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    pierrec45's Avatar
    pierrec45 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Aug 2, 2015, 01:33 AM
    Time of death, others from a famous World War II clip
    Hello, first time here.

    We have a very extensive study in a WW2 group forum elsewhere about a certain event in Czechoslovakia, filmed by American victors exactly on May 8th, 1945.

    The attached pictures are from one particular victim of an apparent group beating of German surrenderers in or around Rokycany, Cz. At that time.

    We always assumed the victim was part of a recent mob action, and that like other survivors was beaten recently, but now I don't think so.
    What started me was the right leg up (rigor mortis it seems), lividity, those things. But I ain't no doc, hence my need for assistance herein.

    The time of death, and any observation, would help us a lot in finding out about the events of the day. Specifically, but not restricted to the following :

    • I am crazy or the right leg up indicates RM ? Hence death at least 4 hours? Ditto left wrist-arm: it's above the ground, so confirmation of RM and he was turned over after 4 hours at least?
    • right leg up = died face down in nearby ditch or others (impossible to die leg naturally up with the leg bent up when on back, right?)
    • pool of blood nearby: 99% sure from same individual, I reckon he was dumped on the road after a number of hours, dropped face down (damage to face?), then turned over to his left x minutes or hours later, possibly (we think) to be photographed for the occasion
    • blood spilled evenly from mouth-nose area, dripped downward = result of turned over even if dead for 4+ hours?
    • the pics included come from 2 different clips from different US filming crews - blood in face is equal for both, and we know the filming was around 15-20-30 minutes apart - tells me bloody face (from turning the corpse?) had been dry for a while, so if blood in face was from turning, then turning was what, 1 hour ago to have dried??
    • blood pool in road appears unevenly dried = not all dried, implies comes from being dropped (the shock of drop), then turned over?
    • livor mortis: not sure what to make of face... is he pale (died on his back, but right leg??) or blue-reddish (confirms RM and rested face down first x hours)
    • close ups of left hand: what sort of treatment would cause the blood to be so evenly distributed on hand??
    • white areas on top of knuckles, left hand: confirmation he died/was deposed face down, with hand touching ground?
    • any other clues as to TOD or treatment?

    By the way, I'd be happy to provide a URL to that extremely lengthy discussion, but warning that it is long and exhausting topic... I can also provide URL to the actual 1945 films the pictures were extracted from, though you won't see more about this unfortunate individual than appears in the attached already.

    Thanking you in advance for assistance,
    Pierre C.
    Attached Images
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,796, Reputation: 2674

    Aug 2, 2015, 05:03 AM
    We don't have doctors here but even so, not one could answer your questions from photos and description. Rigor mortis sets in two hours after death and leaves the body about after that time span. Your question about the leg being raised has nothing to do with rigor mortis.

    Time of death is determined by body temp with a rectal thermometer or the liver.

    I can't tell you any more then this.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,298, Reputation: 5646

    Aug 2, 2015, 07:07 AM
    I will add that blood stops flowing after the heart stops pumping, it immediately begins to hemolize. So the argument that he was killed in one location and moved to this location, with this amount of blood loss, is impossible. It is visually obvious this mak was killed in this location. Therefore, your points 3 through 6 are invalid unless his heart was still beating when he was dumped at this location.
    pierrec45's Avatar
    pierrec45 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Aug 2, 2015, 08:19 AM
    Thanks for input guys. I had access to a doctor before my initial post, esp. the rigor mortis observations. But after 10 minutes - that were useful to me - he told me to find my own forensics-pathologist ;)

    "will add that blood stops flowing after the heart stops pumping, it immediately begins to hemolize".

    I don't think so, unless there's a very large open wound, the blood pools at the bottom of a corpse (as well as breaks down as you point out - hence it's the liquids and not actual healthy blood). The movement of the blood-related red liquid is the entire concept of livor mortis. There would not be hypostatis if it just coagulated or stopped moving around. Both LM, the pattern of hypopstatis, RM, the formation of "white spots" related to hypostatis, and others are used in conjunction in order to infer TOD, position of body at time of death, etc.

    Back to the blood: yes the heart stops pumping, there is no pressure. But if you cut open the pools where hypostatis occurs, which is at the "bottom" of the person, then the blood (or more exactly the broken down components) just flows out. This phenomenon lasts for a number of hours, depending on the outside temperature, the open wounds if any, whether the body was displaced after or during hypostatis, and so on.

    There are a couple of problems with the 2 guys in the road having been killed or left there near the blood pool. The bent leg: turned over or not, we need a reason for this position. Face down nor face up nor side works here - had to be moved. Also: smack in the middle of the narrow road where tanks and all were driving all day. He couldn't have "earned" his rigor mortis right there for 4 hours that it takes. (The location is the main passing road for US troops just west of the village of Ejpovice in Cz.) Having said that, I don't have all of the answers, so respect & thanks to all opinions !

    Previous poster: "Rigor mortis has nothing to do". Au contraire: nobody dies with one leg up like this, esp. that one on of the angle it's plain on the side, about 75 degrees - he's full RM. The clip contains elsewhere a corpse being turned over, most presumably from the same massacre. It's turned over on film from a face-down position in a ditch, hence the weirdly bent (right in this case) leg that stays up. Left arm also shows RM, though I am less convinced there.

    RM is some 2+ hours for head & small muscles, and some 4+ hours for larger limbs.

    As mentioned, his livor mortis (paleness, blueish) confuses me: he's a mix of front & back dying, but the mix is consistent with a body having been turned over with blood having "pooled" at the bottom (front of face), then smashed and turned over. But this is conjecture, I don't know.

    (Fascinating period of WW2, but that's a different story.)
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,298, Reputation: 5646

    Aug 2, 2015, 08:24 AM
    May I ask what your medical background is?

    While I am not an MD, I am an RN. I understand coagulophathy and hemolysis, how and when it happens.

    Four + hours after a trauma such as this, active bleeding is impossible.
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,796, Reputation: 2674

    Aug 2, 2015, 10:47 AM
    Okay, so the staging of the corpse was erroneous then. Regarding his leg. Within two hours of death, or thereabouts, rigor sets in, leg is up, after rigor leaves the body, leg resumes prone position. So time of death would have been two or three hours passed. His leg is still up from rigor.

    After death, blood pools to the lowest point of the body.

    This is all supposition anyway, don't know why I am wasting my time. We are all volunteers here.

    OP seems to have answered some of his own questions.

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