CASE NO. 1019-75-0530

NAME: Craig, Roger Dean Age: 39    Race: White    Sex: Male

Date and time of death: May 15, 1975 4:10 p.m.Date and time of autopsy: May 16, 1975 9:20 a.m.

Pronounced at: 10524 Luna Road Dallas

Organ weights:
Brain         1300       Gm.
Heart          330       Gm.
R. Lung         500       Gm.
L. Lung         450       Gm.
Liver        1610       Gm.
Spleen         100       Gm.
R. Kidney         130       Gm.
L. Kidney         130       Gm.

Decomposed = D
Estimated = E
Embalmed = B
Fixed = F
Not weighed = NW

External examination:

The body is that of a well developed, well nourished, white male, 70 inches tall, weighing 138 lbs, and appearing the stated age of 39 years. The deceased is dressed in a pair of blue trousers, held up by a brown belt, white jockey shorts and grey stockings. A cloth sling is present around the neck and lies free on the front of the chest. Half a bivalve case is present on the flexor surface of the left forearm and the proximal portion of the palm of the left hand. This cast is bound to the forearm by brown elastic bandage. Present in the pocket of the trousers is a dirty handkerchief. Livor mortis is present posteriorly and rigor mortis is present to a marked degree in all joints. The hair is a mixture of brown and grey. The eyes are partially open; the irides are brown and the corneas are transparent. The nose, ears and external auditory canals are unremarkable. The mouth is partially open and the teeth are natural. A 1 3/4 inches scar is present on the back of the right neck. A 3/4 inch scar is present on the right chest, just above the axilla. There is a 2 1/4 inches scar just above and medial to the right nipple. A 4 1/2 inches surgical scar is present in the left chest, which is vertical in position, lying 1 1/2 inches to the left of the midline, beginning at a point 1 1/4 inches below the level of the jugular notch. There is a 2 1/2 inches surgical scar of the right flank. A 7 inches long vertical, midline, surgical scar extends from the epigastric region to the umbilicus. There is a 2 3/4 inches surgical scar in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen. Two parallel, horizontal, linear scars, both measuring 2 1/2 inches long, are present in the right lower back. There is a 6 inches long, vertical, midline, surgical scar in the limbo-sacral region of the back. A 6 x 2 inches rectangular area of scarring of the skin, representing an old skin graft site, is present on the lateral aspect of the left thigh. There is a 3 iches long, vertical scar on the lateral aspect of the back of the left forearm, beginning at the level of the elbow and proceeding downward. A 2 1/2 inches horizontal scar is present on the postero-lateral aspect of the right upper arm. There are two faint linear scars of the postero-lateral aspect of the right forearm, measuring 2 and 1 1/2 inches long. There is an 1/8 inch crusted abrasion and two 1/8 inch long linear abrasions of the anterior aspect of the left lower leg, approximately two-thirds of the way down. A 1/4 inch linear abrasion is present on the medial aspect of the base of the left large toe.

Present on the anterior aspect of the left shoulder, there is an oval-shaped scar, measuring 1 1/4 x 3/4 inches. Lateral to this on the lateral and postero-lateral aspects of the left shoulder, there is a second oval scar, measuring 2 x 1 1/2 inches. Present on the lateral aspect on the top of the shoulder, there is a 3 inches long x 1/2 inch wide scar. The long axis of this scar is in the horizontal plane and the lateral end approaches, but does not intercept the oval scars of the shoulder. The left shoulder shows an obvious boney deformity in this area of scarring.


Present in the right upper chest, 13 1/2 inches below the top pf the head, level with the jugular notch, just below the clavicle and 2 3/4 inches to the right of the midline, there is a gunshot wound of entrance. Initial examination of the wound reveals it to consist of an oval-shaped, seared and blackened wound, measuring 5/16 inch vertically x 1/4 inch horizontally. Partially burned grains of powder are present in this wound. Lying slightly above this wound and enclosing three-quarters of it, there is a circular contusion ring, approximately 1/2 inch in diameter. This ring measures slightly less than 1/16 inch wide and has a reddish color.

On cleaning the wound, the wound of entrance is seen to consist of a 1/16 inch circular defect, surrounded by a blackened; seared abrasion ring, slightly more than 1/16 inch wide. Subsequent autopsy reveals the bullet to have perforated the right chest wall in between the clavicle and 1st rib. Soot is deposited in the wound track in the muscle. The surrounding muscle of the chest and neck in a 4 x 4 inches area, has a pink color in contrast to the light brown color of the surrounding muscle.

The bullet, after passing in between the clavicle and 1st rib, struck and perforated the right brachio-cophalic vein and the right internal thoracic artery. The bullet then went through the apex of the upper lobe of the right lung and struck the antero-lateral aspect of the 3rd thoracic vertebra. The bullet went through the body of this vertebra in a posterior path, creating a tangential wound of entrance into the spinal canal. The bullet itself did not enter the canal, however, but exited the postero-lateral aspect of the vertebral body, coming to rest in the muscle of the back in this area. The creating the wound of entrance into the spinal canal, the cervical cord in this area was pulpified. The cord is hemorrhagic and necrotic. Recovered from the musculature of the back adjacent to the vertebral body, is a lead bullet of approximate .22 caliber, on which is inscribed "C/D". A small fragment of lead is also recovered from the vertebral body proper. The path of the bullet was backward and very slightly downward.

The distance from the apex of the axilla to the tip of the index finger is 26 1/2 inches. There is 2000 cc.of blood in the right pleural cavity.


HEAD: The scalp is incised and retracted. There is no hemorrhage or skull fracture. There is no free blood in the cranial cavity. The dura is smooth, white and shiny. The brain weighs 1300 g m. The leptomeninges are transparent. The cerebral vessels are free from atherosclerosis. Sectioning the brain reveals no evidence of infection, tumor or trauma.

The body is opened with the usual Y-shaped incision. The organs are in their normal positions and relationship. There is no fluid in the left pleural cavity or in the abdominal cavity.

NECK: There is no evidence of infection, tumor or trauma. The airway is patent.

LUNGS: The right weighs 500 gm. and the left 450 gm. There are a number of adhesions at the apex of the right lung. Scattered adhesions are present throughout the left pleural cavity. On sectioning, the parenchyma of both lungs is slightly congested. No aspiration of blood is present. No emboli are present.

HEART: Weighs 330 gm. The epicardium and endocardium are smooth and shiny. The myocardium is firm and brown. The valves are thin and pliable. The coronary arteries are widely patent and show no significant atherosclerosis. The aorta shows some minimal atherosclerotic streaking.

GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM: The esophagus, small and large bowel are unremarkable. A partial gastrectomy has been performed in the past. The stomach is empty. The appendix is absent.

LIVER: Weighs 1610 gm. The capsular surface is smooth and shiny. The parenchyma is pale brown. The gall bladder is unremarkable.

ADRENALS: Unremarkable.

PANCREAS: Unremarkable.

SPLEEN: Weighs 100 gm. and is unremarkable.

KIDNEYS: Each weighs 130 gm. The cortical surfaces are smooth and shiny. The parenchyma is pale. The collecting systems, ureters and bladder are unremarkable.

ADDENDUM: A 1/4 inch crusted abrasion is present in the left upper chest, 1/2 inch to the left of the midline, 1/2 inch below hte level of the jugular notch.

Dictated on May 16, 1975.


1. Penetrating gunshot wound of right upper chest.

a) Contact wound of entrance.

b) Perforating bullet wound of right brachio-cephalic vein, right internal thoracic artery and upper lobe of right lung.

c) Disruption of thoracic spinal cord by bullet passing through vertebral body.

d) Bullet recovered from back.

e) Right hemothorax (2000 cc.).

2. Healed shotgun wond of left shoulder with boney deformity.

3. Postoperative partial gastrectomy in distant past.

4. Multiple scars of the body.


It is our opinion that Roger Dean Craig, a 39-year old white male, died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound of the right chest. The muzzle of the weapon was held in contact with the skin at the time of discharge. This is indicated by the searing of the skin and deposition of soot on the skin and in the wound track. The underlying muscle of the right chest surrounding the wound of entrance is pink, due to carbon monoxide from the combusion of the propellant powders. The bullet went through an artery, vein and the right lung, causing massive hemorrhage and death. After exiting the lung, the bullet went through a vertebra of the thoracis vertebral column. In going through this vertebra, the bullet disrupted and pulpified the adjacent spinal cord. The bullet was recovered from the back.


Vincent J. H. Dimaio, M.D.
Medical Examiner

Charles S. Petty, M.D.
Chief Medical Examiner


Blood: Alcohol - 0.300 ETOH.

           Valium - 0.05 mg Diazepam.

                         0.06 mg. Desmethyldiazepam.

           ABN screen—Negative.


           Darvon – Negative.

           Type – "O".

Protocol typed by A. Weber