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The headwounds



Inge Lotz sustained about 10 wounds on her upper skull, one on her face and two on her right hand – all likely inflicted by the same weapon. Her nose bridge was also broken.

There were two types of wounds – circular wounds and linear wounds.

During our investigation we discovered very serious errors in the autopsy report. The autopsy report records the sizes of wounds 1(a) and 1(b) both as 30 mm whereas they are only about 20 mm in size. If you look at the image above, 1(a) is the circular wound to the left and 1(b) the circular wound to the right. There seems to be another wound 1(a) possible blow just next to 1(a) which has not been recorded separately. It is difficult to deduce from the photo, but if the skull photo is considered it may have been caused by a blow by the side of something like the implicated hammer.

The suspected hammer's striking face shows an excellent fit to the wounds. Above are scaled overlays. Both the head photo and the hammer photo were brought to their respective scales.

The defence argued that although the wounds may show up as ±20 mm on the photo, this is due to the fact that the photo was taken at an angle and that this angle distorted the wounds from 30 mm, as they are recorded on the autopsy report, down to 20 mm on the photo.

We strongly disagree with this and we deal with it HERE. There is no evidence whatsoever that the photo was taken at any significant angle - and most certainly not at an angle that would distort wounds from 30 mm down to 20 mm on a photo. No evidence was ever presented to court that the photo was taken at an angle that would cause such distortion.

Below are overlays of the some linear wounds.


What is important to note, is that the aspect ratios of the circular wound sizes to the linear wound sizes, has very clear correspondence with the two sides of the suspected hammer. The aspect ratio of 0.56 is significant and tell us the wounds could not have been caused by just any claw hammer you would buy in a hardware store. A claw hammer, apart from the shape and nature of the wounds that the claw side would leave, has an aspect ratio of about 0.8.

On the right temporal side of the skull, it seems like the various blows (up to 5 or 6 which can be seen on the skin) caused a communited fracture with a diameter of about 7 cm, where the skull broke in pieces. The same happened on the left temporal side (though a smaller area), where up to 3 wounds can be seen on the skin. The defence expert Prof Gert Saayman, said a hammer the size of the implicated hammer, could not cause this type of communited fracture. We are currently investigating this issue, and will send reports to experts overseas for their opinion. The question that needs to be answered is if the combined force and impact of multiple blows in a relative condensed area can cause such fracture. We will report back on the issue in due course.

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