Extended suicide using an atypical stud gun

Forensic Sci Int. 2009 Aug 10;189(1-3):e9-12. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.03.028. Epub 2009 May 9.


Suicides with stud guns are uncommon, but are well documented in the literature. On rare occasions, stud guns are also used as a homicide weapon. This case report describes an extended suicide in which a husband killed his wife and their two dogs, which lived on the property. The husband then committed suicide with a shot from the stud gun into his skull. He was a 70-year-old pensioner, a retired butcher, who was found by his son. He was lying in a supine position on a carpet in the living room, with the stud gun stuck in his skull. During autopsy, high concentrations of an antihistamine were found in the blood of each corpse; this drug is used as a soporific. In contrast to the literature, which mainly describes powder deposits due to the use of conventional stud guns, in this case a stud gun was used in which the expanding gases and powder escaped together with the central bolt at the front of the device; powder drains were not involved. Detailed findings of the autopsy are given with reference to this type of stud gun.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abattoirs / instrumentation*
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Doxylamine / blood
  • Female
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Head Injuries, Penetrating / etiology
  • Head Injuries, Penetrating / pathology
  • Histamine Antagonists / blood
  • Homicide*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Suicide*


  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Doxylamine