Homicide and concealment of the corpse. Autopsy case series and review of the literature

A Correction to this article was published on 18 June 2020

This article has been updated



The concealment of the body following a homicide undermines different moments of the forensic and medico-legal investigations. The aim of the present study is to provide an overview of the literature and the forensic casuistry of the Institute of Legal Medicine of Padova for analyzing and discussing diverse methodological approaches for the forensic pathologist dealing with covered-up homicides.

Material and methods

A literature review, updated until September 2019, was performed, and a literature pool of forensic cases was built. In-house cases were included by conducting a retrospective analysis of the forensic caseworks of Padova of the last 20 years. Data regarding epidemiology, methodology of assessment, methods of concealment, and answers to medico-legal issues were extracted for both data sets.

Results and discussion

Seventy-eight papers were included in the literature review (78.2% being case reports or case series, 17% retrospective studies, and 6% experimental studies or reviews). Literature and in-house data sets consisted of 145 and 13 cases, respectively. Death scene investigation, radiology, toxicology, and additional analyses were performed in 20–54% of literature and 62–77% of in-house cases. Cover-up by multiple methods prevailed. Death was caused by head trauma in about 40% of cases (both data sets), strangulation in 21% of literature, and 7% of in-house cases, and was undetermined in 17% of literature and 7% of in-house cases.


The methodology of ascertainment should be case-specific and based on a multidisciplinary and multimodal evaluation of all data, including those gained through novel radiological and/or analytical techniques.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

Change history

  • 18 June 2020

    This article was published online with an error. Given names and family names of the authors were interchanged. The correct author names are presented above. The original article has been corrected.


  1. 1.

    Zugibe FT, Costello JT (1993) The iceman murder: one of a series of contract murders. J Forensic Sci 38(6):1404–1408

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Gorndt J, Puschel K (2010) Murder without a body or “just” an unusual case of child abuse? Arch Kriminol 226(3–4):99–106

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Konopka T, Strona M, Bolechala F, Kunz J (2007) Corpse dismemberment in the material collected by the Department of Forensic Medicine, Cracow, Poland. Legal Med 9(1):1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2006.08.008

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Eckert WG, James S, Katchis S (1988) Investigation of cremations and severely burned bodies. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 9(3):188–200. https://doi.org/10.1097/00000433-198809000-00002

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Hyma BA, Rao VJ (1991) Evaluation and identification of dismembered human remains. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 12(4):291–299. https://doi.org/10.1097/00000433-199112000-00005

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Schneikert H (1939) Das Verschwindenlassen der Leiche beim Mord. Arch Kriminol 104:117–121

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Preuss J, Strehler M, Dressler J, Risse M, Anders S, Madea B (2006) Dumping after homicide using setting in concrete and/or sealing with bricks—six case reports. Forensic Sci Int 159(1):55–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.09.010

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Dettmeyer RB, Verho MA, Schütz HF (2014) Forensic medicine-fundamentals and perspectives. Berlin Heidelberg

  9. 9.

    Bohnert M, Werner CR, Pollak S (2003) Problems associated with the diagnosis of vitality in burned bodies. Forensic Sci Int 135(3):197–205. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0379-0738(03)00214-7

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Puschel K, Koops E (1987) Dismemberment and mutilation (1). Arch Kriminol 180(1–2):28–40

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Puschel K, Koops E (1987) Dismemberment and mutilation (2). Arch Kriminol 180(3–4):88–100

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Rajs J, Lundstrom M, Broberg M, Lidberg L, Lindquist O (1998) Criminal mutilation of the human body in Sweden--a thirty-year medico-legal and forensic psychiatric study. J Forensic Sci 43(3):563–580

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Wilke-Schalhorst N, Schroder AS, Puschel K, Edler C (2019) Criminal corpse dismemberment in Hamburg, Germany from 1959 to 2016. Forensic Sci Int 300:145–150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.04.038

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Campobasso CP, De Micco F, Bugelli V, Cavezza A, Rodriguez WC 3rd, Della Pietra B (2019) Undetected traumatic diastasis of cranial sutures: a case of child abuse. Forensic Sci Int 298:307–311. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.03.011

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Adams BJ, Rainwater CW, Yim AD, Alesbury HS (2019) A retrospective study of intentional body dismemberment in New York City: 1996-2017. J Forensic Sci 64(4):1012–1016. https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14012

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Sea J, Beauregard E (2018) Body disposal: spatial and temporal characteristics in Korean homicide. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol 62(7):1947–1966. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624x17692060

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Chauhan M, Pradhan M, Behera C, Aggrawal A, Naagar S, Dogra TD (2018) Homicide concealed strangulation after bobbing reins in sexually sadistic homicide. Medico Legal J 86(1):55–57. https://doi.org/10.1177/0025817217734091

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Zerbo S, Lanzarone A, Procaccianti P, Ventura Spagnolo E, Argo A (2018) Homicide with post mortem dismemberment of the victim with previous amputation of right lower limb: case report and review of the literature. Medico Legal J 86(4):213–215. https://doi.org/10.1177/0025817218775575

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Olsen TB, Leth PM (2018) Homicide victims concealed in a freezer. 14(3):386–389. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12024-018-9988-4

  20. 20.

    Kamaluddin MR, Md Shariff NS, Mat Saat GA (2018) Mechanical profiles of murder and murderers: an extensive review. Malaysian J Pathol 40(1):1–10

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Edler C, Wilke N, Püschel K, Schmidt H (2016) Leichenzerstückelungen Spezielle phänomenologische und gerontopsychiatrische Aspekte. Rechtsmedizin 26(6):520–525

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Behera C, Sikary AK, Krishna K, Garg A, Chopra S, Gupta SK (2016) Medico-legal autopsy of abandoned foetuses and newborns in India. Medico Legal J 84(2):109–111. https://doi.org/10.1177/0025817216631456

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    du Toit-Prinsloo L, Pickles C, Smith Z, Jordaan J, Saayman G (2016) The medico-legal investigation of abandoned fetuses and newborns—a review of cases admitted to the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory, South Africa. Int J Legal Med 130(2):569–574. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-015-1198-y

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Porta D, Amadasi A, Cappella A, Mazzarelli D, Magli F, Gibelli D, Rizzi A, Picozzi M, Gentilomo A, Cattaneo C (2016) Dismemberment and disarticulation: a forensic anthropological approach. J Forensic Legal Med 38:50–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jflm.2015.11.016

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Tanaka T, Sato H, Kasai K (2016) Detection of toluene in a body buried for years with a fatal cardiac contusion. Legal Med 19:67–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2016.02.005

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Konopka T, Bolechala F, Strona M, Kopacz P (2016) Homicides with corpse dismemberment in the material collected by the Department of Forensic Medicine, Krakow, Poland. Archiwum medycyny sadowej i kryminologii 66(4):220–234. https://doi.org/10.5114/amsik.2016.68098

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Winskog C, Byard RW (2016) Decapitation: a rare form of postmortem mutilation. Forensic Sci Med Pathol 12(1):98–100. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12024-015-9714-4

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Nikolic S, Zivkovic V (2015) Protrusion of the tongue in bodies burned after death: two cases of arson to cover homicide. Med Sci Law 55(4):300–303. https://doi.org/10.1177/0025802414542260

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Pomara C, Gianpaolo DP, Monica S, Maglietta F, Sessa F, Guglielmi G, Turillazzi E (2015) “Lupara Bianca” a way to hide cadavers after mafia homicides. A cemetery of Italian mafia. A case study. Legal Med 17(3):192–197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2014.12.008

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Tyagi A, Kumar-Vashisht Y, Panchal K (2015) Gag deadens but doesn’t mute the crime: a case series of homicidal gagging. Int J Med Toxicol Forensic Med 5(4):222–226

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Ismaili Z, Xhemali B, Sinamati A, Vyshka G (2015) “The fire will do the rest”: concealing homicide through posthumous burning of corpses. Anthropol 3(1):1–3

    Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Alunni V, Grevin G, Buchet L, Quatrehomme G (2014) Forensic aspect of cremations on wooden pyre. Forensic Sci Int 241:167–172. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2014.05.023

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Doberentz E, Wollner K, Madea B (2014) Corpse disposal by embedding it in concrete—a rare form of preserving a body over a period of 5 years and 10 months. Arch Kriminol 234(3–4):114–126

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Hasegawa I, Heinemann A, Jahnke P, Wilke N, Kammal M, Puschel K (2014) Corpse disposal by concealment in transport containers or packaging materials: examination by post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) before forensic autopsy. Arch Kriminol 234(5–6):166–173

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Tellewar S, Kumar S, Yadav A (2013) Doctor’s perspective in a post-mortem burn solving of a crime: a case report. J Indian Acad Forensic Med 35(4):398–400

    Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Porta D, Poppa P, Regazzola V, Gibelli D, Schillaci DR, Amadasi A, Magli F, Cattaneo C (2013) The importance of an anthropological scene of crime investigation in the case of burnt remains in vehicles: 3 case studies. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 34(3):195–200. https://doi.org/10.1097/PAF.0b013e318288759a

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Cuculic D, Bralic M, Bosnar A, Stemberga V (2012) Disposal of the body after murder committed by juvenile offender. Coll Antropol 36(2):681–683

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Morild I, Lilleng PK (2012) Different mechanisms of decapitation: three classic and one unique case history. J Forensic Sci 57(6):1659–1664. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02191.x

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Meshram AH, Nanandkar SD (2012) Concealed homicide. J Forensic Med Sci Law 21(2)

  40. 40.

    Marella GL, Perfetti E, Arcudi G (2012) Differential diagnosis between cranial fractures of traumatic origin and explosion fractures in burned cadavers. J Forensic Legal Med 19(3):175–178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jflm.2011.12.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Tumer AR, Akcan R, Karacaoglu E, Balseven-Odabasi A, Keten A, Kanburoglu C, Unal M, Dinc AH (2012) Postmortem burning of the corpses following homicide. J Forensic Legal Med 19(4):223–228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jflm.2012.01.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Gheorghe A, Banner J, Hansen SH, Stolborg U, Lynnerup N (2011) Abandonment of newborn infants: a Danish forensic medical survey 1997-2008. Forensic Sci Med Pathol 7(4):317–321. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12024-011-9253-6

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Madea B, Schmidt P, Preuss J, Dietmar E (2010) Unusual questions of evidence in a case of offensive post-mortem dismemberment. Arch Kriminol 225(1–2):46–60

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Dogan KH, Demirci S, Deniz I, Erkol Z (2010) Decapitation and dismemberment of the corpse: a matricide case. J Forensic Sci 55(2):542–545. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01266.x

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Dogan KH, Demirci S, Erkol Z, Gulmen MK, Deniz I (2010) Dead bodies found in wells. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 31(3):208–212. https://doi.org/10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181d3dbbb

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    Papadodima SA, Athanaselis SA, Skliros E, Spiliopoulou CA (2010) Forensic investigation of submersion deaths. Int J Clin Pract 64(1):75–83. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01890.x

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    Stemberga V, Stifter S, Cuculic D, Coklo M, Bosnar A (2009) Immunohistochemical surfactant protein-A expression: fatal drowning vs. postmortem immersion. Med Hypotheses 72(4):413–415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2008.11.024

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    Schulz Y, Mossakowski H, Albrecht K, Breitmeier D (2008) Postmortem dismemberment/mutilation—medicolegal and criminalistic evaluation of the autopsies performed by the Institute of Legal Medicine at the Hanover Medical School. Arch Kriminol 221(1–2):1–16

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    Wallace JR, Merritt RW, Kimbirauskas R, Benbow ME, McIntosh M (2008) Caddisflies assist with homicide case: determining a postmortem submersion interval using aquatic insects. J Forensic Sci 53(1):219–221. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2007.00605.x

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Toms C, Rogers CB, Sathyavagiswaran L (2008) Investigation of homicides interred in concrete—the Los Angeles experience. J Forensic Sci 53(1):203–207. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2007.00600.x

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    Cunha E, Pinheiro J, Pinto-Ribeiro I, Vieira DN (2007) Exchanged identities in a complex multiple homicide case. Identification and cause of death. Int J Legal Med 121(6):483–488. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-007-0195-1

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    Konopka T, Bolechala F, Strona M (2006) An unusual case of corpse dismemberment. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 27(2):163–165. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.ppuschaf.0000203163.11366.d9

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    Fanton L, Jdeed K, Tilhet-Coartet S, Malicier D (2006) Criminal burning. Forensic Sci Int 158(2–3):87–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.04.040

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  54. 54.

    Fanton L, Yappo-Ette H, Vianey-Saban C, Malicier D (2006) Homicide followed by freezing and burning: usefulness of measuring SCHAD (short-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase) activity. J Clin Forensic Med 13(6–8):339–340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcfm.2006.06.005

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    Di Nunno N, Costantinides F, Vacca M, Di Nunno C (2006) Dismemberment: a review of the literature and description of 3 cases. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 27(4):307–312. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.paf.0000188170.55342.69

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  56. 56.

    Dressler J, Madea B (2005) Dumping of victims in walls. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 26(3):250–253. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.paf.0000163828.96062.6f

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  57. 57.

    Turk EE, Puschel K, Tsokos M (2004) Features characteristic of homicide in cases of complete decapitation. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 25(1):83–86. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.paf.0000113921.06940.1d

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  58. 58.

    Andrews JM, Gutstadt JP, Itabashi HH, Dowell SJ, Schuchardt MS, Miller EA (2003) Central nervous system consequences of an unusual body disposal strategy: case report and brief experimental investigation. J Forensic Sci 48(5):1153–1157

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  59. 59.

    Bilge Y, Kedici PS, Alakoc YD, Ulkuer KU, Ilkyaz YY (2003) The identification of a dismembered human body: a multidisciplinary approach. Forensic Sci Int 137(2–3):141–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0379-0738(03)00334-7

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  60. 60.

    Heide S, Schmidt V, Wiegand P, Kleiber M (2003) A hopeless case? Arch Kriminol 212(5–6):158–164

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Klotzbach H, Puschel K (2001) Concealed and simulated trauma fatalities (II). Versicherungsmedizin 53(4):159–165

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  62. 62.

    Karger B, Rand SP, Brinkmann B (2000) Criminal anticipation of DNA investigations resulting in mutilation of a corpse. Int J Legal Med 113(4):247–248. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004149900092

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  63. 63.

    Madea B, Driever F (2000) Cadaver dismemberment by chain saw. Arch Kriminol 205(3–4):75–81

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  64. 64.

    Cox M, Bell L (1999) Recovery of human skeletal elements from a recent UK murder inquiry: preservational signatures. J Forensic Sci 44(5):945–950

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  65. 65.

    Iwase H, Yamada Y, Ootani S, Sasaki Y, Nagao M, Iwadate K, Takatori T (1998) Evidence for an antemortem injury of a burned head dissected from a burned body. Forensic Sci Int 94(1–2):9–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0379-0738(98)00055-3

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  66. 66.

    Burkhardt S, Piliero G, La Harpe R (1996) An unusual case of cadaver dismemberment. Arch Kriminol 198(5–6):145–150

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  67. 67.

    Schumann M, Barz J, Bonte W (1995) Disposal of the corpse by cement encapsulation and submersion in water. Arch Kriminol 195(1–2):18–26

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  68. 68.

    Schmitt C, Madea B, Prinz M (1995) Corpse dismemberment with sequential identification and classification of body parts. Arch Kriminol 196(5–6):129–137

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  69. 69.

    Madea B (1994) Dismemberment with unusual preservation of cadaver parts. Arch Kriminol 193(3–4):72–78

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  70. 70.

    Lasczkowski G, Riepert T, Rittner C (1993) Viewing the criminal site in unusual cadaver evidence: concealment, identification, determining time of death and reconstruction. Arch Kriminol 192(1–2):1–11

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  71. 71.

    Madea B (1992) Duration of the fire and degree of charring of a burned cadaver. Arch Kriminol 189(1–2):39–47

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  72. 72.

    Karhunen PJ, Lukkari I, Vuori E (1991) High cyanide level in a homicide victim burned after death: evidence of post-mortem diffusion. Forensic Sci Int 49(2):179–183. https://doi.org/10.1016/0379-0738(91)90077-v

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  73. 73.

    Hein PM, Schulz E, Humpfner R (1990) Multiple homicide. Forensic medicine and criminal aspects. Arch Kriminol 186(5–6):129–139

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  74. 74.

    Kojima T, Yashiki M, Chikasue F, Miyazaki T (1990) Analysis of inflammable substances to determine whether death has occurred before or after burning. Zeitschrift fur Rechtsmedizin Journal of legal medicine 103(8):613–619. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01261427

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  75. 75.

    Salgado MS, De Alwis LB, Perera N (1988) Identification from skeletal remains. Forensic Sci Int 36(1–2):73–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/0379-0738(88)90217-4

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  76. 76.

    Lignitz E, Schneider V, Keil W (1987) Defensive cadaver dismemberment—a further case of a “transit cadaver”. Arch Kriminol 179(5–6):136–148

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  77. 77.

    Dix JD (1987) Missouri’s lakes and the disposal of homicide victims. J Forensic Sci 32(3):806–809

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  78. 78.

    Denk W, Stellwag-Carion C (1987) Aspects, findings and problems in criminal cadaver dismemberment. Arch Kriminol 179(1–2):24–30

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  79. 79.

    Koops E, Burwinkel K, Kleiber M, Puschel K (1986) Criminal dismemberment of the corpse. Acta Med Leg Soc 36(1):165–175

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  80. 80.

    Schneider V, Bratzke H, Maxeiner H (1982) Remarkable findings in the criminal dismemberment of a corpse. Zeitschrift fur Rechtsmedizin Journal of legal medicine 89(2):131–143. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02092381

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  81. 81.

    Sigrist T, Patscheider H, Schegg HK (1982) Unusual disposal of cadavers. Report on 2 cases. Arch Kriminol 170(5–6):146–158

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  82. 82.

    Bonte W (1974) Experimental characterization of individual saw marks in another case of criminal dismemberment (author’s transl). Zeitschrift fur Rechtsmedizin Journal of legal medicine 74(2):145–154. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02114701

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  83. 83.

    Weber W, Schweitzer H (1973) Attempted disposal of an infant’s body by cremation (author’s transl). Zeitschrift fur Rechtsmedizin Journal of legal medicine 73(1):65–69. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02114776

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  84. 84.

    Bonte W, Mayer R (1973) Analysis of saw marks in cases of criminal dismemberment (author’s transl). Zeitschrift fur Rechtsmedizin Journal of legal medicine 72(3):180–193. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02079406

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  85. 85.

    Lange N, Swearer S, Sturner WQ (1994) Human postmortem interval estimation from vitreous potassium: an analysis of original data from six different studies. Forensic Sci Int 66(3):159–174

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  86. 86.

    Muñoz JI, Suárez-Peñaranda JM, Otero XL, Rodríguez-Calvo MS, Costas E, Miguéns X, Concheiro L (2001) A new perspective in the estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) based on vitreous. J Forensic Sci 46(2):209–214

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  87. 87.

    Nikolic S, Zivkovic V (2015) Regarding the tongue protrusion as an indicator of vital burning. Much ado about nothing. Int J Legal Med 129(2):315–316. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-014-1062-5

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  88. 88.

    Giorgetti A, Giraudo C, Viero A, Bisceglia M, Lupi A, Fais P, Quaia E, Montisci M, Cecchetto G, Viel G (2019) Radiological investigation of gunshot wounds: a systematic review of published evidence. Int J Legal Med 133(4):1149–1158. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-019-02071-8

  89. 89.

    Saville PA, Hainsworth SV, Rutty GN (2007) Cutting crime: the analysis of the “uniqueness” of saw marks on bone. Int J Legal Med 121(5):349–357. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-006-0120-z

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  90. 90.

    Giraudo C, Montisci M, Giorgetti A, Martinuzzo L, Bisceglia M, Moschi S, Fais P, Weber M, Quaia E, Viel G (2019) Intra-class and inter-class tool discrimination through micro-CT analysis of false starts on bone. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-019-02157-3

  91. 91.

    Pelletti G, Cecchetto G, Viero A, Fais P, Weber M, Miotto D, Montisci M, Viel G, Giraudo C (2017) Accuracy, precision and inter-rater reliability of micro-CT analysis of false starts on bones. A preliminary validation study. Legal Med 29:38–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.003

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  92. 92.

    Pelletti G, Viel G, Fais P, Viero A, Visentin S, Miotto D, Montisci M, Cecchetto G, Giraudo C (2017) Micro-computed tomography of false starts produced on bone by different hand-saws. Legal Med 26:1–5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.01.009

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  93. 93.

    Cecchetto G, Amagliani A, Giraudo C, Fais P, Cavarzeran F, Montisci M, Feltrin G, Viel G, Ferrara SD (2012) MicroCT detection of gunshot residue in fresh and decomposed firearm wounds. Int J Legal Med 126(3):377–383. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-011-0648-4

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  94. 94.

    Fais P, Giraudo C, Boscolo-Berto R, Amagliani A, Miotto D, Feltrin G, Viel G, Ferrara SD, Cecchetto G (2013) Micro-CT features of intermediate gunshot wounds severely damaged by fire. Int J Legal Med 127(2):419–425. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-012-0775-6

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  95. 95.

    Giraudo C, Fais P, Pelletti G, Viero A, Miotto D, Boscolo-Berto R, Viel G, Montisci M, Cecchetto G, Ferrara SD (2016) Micro-CT features of intermediate gunshot wounds covered by textiles. Int J Legal Med 130(5):1257–1264. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-016-1403-7

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  96. 96.

    Fais P, Giraudo C, Viero A, Amagliani A, Viel G, Montisci M, Miotto D, Cecchetto G (2015) Identification of bullet entrance in different type of intermediate firearm wounds through micro-computed tomography analysis. J Forensic Radiol Imaging 3(3):147–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jofri.2015.07.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  97. 97.

    Richards CS, Simonsen TJ, Abel RL, Hall MJ, Schwyn DA, Wicklein M (2012) Virtual forensic entomology: improving estimates of minimum post-mortem interval with 3D micro-computed tomography. Forensic Sci Int 220(1–3):251–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.03.012

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  98. 98.

    Rutty GN, Brough A, Biggs MJ, Robinson C, Lawes SD, Hainsworth SV (2013) The role of micro-computed tomography in forensic investigations. Forensic Sci Int 225(1–3):60–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.10.030

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  99. 99.

    Cecchi R (2010) Estimating wound age: looking into the future. Int J Legal Med 124(6):523–536. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-010-0505-x

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Guido Viel.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

The original version of this article was revised: This article was published online with an error. Given names and family names of the authors were interchanged.

Electronic supplementary material


(DOCX 397 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

De Matteis, M., Giorgetti, A., Viel, G. et al. Homicide and concealment of the corpse. Autopsy case series and review of the literature. Int J Legal Med 135, 193–205 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02313-0

Download citation


  • Body disposal
  • Post-mortem examination
  • Forensic radiology and toxicology
  • Omics sciences