Autopsy report of Rustem Slobodin


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Act №5

Medical-Forensic Examination of the body of citizen
Slobodin Rustem Vladimirovich, 23 years old

On March 8, 1959, in accordance with the decree of the prosecutor’s office of the Sverdlovsk region of March 7, 1959, an autopsy was performed on the body of Slobodin R. V., by forensic experts of the regional forensic investigation bureau V. A. Vozrozhdenny and Y. I. Laptev, in the presence of the prosecutor of the Sverdlovsk region Class-III State Counsellor of Justice Mr. N.I. Klinov, criminal prosecutor of the regional prosecutor’s office Junior Counsellor of Justice L. N. Ivanov, and witnesses S. D. Gordo and K. V. Naskichev, in the morgue of the central department hospital, PO Box No. 240, in order to determine the cause of death and answer the questions given in the declaration.

Case circumstances

On January 23, 1959, an independent group of hikers consisting of ten people traveled across the Ivdel–Mount Otorten ski path. Starting from the second Northern site, the group consisted of nine people. On February 1, 1959, the group started the climb up mount Otorten, and in the evening they put up a tent at a height of 1079 meters.

Under unknown circumstances, on the night of February 2, all nine people died.

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a/ Еxternal examination :

On the examination table is a male body posed as follows: the head of the body is angled backwards with the chin forwards and pointing upwards, the right arm in the right shoulder joint is slightly angled and bent at a right angle at the elbow. The fingers are clenched into a fist. The left arm is drawn back and to the side and is straight at the elbow. On the arm is a Zevzda-brand watch showing the time 8 hours 45 minutes. The right leg is bent at the pelvis at an angle of 120 degrees and at the knee at a right angle. The left leg is bent at the pelvis at a right angle and at the knee at an angle of 60 degrees. Both legs are touching each other in the area of the internal surface of the lower area of the thigh and the upper third of the shin.

The body is clothed as follows: a black cotton sweater. Under this is a cowboy shirt with black and red squares buttoned with three buttons and the cuffs each buttoned with two buttons. The cowboy shirt has a left pocket fastened with a safety pin. In the pocket is a passport with the name SLOBODIN Rustem Vladimirovich, 310 rubles (one 100 note, four 50 notes and 10 rubles) and a fountain pen with ink. In between the cowboy shirt and the sweater are two insoles from boots. Under the cowboy shirt is a warm undershirt and a fleece sweatshirt fastened with two buttons. Under this is a blue knitted shirt with long arms. Warm ski pants fasted with a button and a belt. In the pockets are a pack of matches with 48 matches, a pocket knife on a long string, a comb in a case, two pieces of string and a pencil, and a cotton

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sock. Under these are satin sports pants, in the back pocket of which is a letter from the trade union committee dated 20 January 1959. Under the sports pants are warm, grey, fleece long underwear fully buttoned/pair from (?) shirt. Under the long underwear are blue satin underpants with elastic. On the right leg is a black felt boot. Under the boot are cotton socks, and then grey woolen socks, a cotton sock, and a brown vigogne sock. The felt boot is missing from the left leg, but there are socks in the same order as the other leg. On the head there is dark blond curly hair with a length of up to 8 cm. The forehead is high and slanting towards the back. The skin of the face is blue-red in color. Postmortem lividity is present with blue-red spots abundantly located on the rear surface of the neck, torso and limbs. Rigor mortis has resolved in the muscle groups of the joints. In the area of the centre of the forehead there are small abrasions that are brown-red in color with parchment density and slightly indented. Above them are two scoring marks that are linear in shape under dry brown crust with a length of up to 1.5 cm located parallel to and about 0.3 cm from each other. The eyebrows are blond and bushy. The eyes are partially open. On the upper right eyelid there is an abrasion that is brown-red in color with a size of 1 x 0.5 cm. In the area of the abrasion and scoring marks on the face there is hemorrhaging into the underlying soft tissue. The cornea is cloudy, the iris is grayish brown in color, and the pupils are dilated. There are Lyarshe spots on the cornea. The bridge of the nose is straight. The soft tissue on the bridge and the top of the nose is brown-red in color. On the end of the nose a part of the soft tissue is under a dry brown-cherry-red crust with a size of 1.5 x 1 cm. The lips are swollen. The mouth is closed. There is a trail of caked blood coming from the opening of the nose. The rims of the lips are brown-cherry-red in color and are dry and wrinkled. The teeth are even and white. The tongue is whole and behind the teeth. The mucosa of the tongue and gums is pale

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grey in color.

The right side of the face is slightly swollen. Underneath it are many small abrasions of uneven form and parchment density under a dry crust partially extending to the area of the chin. On the left side of the face are abrasions of the same character; one of them is an abrasion that is 1.2 x 0.4 cm in size under a dry brown crust in the area of the left malar mound. The ears are ovular in form and reddish blue in color. On the outer edge of the right ear the soft tissue is brown-cherry-red in color, solid when palpated, and of parchment density. The left ear is the same. The openings of the mouth and ears are clean. On the left side of the neck there are dark red abrasions. The chest is cylindrically shaped. The stomach is located at the level of the chest. The skin of the torso and the upper limbs down to the wrist joints, as well as the lower limbs, are of [blue?] pink color. The soft tissue of the surface of the back and palms of the hands are brown-purple in color. In the area of the wrist joint of the hand there is a graze wound protruding from the soft tissue in an area 8 x 1.5 cm in size covered in dry parchment-density crust under the layer of skin. Along the edge of the ulnar of the left hand there is a graze wound of brown cherry-red color and parchment density 6 x 2 cm in size with the transferring of the graze wound to the lateral surface of the left hand. In the area of the terminal phalanx of both hands the soft tissue is shriveled and solid when palpated. On the lower third of the rear side of the right forearm there are two parts of the epidermis that are missing with sizes of 2.5 x 3 cm and 3.5 x 1.5 cm with uneven edges and pale red color. On the front inner surface of the upper limbs

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the venous system is well-pronounced. The external genitals are properly formed. The head of the penis is pink-red in color, shriveled, and solid when palpated. The opening of the anus is clear. The venous system is well-pronounced on the feet. There is ‘bath skin’ on the feet. There are graze wounds in the soft tissue of the lower left shin that are dark red in color and 2.5 x 1.5 and 4.5 x 1.5 in size.

b/ internal examination

The skin flaps of the skull are moist, juicy and shiny. In the corresponding right lobular area and left and right lobular muscles there is a spilling hemorrhage into the soft tissue. There is a bone fracture from the left temporal bone along the direction of the upper forward area of the lobular bone with dehiscence of 0.1 cm and a length of up to 6 cm. The fracture is 1.5 cm from the sagittal suture. In addition to this, there is a discrepancy in the joint temporal-parietal suture on the left and right /post-mortem/. The dura mater is bluish in color, and its vessels are slightly filled with blood. There was 75 cm3 of bloody liquid under the dura mater. The pia is cloudy and red green in color. The brain matter appears as an unformed mass that is green red in color with undifferentiated contours of the ventricles, as well as the white and grey matter. In the upper area of the left pyramid there is hemorrhaging under the left bone plate with a size of 0.3 x 0.4 cm. The bones of the skull base are whole.

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The subcutaneous fat of the body is decently developed. The internal organs are properly located. The pleural cavity contained up to one litre of bloody liquid /effusion/. The pericardial sac contained 30 cm3 of bloody liquid. The size of the heart is 11 x 10 x 6 cm. When sectioned, the heart muscle is dark red in color; the thickness of the muscle of the left ventricle is 1.5 cm, and the right is 0.5 cm. The right and left parts of the heart contained up to 100 cm3 of dark liquid blood. The valves of the heart, aorta and pulmonary arteries are smooth, thin and cloudy dark red color. The coronary vessels of the heart are freely passable. The internal surface of the aorta is smooth and clean. The surface of the lungs is blue-red in color and dough-like when palpated. When sectioned the lung tissue is dark red in color. When pressed, a large amount of foamy bloody liquid and dark liquid blood is released from the surface. The lumen of the larynx and bronchi are free. The mucosa of the esophagus, trachea and bronchi are pink-red in color. The stomach contained about 100 cm3 of a brown-yellow mucous mass. The mucosa of the stomach is turgid and grey-red in color with the good expression of the folds. There are Vishnevsky spot hemorrhages on the surface of the folds of the stomach. The horns of the sublingual bone are whole. When sectioned, the thyroid is red in color. When sectioned, the pancreas is pinkish-red in color. The surface of the liver is smooth and bright. The liver is 23 x 16 x 12 x 7 cm in size. When sectioned the liver tissue is brown-cherry-red in color, very filled with blood, and with poor differentiation of the hepatic pattern. The gall bladder contained up to 30 (or 80? Approximated) cm3 of brown liquid; its mucosa is velvety and of brown-yellow color. The mucosa is flabby when palpated. When sectioned the tissue is dark-cherry-red in color. The pulp is removed from the section under heavy scraping. The size of the mucosa is 11 x 7 x 3 cm.

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The lumen of the small intestine contained a mucus mass of dirty yellow color. The lumen of the large intestine contained a partially formed fecal mass. The mucosa of the stomach is blue-grey in color. The surface of the kidneys is smooth and bright. The size of the right kidney is 11 x 5 x 3 cm, and the left is 10 x 5 x 3 cm. When sectioned the kidney tissue is dark cherry red in color. The cortex and medulla layers are well differentiated. The layers of the adrenal gland are well differentiated. In the area of the right adrenal there is hemorrhage into the brain matter. The bladder contained up to 200 cm3 of cloudy pale yellow liquid. The mucosa of the bladder is bluish. For chemical and histological analysis, parts of the internal organs and part of the pyramid of the temporal bone were removed.

During the investigation, traces of alcohol were not detected.


Forensic Expert of the Region
Forensic Expertise Bureau
signature /Vozrozhdenny/
Persecutor of Sverdlovsk Region
State Counsellor of Justice of III Class
signature /Klinov/
Criminal Persecutor of the Regional Persecutor Office
Junior Counsellor of Justice
signature /Ivanov/
Witnesses: signature /Gordo/
signature /Naskichev/



Based on the data of the examination of the body of Slobodin Rustem Vladimirovich, 23 years old, and considering the circumstances of the case, I believe that the death of Slobodin was caused by the action of low temperature/freezing, which is evidenced by the swelling of the meninges, the blood-filled internal organs, the Vishnevksy spots on the stomach mucosa, and the third- and fourth-degree freezing of the fingers.

The fracture of the left frontal lobe bone could have occurred during a fall by Slobodin or the impact of the head on a hard object such as rocks, ice, etc. A blunt object caused the above-mentioned trauma. When this happened it would have caused Slobodin to become stunned and allowed for his rapid freezing. The absence of explicit bleeding under the meninges allows for the assumption that Slobodin’s death came as a result of his freezing.

The injuries found on Slobodin’s body in the form of abrasions, scrapes and graze wounds were caused by a blunt object as the result of a fall or injury on rocks, ice, etc.

The damage was caused during life, as well as in the agonal state and post mortem.

The data of the examination of Slobodin’s body allows for the presumption that his last meal was 6-8 hours before the time of death. The presence of alcohol was not detected during the examination.

Taking account these injuries, in the first hour after they happened Slobodin was able to move and crawl.

Slobodin’s death was violent and accidental.

Forensic Medical Examiner Regional
Forensic Medical Examination Office
- signature /Vozrozhdenny/


Dyatlov Pass: Open Discussion
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