The authors present the first case, to the best of our knowledge, of a preplanned suicide by self-waterboarding. Waterboarding (WB) is a military method of torture in which water is poured into the nostrils and the mouth of a victim, to evoke the sensation of asphyxiation by drowning. The victim was a 22-year-old male student, who was found dead and naked in the bathtub. His head was covered by a soaked canvas bag, and his hands were tied with two nylon ropes and a padlock. The water jet of the showerhead was specifically directed at the victim's head, so that the canvas bag could be soaked with water. The cause of death was defined as the combination of asphyxiation by drowning with the direct suffocation provoked by the soaked canvas bag in the context of the waterboarding practice. Finally, the authors discuss the differential diagnosis regarding the modality (suicide versus homicide) through which this case of waterboarding was performed. The case is intended to be used as source data for similar forensic cases, where a multidisciplinary approach is advisable in such complex cases.

An unusual suicide by self-waterboarding: forensic pathological issues / N. Galante, M. Terzi, G. Gentile, S. Tambuzzi, R. Zoia. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0937-9827. - 135:6(2021 Nov), pp. 1-6. [10.1007/s00414-021-02629-5]

An unusual suicide by self-waterboarding: forensic pathological issues

N. Galante
Primo
;
M. Terzi
Secondo
;
G. Gentile;S. Tambuzzi
Penultimo
;
R. Zoia
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

The authors present the first case, to the best of our knowledge, of a preplanned suicide by self-waterboarding. Waterboarding (WB) is a military method of torture in which water is poured into the nostrils and the mouth of a victim, to evoke the sensation of asphyxiation by drowning. The victim was a 22-year-old male student, who was found dead and naked in the bathtub. His head was covered by a soaked canvas bag, and his hands were tied with two nylon ropes and a padlock. The water jet of the showerhead was specifically directed at the victim's head, so that the canvas bag could be soaked with water. The cause of death was defined as the combination of asphyxiation by drowning with the direct suffocation provoked by the soaked canvas bag in the context of the waterboarding practice. Finally, the authors discuss the differential diagnosis regarding the modality (suicide versus homicide) through which this case of waterboarding was performed. The case is intended to be used as source data for similar forensic cases, where a multidisciplinary approach is advisable in such complex cases.
Asphyxia; Complex suicide; Drowning; Tie; Torture; Waterboarding
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
5-lug-2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/869343
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