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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Crossbow homicides.

A total of eight cases of homicide by crossbow are reported, including six intentional, assault-like killings and one hired killer. The bolts showed a high penetration capacity despite the rather low kinetic energy (<100 J): a field-tip traversed one upper arm and the thorax (36 cm) and two broadheads caused perforating injuries of the thorax (25-26 cm). This was due to the high sectional density and the split-like penetration mechanism. Wound morphology was especially important if the perpetrator had extracted the bolt, which occurred in half of the cases. The shape of the entrance wound depended on the type of arrowhead: broadheads produced star-shaped to triangular wounds, field-tips caused circular, oval or slit-like injuries. Foreign material from the arrowhead was found inside two injuries. In assaults, the crossbow was used to hunt the victim down from a short distance which does not require practice but still has the advantage of a distance weapon. However, immediate incapacitation occurred rarely so that additional violence was frequently applied. The noiseless character of the weapon explains why many victims were taken by surprise and why the corpses initially remained unnoticed. Crossbows can therefore be considered ideal weapons for man hunting and some were bought for the very purpose of the killing.[1]

References

  1. Crossbow homicides. Karger, B., Bratzke, H., Grass, H., Lasczkowski, G., Lessig, R., Monticelli, F., Wiese, J., Zweihoff, R.F. Int. J. Legal Med. (2004) [Pubmed]
 
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