Behind Closed Doors – Definitley Dead

STORY SEVEN – Definitely Dead

Preliminary Post Mortem Report

Deceased: Alexander Lepinski


The patient was a 37 year old white male with no significant past medical history. The police and subsequently EMS were called due to significant blood loss from wounds to the neck. Upon EMS arrival, patient was receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation by the police. The patient’s heart rate was asystolic, protocol for pulseless electrical activity was followed for 12 minutes. The patient was pronounced dead at the scene at 17:40hours with fixed, dilated pupils, no heart sounds, no pulse and no spontaneous respirations.


EXTERNAL EXAMINATION: The body is that of a 37 year old well developed, well nourished male. There is an area of small lesions to the upper chest consistent with scratch marks. The patient has no major surgical scars. There are two tattoos, one on the left calf in a tribal pattern and the other on the right thorax of a blond woman smoking a cigar. There is evidence of old bruising to the left thorax.

Blood and urine samples have been sent away for analysis.

Assessment of the internal organs is yet to be conducted.

Upon inspection of the cervical spine and throat there were multiple lesions, four entry points and one possible exit point. There is evidence of damage to the larynx, the carotid artery and to the spinal cord. Further microscopic analysis of the spinal cord is required.


The initial impression is that this patient died shortly after a sharp object penetrated the larynx and severed the left carotid artery. Not fatal in themselves with expedient medical attention, the penetration and severance of the spinal cord at the C2/C3 position ultimately caused the patients demise.

Initial report completed by: Dr Harrow.

Date: 30th July 2018

Reader Interactions


  1. Angie…in the preface, you stated the purpose was why not how. I’m not a good detective “reader”. Much too skeptical. Yet, I am kind of particular regarding details and often the details of how give clue to why.
    I shal not expand on that correlation just yet, however, the ME does. Possibly I’m “seeing” more than you are intending to show in this report, however I like your subtlety.

    Regarding this episode, the clinical summary was hard to grasp in my first reading. I had to re-read and dissect and put in my own imagined periods and commas. Even then, I wondered if the coroner might have sniffed a bit too much embalming fluid as he wrote. The paragraph long sentence wasn’t fatal, but it did cause some scratches in my scalp. Of course, I’ll admit that some of my personal medical “reports” are similarly written, so I guess what you’ve scribed here is authentic.

    Along those same lines, each of your episodes grammatically suggest that you Brits punctuate differently than us Yanks. Do you find that true when reading my frivolous tales? Hmmm, assuming you bother to do so. If you do, are there times when you wonder why I put a comma in …or why so many periods?

    • Hey Ed, I worry you’re over estimating me. I have the subtley of a brick thrown through a window!

      Perhaps in my egerness to make the report sound professional (added to my own medical experience), I went a bit overboard on the medical terminology. I just wanted it to sound authentic.

      As for the grammar, thank you for pointing out my massive run-on sentence/paragraph. I have altered it. It is not the first time I have an issue with this, I think my debut novel is currently a 45k long run-on sentence. I’m working on it.

      As for your posts, I do read them. I enjoy them and find little to critique. In your latest piece I still have the image of vast wheat fields in my minds eye. I think perhaps the fact that I had not noticed your punctuation is because it is in the right place and therefore doesn’t standout. I am still learning. Did you catch my last private email to you? I sent it towards the end of September.

      • I just found these “Notifications”, so I fear you may think I’m neglectful for such a long delay is responding. Not so. Just unadvisedly, I suppose.

        I also suppose my collegiate literary edification may cause me to read more deeply than an author intends. When critiquing (not proofing or editing) an author friend’s mystery novels, I do congratulate / advise subtlety—if only for those readers who seek such depth. Whether any of this applies to your sci-fi genre, I’ll just share a few not-so-subtle subtleties that I, a reader, appreciate.

        But not here. Not now. I much prefer email to “WordPress Notifications”.

        Ps…I don’t know about your memo of September

      • I think that’s really interesting, I’m not sure I’m that consciously aware of any subtleties when I’m writing!

        I’ll forward the memo again.

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