The weapons of choice in the majority of assaults – both domestic and ‘on-the-street’ include lock knives, sheaf knives and kitchen knives.
Stab wounds are incised wounds where the length of injury on the surface is less than the depth of penetration into the body, and are the result of a thrusting action, where the force is delivered along the long axis of a narrow, pointed object. The force of impact is concentrated at the tip of the implement, and the sharper the tip, the easier it will penetrate the skin.
By the numbers, men prefer to shoot, women prefer to poison, however the close #2 for both is knives.
Characteristics of stab wounds
- Clean cut edges
- One or both ends pointed
- Non-pointed end may be squared off or split (fish tail or boat shaped defect)
- Often gape (related to skin elasticity and Langer’s lines)
- Cross section of weapon may be illustrated when edges of wounds opposed
- Underlying bone may be scored by blade
- Abrasions may be present
- Frequently shows notching or a change in direction (caused by relative movement of the knife and body)