Orensic Pathology Case Study: The Alcoholic Neighbor”

A 61-year-old gentleman was well-known to his neighbors as a friendly man who liked to drink too much. Over the course of 4-6 weeks, the neighbors noticed a change in the manas personality. He was less friendly, seemed not to remember their names, when he did talk he complained of headaches (of which he had not complained before), and they even talked among themselves as to the unsteady gait and dragging foot they saw when he would leave his apartment. Speculation ranged from drinking yet more, to his excessive alcohol consumption just catching up with him, to a simple function of premature aging.

When the neighbors didnat see the man for several days, they called the police. Unable to get any response, officers made entry, finding the man in bed, lying on his side, with his face hanging down toward the floor. He was dead. An open wound was noted just above the eyebrow, approximately 2 inches long, with undermining of its superior edge; tissue bridges were seen, as were areas of abrasion above the wound. Apparent black eyes were also noted bilaterally. Blood was noted on his shirt.

a) Given this history and physical description, what injuries or other conditions do you anticipate might be demonstrable at autopsy? Why?

b) Of those possible pathologic findings, which do you believe is the most likely cause of this patientas death? Why?