Ask The Doctor…

Ask The Doctor...

When I was writing ‘Killing Sunday,’ I came across an interesting crime writer’s resource and filed it away for future reference.  When I was troubled by a particular crime scene I was planning to write,  I remembered ‘The Doctor’.

His expert advice was most helpful and I thought I would share, but please note, there is a disclaimer. Dr Lyle points out most earnestly that the information on his sites, is not to be used for criminal activity or to bring harm to anyone, so, if you are thinking of ‘doing-away’ with a disagreeable boss or a cheating partner, please don’t mention my name when the police come knocking at your door. Remember, you have no idea who Gina Amos is… you have never met the woman!

Here is the question I directed to Dr Doug Lyle, followed by his response.

Dr Lyall here is my question and thank you for taking the time to answer it.

In my story, the perpetrator shoots an adult male, in his late sixties at close range between the eyes with a Glock 22. Only problem is, five minutes prior, the victim, who has a pre-existing heart condition died from a heart attack. It happens in a park at night, it is 6 degrees Celsius and it has been raining heavily. Could you please describe what the victim would look like and how much blood splatter or brain matter would be at the scene. The perp is wearing a rain coat. Any comments would be much appreciated.

I can be identified as Gina Amos, writer of Australian Crime Fiction

Thanks and kind regards


The entry wound would be a single round hole and there would be no real external bleeding if the victim was already dead. The bullet could remain within the skull and if so there would of course be no exit wound. It it went through the skull then the back of the skull would be blown out and there would be a spray of blood, tissue, and bone on any surface downstream.

There would be not real bleeding if the victim has been dead for 5 or more minutes as the blood clots quickly and with no blood flow–the heart would be stopped— there would be no driving force for further bleeding. The ME might see this in the brain and tissues and conclude that the victim was already dead. Or after only 5 minutes the tissues would still be fresh and could contain unclothed blood and he might not be able to say this with any confidence. So it could go either way–yes he could say the victim was already dead or no he couldn’t be sure.
It’s always a best guess and that would apply here.


D.P. Lyle, MD  #dplyle
ITW VP Education/Member Services; CraftFest Director
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2 Responses to Ask The Doctor…

  1. Gail Rehbein says:

    That’s quite a resource Gina. Great researching!


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