Autopsy report of G. Krivonischenko


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Act №3

Medical-Forensic Examination of the body of citizen
Krivonischenko Georgy Alekseevich, 23 years old

On March 4, 1959 in accordance with decree of the Prosecutor office of Sverdlovsk region of March 3, 1959 by forensic experts of the regional forensic investigation bureau V. A. Vozrozhdenny and Y. I. Laptev in the presence of the prosecutor of Sverdlovsk region state Counselor in Justice of III class N. I. Klinov, criminal prosecutor of regional prosecutor office junior Counselor in Justice Mr. L.N. Ivanov and witnesses S.D. Gordo and K.V. Naskichev in the morgue of the central department hospital, PO Box No.240 with daylight and sunny weather there was performed the autopsy of the body of  G. A. Krivonischenko, 23 years old, in order to determine the cause of death and answers to the questions given in the declaration.

Case circumstances

On January 23, 1959 the independent group of tourists consisting of 10 persons went across the ski track Ivdel – Mount Otorten. From the 2nd Northern site the group consisted of 9 persons. On February 1, 1959 the group started the climb on the mount Otorten and in the evening they put up a tent at the height of 1 079 meters.

In the night of February 2 at the unknown circumstances all 9 persons died.

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a/ external examination

On the examination table is a male body. The pose of the body is as follows: the head is turned to the left, the right arm is bent upwards at the elbow, the fingers of the right hand are touching the head, the left arm is bent at the elbow and is equilibrated with the shoulder, the hand is bent and the fingers are touching the chest. The right leg is straight and the left leg is slightly diverted at the hip and bent at the knee.

The body is clothed as follows: a blue cotton cowboy shirt with red and black squares and three buttons, two of which are unbuttoned, with the cuffs fastened with two buttons. In the outside pocket is a coil of copper wire and a pink silk ribbon. To the left on the inside surface a pocket from white material has been sewn in. Under the cowboy shirt is a white cotton undershirt and white long underwear made from ‘Gribzon’ material. The bottom left half of the long underwear is missing up to the knee; the edge of the tear is uneven and charred. Under the long underwear are blue satin shorts on 2 (illegible). On the left leg is a torn cotton sock, the edges of which are burned.

The male body is 169 cm long, of proper constitution, good nutrition and well-developed muscle groups of the torso and limbs. Postmortem lividity is present in purple spots located on the back surface of the neck, torso and limbs. Rigor mortis has resolved in the muscle groups of the joints. On the head is butch-cut dark blond curly hair with a length of up to 10 cm. The forehead is high and slanting to the back. The eyebrows are dark blond and thick. The skin of the face is blue-grey in color. In the mid-

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dle part of the brow there is a round contusion with a size of 0.3 x 0.3 cm brown-red color and with parchment density. In the left temporal area are two abrasions grazes of brown-red color with sizes of 1.2 x ?.3 cm and 1 x 0.2 cm. The eyes are half open. The right eye fissure is larger than the left. The corneas of the right and left eyes have Lyarshe spots. The corneas are cloudy, the iris is grey-green in color, the pupils are dilated, and the mucous membrane is pale grey in color. The nasal dorsum is straight. In the middle third of the nose there is a graze wound of brown-red color and crusting, turning into a wound at the end of the nose and wings with a defect in the soft tissue of a size of 1.8 x 2 cm; the nasal septum cartilage appears at the bottom of the wound and to the right is the nasal passage.

On the lower [the first part of the word is not recognizable, approximate state] lip and chin is ash-colored hair with a length of up to 0.5 cm. The mucous membrane of the lip is dark brown in color with crusted epidermis. The mouth is shut and the lips are swollen. Behind the bottom periodontal flaps the epidermis is pale grey in color with papillary lines on the flaps with a size of 1.8 x 0.6 cm. The teeth are straight with white enamel. The opening of the mouth and nose are clear. On the cheeks there are dark brown abrasions with stiffened epidermis and contusions of the same color.

The external ears are swollen and blue-red in color. The neck is normal. The chest is cylindrical. The external genitals are properly formed. The opening of the anus is clean. The skin of the chest, neck and limbs down to the wrists is reddish purple in color with the showing of the venous system on the limbs. There are pale-red abrasions measuring 7 x 2 cm on the right side of the chest on the level of the armpit without hemorrhaging into the underlying tissue.

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In the costal margin of the right hypochondrium along the clavicle line there are pale-red abrasions of parchment density with sizes of 2 x 1.2 cm and 1 x 1.2 cm without hemorrhaging into the underlying tissue.

The rear of the right hand is swollen. In the area of the metacarpophalangeal joints the soft tissue is whitish grey in color. The fingers are brown-purple in color. The terminal phalanx is dry and dark brown in color. On the rear of these fingers are small dark brown skin abrasions of parchment density. The surface of the palm of the right hand is blue-red in color and there are skin wounds with uneven borders that are dark red in color at the rear of the thumb. On the middle phalanx of the third [changed from the word ‘middle’] finger is a defect in the epidermis with the same shape and form as that found in the oral cavity.

The terminal phalanx of all fingers ??? of dark brown color. In the area of the radiocarpal joint is a dark red graze wound crusted over with a size of 5 x 2.5 cm. The rear area of the left hand is swollen. There is a scalpel wound across the whole cross-section of the left hand with exfoliated epidermis of dark brown color and parchment density with a size of 8 x 2 cm. The rear area of fingers 2-5 on the left hand are black in color with the shriveling of the epidermis of finger 5 and dried-up terminal phalanxes. There are dark brown flesh wounds on the middle phalanx of fingers 4-5 with sizes of 1.5 x 1 cm and 1 x 0.5 cm that are solid when palpated and are charred. On the surface of the left buttocks and thigh, parts of the soft tissue are pink and brown-red in color with parchment density with the drooping of the epidermis at parts with sizes of 10 x 3 cm, 6 x 2 cm, and 4 x 5 cm. On the anterior surface of the inner thigh there are graze wounds that are dark brown and dark red in color with parchment density and sizes of (illegible) x 2, 1 x 1.5 cm and smaller.

On the internal surface of the thigh there are three flesh wounds of (illegible) form with even edges and a depth of 0.3 cm with sharp angles with a size of 1.5 x 0.4 cm. The left shin and ?? are swollen. There is a burn across the entire surface of the left anticnemion with a size of 31 x 10 cm with parchment density. In the lower third of the left (illegible) of brown-black color with charred tissue and the blow out of the cutaneous covering (illegible) in the middle and upper thirds there is an ambustial surface (illegible)red and light brown color. On the rear inside surface of the left shin there is an abrasions of

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dark brown color with parchment density and sizes of 8 x 1.3 cm, (illegible) x 1.5 cm, and 2 x 1 cm. The rear of the left foot is dark brown in color with subcutaneous defects of the epidermis with a size of 10 x 4 cm. (illegible) of the second toe is charred and the skin is dark brown in color ??? solid when palpated. On the front surface of the right thigh and shin there are dark brown abrasions with parchment density measuring 5 x 2 cm, 3 x 8 cm, 7 x 1 cm and 2 x (illegible) cm.

b) Internal examination

The interior surface of the skin flaps of the scalp is moist, shiny and red in color. In the right ?? area and occipital region there is diffuse hemorrhaging seeping into the right temporal muscle. The bones of the base of the skull are intact. The dura mater is blue-?? and full of blood. The pia is muddy and swollen. The gyrus and sulcus are poorly distinguished. The brain matter has a jelly-like appearance and is

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reddish green in color. The grey matter is poorly distinguished from the white. The contours of the lateral ventricles of the brain are poorly distinguished. The layers of the cerebellum are well pronounced. The vessels of the base of the brain are normal. The subcutaneous fat of the body is well-developed. The internal organs are properly arranged. The pericardial sac contained up to 20 cm3 of cloudy yellow liquid. The size of the heart is 12 x 10 x 5.5 cm.

When sectioned, the cardiac muscle is dark red in color. The thickness of the left ventricle is 1.8 cm and the right is 0.5 cm. The right and left sections of the heart contained up to 200 cm3 of dark liquid blood. The valves of the heart, aorta and pulmonary artery are thin, smooth and shiny. The coronary vessels of the heart are free, smooth and passable. The internal surface of the aorta is smooth and clean. The surface of the lungs is pink-red in color and dough-like when palpated. When sectioned the lung tissue is dark red in color; when the section is pressed there is an abundant flow of dark liquid blood and bloody liquid foam released. The lumen of the larynx and bronchi are clear. The mucosa of the esophagus, trachea and bronchi are blue-red in color. When sectioned the thyroid is fleshy and dark red in color. The sublingual bone is whole. The stomach contained traces of slimy brown yellow mass. The mucosa of the stomach is blue-red in color with a good expression of the folds. Along the surface of the folds of the stomach there are many small blood effusions and Vishnevsky spots.

The stomach mucosa is swollen. When sectioned the pancreas is finely lobed and dark red in color. The surface of the liver is smooth and bright. The liver is 26 x 16 x 14 x 9 cm in size. When sectioned the liver tissue is dark cherry red in color and fool of blood and the hepatic pattern is poorly distinguished. The gallbladder contained 30 cm3

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of (crossed) brown colored liquid. The mucosa of the gallbladder is velvety and green in color. The spleen is 9 x 6 x 3 in size. When sectioned the tissue of the spleen is dark ??? in color. The spleen is limp and its capsule is shriveled, and pulp is released with heavy scraping. The lumen of the small intestine contained a mucous mass of brown-yellow color. In the lumen of the large intestine there is a fecal mass of dark brown color. The mucosa of the intestines is blue-red in color. The surface of the kidneys is smooth and shiny. When sectioned the tissue of the kidneys is dark cherry red in color. The layers of the kidney are poorly defined. The size of the right kidney is 10 x 6 x 3.5 cm; the left is 10 x 5 x 3. The cortica and medulla (illegible) of the adrenal gland are well defined. The bladder contained up to 500 cm3 of cloudy yellow liquid. The mucosa of the bladder is bluish.

For chemical and histological study, pieces of the internal organs of the body were removed.


Forensic Expert of the Region
Forensic Expertise Bureau
signature /Vozrozhdenny/
Forensic Expert City of
signature /Laptev/
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 investigation of the body of Krivonischenko Georgi Alekseevich, 23 years old, and considering the facts of the case, we think that the death of Krivonischenko was the result of the action of low temperature/freezing. This is evidenced by the swelling of the meninges, the blood-filled internal organs, the overfilling of the pericardium with dark liquid blood, the existence of Vishnevsky spots on the folds of the stomach, the overfilling of the bladder, the freezing of the fingers and toes and burns of the II-III degree by fire. Observed (written by hand, approximation).

The lesions, grazes and skin wounds found during the external examination could have been the result of a fall or injury on rocks, ice, etc. The above-mentioned injuries were inflicted on Krivonischenko during life, the agonal state, and after death. The data of the investigation of the body of Krivonischenko provide the basis to suggest that he ate only 6-8 hours before the time of death. No presence of alcohol was found during the examination. The death was violent and accidental.


Forensic Expert of the Region
Forensic Expertise Bureau
signature /Vozrozhdenny/
Forensic Expert City of
signature /Laptev/



Dyatlov Pass: Open Discussion
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