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Atypical Keyhole Gunshot Wound to the Head: A Descriptive and Pictorial Case Report

Robert W. Mann, William W. Goodhue, Jr., Christopher Happy, Hugh E. Berryman, Scott Lozanoff


Keyhole gunshot wounds to the cranium are rare and typically indicative of tangential wounds. The authors present an atypical keyhole gunshot wound to the parietal bone that exhibits a groove that gradually widens and deepens, terminating with an embedded bullet fragment (core). This appears to be the first report describing a groove or “impact platform” indicating the entrance portion of a keyhole injury. This case provides information based on a multidisciplinary approach augmented with 3D photogrammetry that may explain the cranial wound pattern and variability associated with keyhole injuries in partial and complete crania.


forensic anthropology, forensic pathology, gunshot wound, keyhole gunshot wound, keyhole lesion, tangential gunshot wound, gutter gunshot wound

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