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Spain. This is probably a case of autoerotic activity or masochism, where the victim appears to have hanged himself. It is worth noting that the deceased is naked and has lead objects hung from his nipples, attached with wooden clothes pins. His hands are tied behind his back, although it has been confirmed that the rope was slack, indicating that this was something the victim could have done himself. The stool he had used to suspend himself had fallen over. The victim had a pre-existing shortened right lower limb.

Fig.1

Was the victim a masochist who simply wanted to experience what he felt was the sexually exciting sensation of strangulation, but with one wrong move, his feet tipped the stool over, leaving him unable to change the course of events?

Fig.2

Fig.3

After examining the body, hundreds of illustrations were discovered in the deceased’s bookcase that had been drawn by the subject himself some time ago, all of them depicting sadomasochistic scenes. One drawing shows two women who have pegs attached to their nipples, just as the deceased did on the day of his death.

Fig.4

Fig.5

Autoerotic death refers to the accidental death of individuals of either sex due to failure of devices, or unexpected effects of materials, that were being used to enhance the sexual experience. Although asphyxia from hanging has been described most frequently, a wide variety of other lethal situations have been reported. As there is great variability in the number and types of sexual aids that may be used by individuals, careful death scene examination is essential in helping to exclude suicide and more rarely homicide. The clandestine nature of this paraphilia may, however, make subsequent identification and diagnosis difficult unless the death scene features are typical. This is particularly so in the rare cases involving women.

Fig.6

Fig.7

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