Assessment of bullet holes through the analysis of mushroom-shaped morphology in synthetic fibres: analysis of six cases
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Textiles damage analysis is a very valuable tool in forensic investigations. However, to date, very little research has been carried out to understand the impact of bullet causing damages to clothing. According to the review of the most recent scientific papers, the frictional heating and crushing action of a bullet passing through synthetic fibres cause a unique transformation in their ends called mushroom-shaped morphology. In this study, the textile remains of six individuals executed during the first decade of the Chilean military dictatorship period (1973-1990) were analysed. The purpose was to examine their clothing in order to describe the fibre defects in the bullet holes. The fibres were directly observed using two different models of stereomicroscopy (MZ16A and EZ4D, Leica Microsystem Ltd., Wetzlar, Germany) and through a combination of transmitted, oblique and co-axial illumination (with Leica DFC500 Digital Camera), at x 230 and at a resolution of up to 840 Lp/mm. The mushroom-shaped morphology, along with rupturing of yarns, fibrillation or splitting of fibres, was observed in the bullet holes. Although the mushroom-shaped is a useful pattern for bullet hole identification in synthetic fibres, further research needs to be performed for developing a sounder interpretational framework of this type of forensic evidence.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemInternational Journal of Legal Medicine Jul 2020