Two cases of firearm grip impressions on the hands of suicide victims

Christopher K. Poulos, Brian L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Many factors are used to help distinguish firearm suicides from homicides and accidents, including range of fire, location of entrance defects, wound path trajectory, backspatter (blowback), and gunshot residue. Specifically, authors have discussed examination of the hands for backspatter, gunshot residue, cylinder gap effects, iron staining, and trauma as means of supporting a person having held a firearm while committing suicide. Here, we discuss 2 cases where suicidal gunshot wounds were accompanied by unique firearm grip impressions on the hands of the decedents. In 1 case, a "negative" impression of a grip pattern was left in a decedent's hand and in another case a grip pattern was left on the decedent's hand in dried blood. Such impressions can be used to provide support for establishing suicide as the manner of death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-63
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


  • firearms
  • patterns
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Two cases of firearm grip impressions on the hands of suicide victims'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this