[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 29, 1975

The Pathology of Homicide: A Vade Mecum for Pathologist, Prosecutor and Defense Counsel

Author Affiliations

Brookdale Hospital Medical Center Brooklyn, NY

JAMA. 1975;233(13):1399. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260130057029

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Even though the earliest use of forensic medicine had to do with the determination of suicide, which from the early days was regarded as a crime against God or a community of people, nowadays one tends to relate the principal function of the forensic pathologist almost entirely with the identification of murder. Almost all previous texts on forensic pathology had been general in nature, presenting the material in a form to facilitate differential diagnosis from the following categories of death: natural, suicidal, accidental, and homicide. This most recent book on forensic pathology presents the subject, with its focus essentially on homicide.

In one sense, this is advantageous because much more attention can be given to the methods used in the autopsy detection of murder and its various causes such as firearms, stabbing, blunt violence, poisons, criminal abortion, incendiary causes, and physical abuse of children. There are two especially excellent chapters.