- CASE FILES
Medical-Forensic Examination of the body of citizen
Dyatlov Igor Alekseevich, 23 years old.
On 4 March 1959, in accordance with the decree of the prosecutor’s office of the Sverdlovsk region of 3 March 1959, an autopsy was performed on the body of I. A. Dyatlov, 23 years old, by forensic experts of the regional forensic investigation bureau V. A. Vozrozhdenny and Y. I. Laptev, in the presence of the prosecutor of the Sverdlovsk region Class-III State Counselor of Justice N. I. Klinov, criminal prosecutor of the regional prosecutor’s office Junior Counselor of Justice L. N. Ivanov, and witnesses S.D. Gordo and K.V. Naskichev, in the morgue of the central department hospital, PO Box No. 240, with daylight and sunny weather, in order to determine the cause of death and answer the questions given in the declaration.
On 23 January 1959, an independent group of hikers consisting of ten people traveled across the Ivdel–Mount Otorten ski path. Leaving from the second Northern site, the group consisted of nine people. On 1 February 1959, the group started the climb up mount Otorten, and in the evening they put up a tent at a height of 1 079 meters.
Under unknown circumstances, on the night of February 2, all nine people died.
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a/ external examination
On the examination table is the body of a man of proper constitution.
The body is posed with the arms deviated at the shoulder joints, and the forearms are bent at the elbows in the horizontal position. The fingers are knuckled and placed on the chest. The head of the body is bent slightly to the back, the legs are bent at the pelvic and knee joints, and the toes are directed inside with the big toes touching each other. On the lower third portion of the left forearm there is a Zvezda-brand watch; the hands of the watch show 5 hours, 31 minutes.
The body is clothed in a fur jacket without sleeves covered in blue cotton material with dark grey fur, a blue woolen sweater, and a red cotton checked shirt with dark grey checks [and] three buttons, the top two of which are unbuttoned. The cuffs are buttoned by one button. The chest pocket contained a package of Streptocyde with four tablets. The body has a blue knitted sleeveless jacket. The body is wearing brown knitted ski trousers with fleece on an elastic support; underneath them are blue-green flannel sports pants with an elastic support and black satin briefs. On the right foot there is a white woolen sock; underneath it there are brown cotton socks. On the left leg there is a brown cotton knee sock.
The length of the body is 175 centimeters; it is of good nutrition with well-developed muscle groups. Postmortem lividity of bluish red color is evident on the posterior surface of the neck, trunk and extremities. Rigor mortis has resolved in the muscle groups of the joints. The hair on the head is light blond.
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hair is up to 7 cm long, and with a box haircut. The forehead is high and reclining. In the area of the forehead on the frontal eminence there is a scratch of brown red color and some stiffened density rising above the epidermal surface. The eyebrows are thick and light blond. The facial skin is of a bluish red color. The eyes are slightly opened; on the upper eyelids there are small scratches of brown-red color. The cornea is opaque, the iris is grey, and the pupils are widened. The nasal arch is straight.
On the nasal arch and tip there is a section of brown-red color and parchment density sized 2 x 1.5 cm. In the area of both jowls there are scratches of brown-red color under dry crust sized 3 х 1.5 х 1 cm and 3 х 0.5 cm on the left and small scratches on the right. The lips are of bluish purple color and covered in clotted blood. The mucosa of the gums is of pale grey color. On the upper jaw the teeth are white, pale, and thin; on the lower jaw the central incisor is absent without alteration of the gums’ mucosa. The ear conches are of bluish pink color and oval shaped. In the area of the left cheek there are small dark brown scratches of parchment density. The orifices of the nose and mouth are clear. The neck is without particularities.
The chest is cylindrically shaped. The stomach is located below the chest level. The external genitals are properly formed. The rectum is clean.
In the right and left area of the knee joints there are dark red scratches sized 1 х 0.5 cm and 0.5 by 0.5 cm of parchment density without hemorrhage into the surrounding tissue. There are abrasions of brown-red
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color in the area of the left ankle joint on the anterior lateral and on the posterior surfaces of both ankles hollowed over the surface of the skin and also on the skin level, sized 1 х 0.5 cm and up to 3 х 2.5 cm with hemorrhaging into the underlying soft tissues.
In the area of the scratches there is one laceration. In the lower third of the right leg there is graze wound 4 х 2 cm in size, and on the outer lateral surface in the lower third of the right forearm on the palm surface there are small dark red scratches of parchment density. The back of the right hand is of purple grey color. In the area of the wrist joints and between the phalangeal joints the soft tissue is of brown purple color of parchment density covered by dry crusts with hemorrhaging into the underlying tissues. The left hand is of brown purple color with dark red scratches, of parchment density, sized 1 x 0.5 cm, up to 2 x 0.2 cm. sedimentation of skin in the area of back surface of second and fourth fingers. In the area of the palm surface of the second and fifth fingers there is a skin wound of irregular linear shape with regular edges located transverse to the length of the fingers; the surface wounds are up to 0.1 (or 0.2 – note) cm deep. The skeletal bones and cartilages are intact upon palpation.
b- Internal examination
The skin of the scalp on the inner surface is wet, juicy, and of a shiny pale red color; the bones of the vault and the base of the scull are whole, the dura matter is bluish and filled with blood, the pia matter is opaque and engorged, cerebral gyri are smoothed out, flattened, and the brain matter is a jelly-like mass of greenish-red color. The grey
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and white matter are poorly differentiated. The contours of the cerebral ventricles are not detected. The pattern of the cerebellum matter is poorly differentiated. The vessels of the brain base show no particularities. The subcutaneous fatty tissue of the body is well developed. The pleural cavities are free, and the pericardium contained up to 30 cm3 of amber liquid. The heart is sized 12 х 10 х 7 cm and the surface is slightly covered in fat. When sectioned, the cardiac muscle is dark red. The thickness of the left ventricle muscle is 2 cm, and the thickness of the right ventricle muscle is 0.7 cm. The right and left halves of the heart contained up to 250 cm3 of liquid dark blood. The valves of the heart, aorta and pulmonary artery are smooth, thin, shiny, and of pale red color. The orifice of the coronary arteries is free; and the lumen of the arteries is expanded and well-passable. The internal surface of the aorta is smooth and clean, and the width of the aortic arch over the valves is 8 cm. The surface of the lungs is bluish red and is dough-like during palpation. The tissue of the lungs when sectioned is of dark red color; when pressing on the surface of the section there is the secretion of a great amount of liquid dark blood and foamy bloody liquid. The lumen of the throat and bronchi is free. The mucosa of the esophagus, trachea and bronchi is of bluish red color. The thyrohyals are intact. The thyroid gland in this section is dark red and meaty. The stomach contained about 100 cm3 of a liquid mucosal mass of brown-red color. The gastric mucosa is of
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purple-red color, engorged, and with well-expressed folds; on the upper surface of the gastric folds on the mucosare is large amount of small Vishnevsky spots hemorrhages. The smell from the gastric content is sour. The spleen is small lobular when sectioned and of purple-red color. In the lumen of the small intestine there is a mucosal mass of reddish color; the intestinal mucosa is of bluish red color. In the colon there are semi-formed feces of light brown color. The intestinal mucosa is pale purple. The spleen is feeble during palpation, its capsule is shrunk, and the size of the spleen is 13 х 7 х 2 cm. When sectioning the splenic tissue is of dark cherry color, the pulp gives a large scraping from the surface of the cut. The liver at the surface is smooth and clean with a size of 26 х 16 х 11 х 10 cm, when sectioned the hepatic tissue is of brown-cherry color and full blooded; the hepatic pattern is poorly defined. The gall bladder contained up to 30 cm.m3 of olive liquid, and the gall bladder mucosa is velvety and brown. The kidneys are smooth and shiny at the surface and the capsule is easily removed from the kidneys. The size of the right kidney is 10 х 5 х 3.5 cm, and the size of the left kidney is 10 х 5 х 3.5 cm. When sectioned the kidney tissue is of dark cherry color, the cortex and medulla layers are poorly differentiated, and the adrenals layers are well-differentiated. The bladder contained up to 1 liter of opaque light yellow liquid. The mucosa of the bladder is of pale grey color. The examination of the body established no presence of alcohol.
For chemical and histological study, pieces of the internal organs of the body were removed.
|Forensic Expert of the Region |
Forensic Expertise Bureau
|Forensic Expert City of |
|Persecutor of Sverdlovsk Region |
State Counselor of Justice of III Class
|Criminal Persecutor of the Regional Persecutor Office |
Junior Counselor of Justice
Based on the data discovered (added by hand) from the examination of the body of Igor Alekseevich Dyatlov, 23 years old, and considering the circumstances of the case, we think Dyatlov died as the result of hypothermia/freezing signified by the oedema of the meninges, the sharp hyperaemia of the internal organs, the filling of the heart cavities with liquid dark blood, the presence of Vishnevsky spots on the gastric mucosa, the overfilled bladder, and III- and IV-grade cold injury of the extremities.
The damage discovered (note: the word is handwritten) during the external examination in the form of graze wounds, scratches and skin wounds were caused by a blunt tool and may have happened as the result of a fall and bruising by stone, ice, etc.
The above-mentioned damage was caused both during life, as well as in the agonal and post-mortem states. The above-mentioned injuries are light and not damaging to health.
The data of the examination of the body of Dyatlov shows that his last meal was 6-8 hours before death. The investigation discovered no presence of alcohol. The cause of death is by violence/accident.
|Forensic Expert of the Region |
Forensic Expertise Bureau
|Forensic Expert City of |