Autopsy report of Kolmogorova


Sheet 127

Act №4

Medical-Forensic Examination of the body of citizen
Kolmogorova Zinaida Alekseevna, 22 years old

On March 4, 1959, in accordance with the decree of the prosecutor’s office of the Sverdlovsk region of March 3, 1959, an autopsy was performed on the body of Kolmogorova Zinaida Alekseevna, 22 years old, 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 Counselor of Justice N.I. Klinov, criminal prosecutor of the regional prosecutor’s office Junior Counselor 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, with daylight and sunny weather, 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 along the Ivdel – Mount Otorten ski path. Leaving 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 1,079 meters.

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

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a/ external examination

On the examination table is a body of a woman: both of the upper limbs are bent at the elbows. The left lower limb is more straightened at the knee and hip. Both limbs are joined together and intersect one another in the area of the lower third of the right leg and the inside of the left knee. The toes are stretched and lowered downwards.

The body is dressed as follows: on the head is a red wool hat tied at the chin with a bow. Under the hat is a blue knitted hat attached to the hair with a clip. A blue wool sweater worn on the left with the left cuff torn. Under this is a cotton cowboy shirt with long sleeves and one closed left pocket; the left sleeve is closed at the cuff. The color of the cowboy shirt is black, green with red squares. Under the cowboy shirt on the left side of the chest is a military style defensive mask. Under the cowboy shirt is a light red woolen sweater worn on the left side with a light red to blue transverse stripe. On the left and right sleeves are two patches, one made from a brown sock and the other from blue cotton fabric. A knitted shirt with long blue arms. A black satin brassiere fastened with two buttons. Baize ski sport pants with a buckle on the hip and closed buttons. At the bottom, the cuffs of the pants are not buttoned; there are three tears on the right pant leg with a depth of 0.5 cm, 1.2 cm, and 0.3 cm. Blue cotton sports pants with (illegible) internal pockets, the buckles on the hips are unbuttoned. In the right pocket is a brown comb

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with two broken teeth. In the (illegible) pocket there is a black shoestring. At the bottom of the (illegible) on elastic. Knitted women’s fleece leggings of an indeterminable color. Black ladies cotton tights with elastic. Swimming trunks with a four-button closure. On the legs are brown wool (illegible) with fur insoles; under them are blue and brown woolen socks.

The body is 162 cm long, of good nutrition and with well-developed muscle groups. There are blue and purple spots on the back surface of the body. Rigor mortis has resolved in the muscle groups of the joints. On the head is dark blond hair tied in two braids connected with two red silk ribbons. The length of the hair is up to 30 cm. The forehead is high and sloping towards the posterior. The skin of the face and hands is purple-red in color. In the area of the right frontal eminence there is a dark-red 2 x 1.5-cm abrasion that is solid when palpated. Next to this is a pale-colored spot with a size of 3 x 2 cm that reaches the right eyebrow. In the right temporomalor area is an irregularly formed ? x 5 cm graze wound of dark red-brown color. The eyebrows are narrow and black. On the upper eyelid of the left and right eyes there is a piece of grazed skin of dark red color measuring 5 x 1 cm and 0.5 x 0.5 cm. The left eye is half open, the cornea is cloudy, and the iris is light brown in color. There are Lyarshe spots on the cornea of the left eye. The mucous membrane of the eyelids is red. The bridge of the nose is slightly arched. On the arch of the nose there is a 1 x 0.7-cm abrasion. On the tip of the nose there is the same parchment abrasion with an area of 2 x 1 cm. In the area of the zygomatic arch, cheeks and chin there are a number of abrasions of different forms and magnitudes under dry brown crust with sizes from 6 x 2 cm to ? x 1 cm and smaller. The lips are blue-red in color and hydropic. The mouth is slightly opened. The teeth are white and even. The tongue is completely in the mouth behind the teeth; the mucous membrane of the gums is blue-pink in

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color. The openings of the mouth, nose and ears are clean. The ears are oval in shape and pink in color. The neck is normal. The chest is cylindrical in form. The breasts are medium in size and dough-like. The nipples protrude above the surface of the breasts. The nipples and areola are light grey in color. The stomach is located at the level of the chest. The external genitals are properly formed; their mucous membrane is of blue-pink color. The hymen is ring shaped with free edges. The natural orifice of the hymen allows for an adult pinky finger to pass. There is no vaginal discharge.

On the back of the right and left hands in the area of the wrist and interphalangeal joints are brown-red abrasions that are solid when palpated measuring 1.5 x 1 to 0.3 x 4 cm. There is an irregularly shaped 3 x 2.2-cm wound on the base of the third finger on the right hand with an angle facing the terminal phalanx with uneven borders and a scalped skin graft. The terminal phalanx of fingers 1-5 on the left hand are solid when palpated, dry, and of a brown-purple color. There is a well-shown venous network on the surface of both upper limbs. The lower limbs have no visible damage and are pinkish red in color. On the surface of the area of the lower back on the right side of the abdomen there is a graze wound of bright red color in the form of a strip sized 26 x 6 cm. The rest of the body and limbs are of a pale red color. There is a very pronounced venous system on the legs and feet.

b/ Internal examination

The skin flaps of the scalp are moist, rich and brilliantly red in color.

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The bones of the fornix and the base of the skull are whole. The dura matter is blue-grey in color and full-blooded. The pia is muddy and swollen. The gyrus and sulcus of the brain are smooth and flat. The contours of the lateral vesicles of the brain are indistinguishable. The grey brain matter is poorly differentiated from the white. The brain matter appears as a jelly-like mass with a blue-red color. The cerebral pattern is poorly differentiated. The blood vessels of the base of the brain are normal. The body’s subcutaneous fat is sufficiently developed. The internal organs are in the correct position; the lungs freely lie in the pleural cavity. The pericardium contained around 30 cm3 of dark liquid blood; the heart is 12 x 10.6 cm in size and its surface is covered in fat. The valves of the heart, aorta and pulmonary arteries are smooth, thin and brilliant. The coronary vessels are free and passable. The internal surface of the aorta is smooth and clean. The width of the arch of the aorta above the valve is 8 cm.

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 an abundance of bloody liquid and dark liquid blood is emitted. The lumen of the larynx and bronchi are free. The mucous membrane of the trachea and bronchi are blue-red in color. The sublingual bone is intact. When sectioned the thyroid gland is blue-red in color. The gastric cavity contained traces of a dirty-yellow-colored frosty mucus mass. The mucous membrane of the stomach is grey-red in color with the folds well-exhibited. On the upper surface of the gastric mucosare are Vishnevsky spot hemorrhages. When sectioned, the pancreas is pinkish red in color and finely

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lobular. The surface of the liver is smooth and bright; the size of the liver is 24 x 15 x 11 x 8 cm. When sectioned the liver tissue is brown-cherry in color with a poor differentiation of the hepatic pattern, and dramatically full of blood. The gallbladder contained up to 30 cm3 of olive-colored liquid. The mucous membrane of the gallbladder is velvety and brown in color. The spleen is limp when palpated and its capsule is shriveled. When sectioned, the tissue of the spleen is dark cherry in color. The slurry from the surface of the section is given with much scraping. The size of the spleen is 9 x 6.2 x 2 cm. The lumen of the small intestine contained a mucous mass that was dirty yellow in color. The mucous membrane of the intestine is blue-red in color. In the lumen of the large intestine there is a fecal mass of dark brown color. The surface of the kidneys is smooth and bright; the kidney capsule is easily removed. When sectioned the kidney tissue is dark cherry colored. The cortical renal medulla is poorly differentiated. The layers of the adrenal gland are well differentiated. The size of the right kidney is 8 x 5 x 3 cm; the left is 8 x 5 x 2.5 cm. The uterus is small and solid when palpated. When sectioned the tissue is light grey in color. In the opening of the uterus there are traces of pale-red slime. When sectioned the appendages are normal. The bladder contained up to 300 cm3 of cloudy yellow liquid. The mucous membrane of the bladder was light pink in color.

Parts of the internal organs were removed for chemical and histological analysis. The presence of alcohol was not found upon examination of the body.


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


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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/
Witness: signature /Gordo/
Witness: signature /Naskichev/



Based on the investigation of the body of Kolmogorova Zinaida Alekseevna, 22 years old, and taking into account the circumstances of the case, we feel that the death of Kolmogorova was the result of cool temperatures/freezing, as evidenced by the swelling of the meninges, the dramatic plethora of the internal organs, the dark liquid blood in the heart cavities, the Vishnevsky spots on the gastric mucosa, and the fourth-degree frostbite on the third terminal phalanges of the fingers; the injuries found on Kolmogorova’s body in the form of abrasions and skin wounds were caused by a blunt instrument and the result of a fall and injuries on rocks, ice and snow.

The above-mentioned injuries occurred while Kolmogorova was alive, in the agonal state, and posthumously.

The investigation of the body of Komogоrova allows for the basis of theory that she last ate 6-8 hours before the time of death. Alcohol was not detected during the investigation. Kolmogorova’s virginity is still intact. The cause of 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
Any thoughts on the matter?