Issues in child homicides: 11 cases

Leg Med (Tokyo). 2001 Jun;3(2):95-103. doi: 10.1016/s1344-6223(01)00016-5.


For a variety of reasons, child homicides are the most difficult cases for forensic pathologists. For example, the events are usually not witnessed, accidental explanations are offered, often there is more than one carer spanning the period over which the injuries might have occurred and there can be conflicting opinions between the various medical specialities. Eleven cases of fatal child abuse are presented to illustrate and briefly discuss particular difficulties. Reference is also made to interaction with the legal process and parallel difficulties the law has with fatal child abuse.