The Autopsy Table

I saw an old friend earlier this week that I had not seen in years.  He is a retired physician and as part of his small town Florida practice of times past he also performed autopsies for the local coroners office.  He too is a ‘gun nut’ and we got to talking about what he used to see when a dead body was brought in with a gunshot wound.

One of his first comments was in regards to shotguns.  “Messy but easy.”  They are usually head or chest shots and the cause of death is pretty easy to determine.  (Keep in mind that the autopsy must detail body structures that are damaged.  There is a big difference between a shotgun blast and a tiny little .22 caliber projectile that typically “swims” all over the place.)

He added that in his day, you saw lots of .22, 25 Auto, .32, and 38 Special.  The odds of being killed with one of these seemed to be related to the fact the round had hit some vital structure and the dead body had not expired due to bleedout.

Interesting to cogitate in these days of .40s and other high-powered rounds.


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