Stab wound of left thigh.
This is a transversely oriented stab wound on the lateral left thigh, 33
inches above the left heel and 4 inches from the back of the thigh. After
approximation of the edges it measures 2-1/8 inches in length and
posteriorly there is a dull or flat end 1/32 inch and anteriorly a pointed
or tapered end.
Subsequent autopsy shows that the wound path is through the skin, the
subcutaneous tissue, and the muscle without striking bone. There is fresh
hemorrhage along the wound path. The depth of penetration is 3 to 3-1/2
inches from left to right without angulation or deviation.
Opinion: This is a stab wound of the soft tissue and muscle of the left
5. Stab wound of left side of abdomen.
This is a transversely oriented stab wound on the left side of the
abdomen, located 45 inches above the left heel. After approximation of the
edges it measures 3/4 inch in length with the anterior end pointed or
tapered and the posterior end forked or split.
Subsequent autopsy shows that the wound passes through the skin, the
subcutaneous tissue, and through the retroperitoneal tissue which is
hemorrhagic; the pathway is through the left ilio-psoas muscle associated
with fresh hemorrhage and bruising. The path is from left to right and
slightly back to front; the wound path terminates in the abdominal aorta
approximately 1-1/4 inches proximal to the bifurcation. Two perforating
1/2 inch wounds are seen in the wall of the aorta with surrounding para-
aortic hemorrhage. In addition to the retroperitoneal hemorrhage,
including hemorrhage into the mesocolon, approximately 100 ml of liquid
blood is found free within the peritoneal cavity.
In addition to the fresh bruising and hemorrhage along the wound path the
entire length of the wound path is approximately 5-1/2 inches.
The direction is left to right, and a slightly back to front direction
with no other angulation or deviation evident.
Opinion: This is a fatal stab wound associated with perforation of the
abdominal aorta with retroperitoneal and intra-abdominal hemorrhage.
6. Stab wound of the right upper chest, lateral border of right clavicle.
This vertically oriented superficial stab wound or incised wound is
located on the lateral border of the right clavicle, is vertically
oriented, and measures 1/2 inch in length; involves the skin and
subcutaneous tissue; inferiorly the wound is split or forked and
superiorly it is tapered or pointed. It should be noted that all of the
split or forked ends of the previously mentioned stab wounds overall
measure approximately 1/16 to 1/8 inch in overall width. There is a small
amount of fresh cutaneous hemorrhage.
No direction can be evident except for front to back, inasmuch as it is
Opinion: This is a nonfatal superficial stab wound or cutting wound.
SHARP FORCE INJURIES OF HANDS:
1. On the palmar surface of the right hand, at the base of the index
finger, there is a cutting or incised wound, 3/4 inch in length and 1/2
inch deep involving the skin and subcutaneous tissue with hemorrhage in
the margins. Both ends are rounded or tapered.
Opinion: This is compatible with a defense wound.
2. On the palmar surface of the right hand, just proximal to the web of
the thumb, there is a triangular or Y-shaped cutting wound measuring 1/2
inch in length maximally and 1/4 inch deep with hemorrhage at the margins.
Opinion: This is compatible with a defense wound.
3. On the palmar surface of the left hand at the web of the thumb, there
is a 3/4 inch in size or cutting wound involving the skin, and
subcutaneous tissue; it is approximately 1/4 inch deep with hemorrhage at
the margins. Both ends are tapered or pointed with smooth edges similar to
the 2 wounds described above.
Opinion: This is compatible with a defense wound.
OTHER INJURIES TO HANDS AND UPPER EXTREMITIES:
1. On the lateral aspect of the right distal forearm, adjacent to the
wrist, there is a 3/4 x 1/2 inch abrasion on the ulnar surface, red-brown
in color, nonpatterned.
2. On the lateral or outer aspect of the left forearm there are multiple
abrasions both linear and one that is approximately triangular measuring
3/4 x 1/2 inch; they are all brown to red-brown in color and antemortem;
the longest linear abrasion is 3/4 inch in length.
3. On the dorsal surface of the right hand there are fresh bruises (red-
purple in color) and fresh red-brown abrasions. On the proximal knuckle of
the right middle finger a 1 x 3/4 inch bruise with no overlying abrasion.
On the middle knuckle of the index finger a 1/2 x 1/2 inch bruise
surrounding a 1/8 nondescript abrasion; just distal on the middle phalanx
of the middle finger a 1/8 nondescript abrasion. On the proximal knuckle
of the right index finer there is a 1/2 x 1/2 inch fresh bruise
surrounding a linear diagonally oriented 1/2 inch red-brown abrasion.
There is a 1/2 x 1/2 inch fresh bruise on the middle of the right ring
finger surrounding 2 punctate abrasions approximately 1/8 inch in maximal
diameter; on the middle knuckle of the right 5th finger there is a 1/16
inch punctate nondescript abrasion.
4. On the dorsal side of the left hand there are multiple red-brown
abrasions irregular in configuration and border, involving the 3 knuckles
of the left index finger; maximal dimension 1/4 x 3/8 inch, all red-brown
There is an irregularly configured abrasion on the proximal knuckle of
the left middle finger consisting of an apparent 3 linear 1/2 inch
abrasions converging at the center having a somewhat configuration of the
letter W. These are all superficial skin abrasions. On the dorsal side of
the left hand adjacent to the web of the thumb there is a linear, 3/4 inch
long skin abrasion terminating in a 1/8 inch nondescript punctate abrasion
near the base of the thumb.
There is a fresh bruise, 1-1/4 x 1-1/2 inch on the dorsal surface of the
left hand adjacent to the wrist surrounding a punctate abrasion.
5.. There are 2 fresh bruises on the ulnar surface of the left wrist,
nonabraded, measuring respectively 3/8 x 3/8 inch and 1/2 x 1/2 inch, with
the bruising involving the skin and dermis.
The body is opened with the usual Y-shaped thoracoabdominal incision
revealing the abdominal adipose tissue to measure 1/2 to 3/4 inch in
thickness. The anterior abdominal wall has its normal muscular components
and no blunt force injuries are evident. Exposure of the body cavities
shows the contained organs in their usual anatomic locations with their
usual anatomic relationships. The serosal surfaces are smooth, thin, and
glistening and the free blood within the peritoneal cavity due to the stab
wound as previously described; this also includes the left retroperitoneal
hemorrhage, hemorrhage into the left ilio-psoas muscle, and the mesocolon.
INTERNAL EVIDENCE OF INJURY:
Aside from the stab wounds of the chest and abdomen, there are no other
internal traumatic injuries involving the thoracic or abdominal viscera.
SYSTEMIC AND ORGAN REVIEW
Autopsy findings, or lack of them, considered apart from those already
stated. The following observations pertain to findings other than the
injuries and changes that are described above.
MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM--SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE-SKIN:
Anatomic except as otherwise stated or implied.
HEAD--CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM:
The brain weighs 1,400 grams. The external indications of injury as well
as the deep scalp and subgaleal hemorrhage have been described above.
There is no hemorrhage into the temporal muscle or the orbits.
There are no tears of the dura mater and no recent epidural, subdural, or
subarachnoid hemorrhage. The dura is stripped revealing no fractures of
the bones of the calvarium or base of the skull.
The pituitary gland is normally situated in the sella turcica and is not
The cranial nerves are enumerated and they are intact, symmetrical and
anatomic in size, location and course.
The component vessels of the circle of Willis are identified and they are
anatomic in size, course and configuration. The blood vessels are intact,
free of aneurysm or other anomaly, are non-occluded, and show no
Multiple coronal sections of the non-formalin-fixed, fresh brain shows:
The cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum, brain stem, pons and medulla to show
their normal anatomical structures. The cerebellar, the pontine and the
medullary surfaces present no lesions. The cerebral cortex, the white
matter, the ventricular system and basal ganglia are anatomic. There is no
evidence of hemorrhage, cysts or neoplasm involving the brain substance.
The spinal chord is not dissected.
ORGANS OF SPECIAL SENSES:
RESPIRATORY SYSTEM--THROAT STRUCTURES:
The oral cavity, viewed from below, is anatomic and no lesions are seen.
The mucosa is intact and there are no injuries to the lips, teeth or gums.
There is no obstruction of the airway. The injury to the left internal
jugular vein has been previously described. The mucosa of the epiglottis,
glottis, piriform sinuses, trachea and major bronchi are anatomic. No
injuries are seen and there are no mucosal lesions.
The hyoid bone,