Journal List > Korean J Leg Med > v.43(4) > 1138575

Kim and Lee: Three Cases of Planned Complex Suicide

Abstract

Complex suicide refers to a type of suicide that leads to death using two or more methods. We report three cases of unique and rare examples of complex suicide, with the plan of the second and/or third method working simultaneously if the first suicidal attempt had failed. In the first case, the victim used three methods of asphyxia: hanging by a safety belt, plastic bag suffocation, and self-ligature strangulation by stretching rubber bands within the vehicle. In the second case, the victim hanged himself with electrocution by attaching electrical leads to the right side of his head. In the third case, the victim with the intention of drowning jumped 20 m above the water surface on the bridge by tying metal chains to the bridge rail and self-immolation by gasoline. Planned complex suicide involves more successful methods to commit suicide and may conversely be camouflaged as suicide in murder case.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

The suspension was created by passing the passenger's seat belt through the passenger's headrest height control bar and attaching it to the handle above the rear window, with a kitchen plastic bag on the head and a stretched rubber band wrapped around the neck.

kjlm-43-159-g001
Fig. 2

The lines were about 390 cm long and 0.3 cm thick, making them circular in one layer. A single layer of string was crossed from behind the neck into an X shape and hung on the front handle of the treadmill at a height of 125 cm. Passing through both side handles of the treadmill and pulling the right leg into the cord secured the suspension point.

kjlm-43-159-g002
Fig. 3

The deceased victim was found to have removed the wire sheath of the electrical cord, tied it up with plastic rope, wrapped the wire around the sizing band behind the cap, and hung the stripped wire over his right ear.

kjlm-43-159-g003
Fig. 4

The scene of the incident is a bridge on a local road and is about 20 m high from the surface of the water. The deceased victim was burned, wearing only shoes, with chains on the bridge railings hanging the victim off the bridge (circle).

kjlm-43-159-g004
Fig. 5

The chain was secured with two layers with a quick link to the suspension point and to the knot in the neck.

kjlm-43-159-g005

Notes

Conflicts of Interest No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

References

1. Toro K, Pollak S. Complex suicide versus complicated suicide. Forensic Sci Int. 2009; 184:6–9.
2. Germerott T, Jaenisch S, Hatch G, et al. Planned complex suicide: self-strangulation and plaster ingestion. Forensic Sci Int. 2010; 202:e35–e37.
3. Banchini A, Schirripa ML, Anzillotti L, et al. Planned and unplanned complex suicides: casuistry of the Institute of Legal Medicine of Parma (Italy). Leg Med (Tokyo). 2017; 29:62–67.
4. Kim DY, Lee S. Self-ligature strangulation by utilizing recliner. Korean J Leg Med. 2019; 43:111–114.
5. Straka L, Novomesky F, Stuller F, et al. A planned complex suicide by gunshot and vehicular crash. Forensic Sci Int. 2013; 228:e50–e53.
6. Pelissier-Alicot AL, Gavaudan G, Bartoli C, et al. Planned complex suicide: an unusual case. J Forensic Sci. 2008; 53:968–970.
7. Barranco R, Diana C, Ventura F. Forensic pathological study of complex and complicated suicides: a twelve-year case series in Genoa (Italy). J Forensic Leg Med. 2019; 65:5–8.
8. Alunni V, Grevin G, Buchet L, et al. An amazing case of fatal self-immolation. Forensic Sci Int. 2014; 244:e30–e33.
9. Sauvageau A, Boghossian E. Classification of asphyxia: the need for standardization. J Forensic Sci. 2010; 55:1259–1267.
10. Christin E, Hiquet J, Fougas J, et al. A planned complex suicide by self-stabbing and vehicular crash: an original case and review of the literature. Forensic Sci Int. 2018; 285:e13–e16.