The Victims The Place Time It Was The Crime The Investigation The Convicted
The Victims The Place The Investigation Time it was The Crime The Convicted

The Injuries.

    Each of the three victims had many wounds.  The terms used in the autopsy to identify these injuries were (layman's description in parentheses): 

  •   Contusions (bruises)
  •   Abrasions  (scraping-type wound)
  •   Lacerations/cuts (cuts)
  •   Gouging (cut that removes flesh)
  •   Excision (removal of flesh)
  •   Scratches 
  •   Fractures (bone)  
  •   Bites (in this case, biting the cheeks inside the mouth)  
        Two injuries were particularly dramatic and became focal points of the trials.  Steve Branch had the left side of his face gouged.  Chris Byers had his groin area gouged, his testicles excised and the skin to his penis removed. 
    There were 146 specified injuries, 90 of these measured.  Other times in the autopsy the terms "multiple," "multiple confluent," "extensive multiple," "group," "few," or an unenumerated plural (e.g. cuts) were used.  This makes this enumeration inexact.  Below is an accounting of the wounds as described in the autopsy.   Summary of the autopsy results.

Wounds that involve striking or scraping:

  • Abrasions.  The most common injury were abrasions, 59, with multiple abrasions described 7 times, multiple confluent abrasions once, "few" abrasions once and the plural abrasions was used 7 times.   
  • Contusions.  There were 50 specified contusions, with the term multiple contusions being used 5 times, multiple confluent used once and an unenumerated plural used 6 times.  
  • Fractures.  Fourteen fractures were specified, all around the skull.  The term multiple fractures was used twice and an unenumerated plural used once. 
  • Scratches.  Three scratches were specified.  The term "multiple scratches" was used six times and an unenumerated plural was used three times.  
  • Hemorrhage and edema.  These were not counted as wounds, but rather as sequelae.  The term hemorrhage was associated with one wound and edema with nine wounds. 
Wounds that involve cutting:
  •  Lacerations.  Eight lacerations were specified with the modifier "multiple" used twice.
  •  Cuts.  Six cuts were specified along with two instances of "multiple cuts."
  •  Gouging.  The term "multiple gouges" was used once and extensive multiple once.
  •   Excision.  The term excision was used once. 
Items that the Medical Examiner Peretti testified could have caused the contusions.

        the sticks that were entered into evidence as potential weapons
        a 2 x 4 piece of wood 
        baseball bat - (noted it would have a different but similar pattern)
        rolling pin
        the flat part of shovel
        hundreds of items
        a broom handle
        a mop handle
        the shovel handle
        a jack handle
        a flashlight
        a tire iron
        hundreds of items located in almost any household (reiterated and expanded from above)

Items that Peretti said could have caused the cuts. 

    Ford: - So, most serrated knives could cause this injury? Most serrated -
    Peretti: - No, I think we can rule out a butterknife ok, a serrated butterknife.

Injuries as related to victim.

    Michael Moore received 63 specified injuries (along with plural terms used 17 times), Christopher Byers 62 (along with plural terms used 18 times) and Steve Branch 21 (along with plural terms used 20 times).  Moore had 34 specified injuries on his right side and 19 on his left.  In contrast, Byers had 16 on his right and 36 on his left and Branch had 7 on his right side and 11 on his left.  (Not including multiple and plural terms. Many injuries were not specified as to which side of the body they were on.) 

    Moore had extensive skull fractures (ten) and almost all of his injuries were on the upper body.  He had defensive injuries.  Christopher Byers had many injuries on his lower body (24) in contrast to five for Moore and six for Branch.  One mention is made of a microscopic examination revealing bacterial colonies, that of Chris Byer's penis. 

    Chris Byers had two old scars on his face, one on his chest and "a few" on his lower extremities.  The other two children had no old scars. 

    Injuries change color over time, the rough order being, red, black/blue or purple, green, yellow and then ultimately resolution. The time given to progress through these colors varies among text books, with red immediate and yellow taking days.  The term "yellow" without a modifier is used twice for specified injuries and once for multiple injuries on Chris Byers lower extremities.  Yellow is not used to describe any of Moore's injuries and describes a scratch on Branch's thigh. This suggests that these injuries were the earliest or took place at a time before the murders. 

Copyright © 2008 Martin David Hill