Autopsy report of Zolotaryov


Sheet 349

city of Ivdel

Act №2

Medical-Forensic Examination of a body

On the May 9, 1959 in accordance with decree of the Prosecutor office of Sverdlovsk region of May 7, 1959 by forensic experts of the regional forensic investigation bureau V. A. Vozrozhdenny in the presence of the criminal prosecutor of regional prosecutor office junior Counselor in Justice L. N. Ivanov and criminal expert Churkina G. A. 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 Aleksander Alekseevich Zolotaryov, 37 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.

А.External examination:

On the examination table there is a male body, clothed as follows: on the head there is a black fur winter cap with ear flaps decorated with black fur and a red woollen ski cap with three light stripes. A checked worn woollen scarf of brown and blue color with an opened breast pin. A tourist mask of baize and green denim with an elastic support. A very worn fur waistcoat made of black sheep skin. A buttoned brown baize sports jacket. The left chest pocket lacks a button. Out of the three buttons in the neck area, the two top ones are unbuttoned. The left sleeve is buttoned by one button, and the right is buttoned. A slightly worn black cotton sweater. A cotton sports t-shirt with blue sleeves and a woven cotton cherry-blossom t-shirt. Khaki denim romper trousers with two pockets attached. The right pocket contains an onion bulb and coins of three, five, and 15 kopecks. Black quilted felt boots with leather soles with woolen brown socks in them. There is one sock on the right foot and two stitched socks on the left foot; one is woolen and the other is cotton. In the inner chest pocket of the romper there are a brush and a ball of yarn. There is a rolled-up newspaper in the posterior pocket of the rompers. Under the rompers there are torn baize blue ski trousers with the three buttons on the waist not buttoned; the buttons on the cuffs are buttoned. The internal pockets of the trousers are empty. Underneath them are similar trousers but with an elastic support. The pockets of the trousers include pieces of newspaper and five coins: two of 15 kopecks, and two of 2 kopecks and 10 kopecks. Gray cotton trunks are worn inside-out over blue satin briefs. There is a compass in the left hand of the body.

Findings after the removal of the clothes: the body is male of satisfactory nutrition and proper constitution with a length of 172 cm. Postmortem lividity of purple-grey color are plentiful on the posterior surface of the neck, trunk and extremities and on the lateral surface of the chest on the right side. Rigor mortis is resolved in the muscle groups of the joints. In the frontal temporal area is a section of alopecia.

Sheet 350

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The hair present slides from the scalp when touched. The remnants of the hair are black and up to 10 cm long. In the right temporal areare is a soft tissue defect of irregular shape sized 8 x 6 cm with thinned, slightly rumpled edges baring the temporal bone. The facial skin is of grayish green color. The forehead is low and retreating. The eyebrows are absent. In the area of the brows and eye sockets there is a round-shaped soft tissue defect sized 7 х 6 cm with thinned edges and bared facial skull bones. The eye sockets are glaring. The eyeballs are absent. The nasal dorsum is straight. The nasal bones and cartilages are whole when palpated. The nose is flattened at the base. The nasal orifices are constricted. The upper lip has the remnants of a light brown mustache and the lips are pale grey. On the right side of the upper jaw there are two dental crowns and a tooth of white metal; on the lower jaw there are four dental crowns of white metal. The mouth is opened wide. The oral mucosa is of greenish grey color (rot-induced changes). The orifices of the mouth and ear passages are clean. The neck is long and thin. The chest is cylindrically shaped. The stomach is located below the chest level. The external genitals are properly formed. There are signs of defecation from the rectum. ‘Bath skin’ is present in the area of the hands and toes. The skin of the trunk and extremities is grayish blue with the sliding of the epidermis. The fingers are semi-bent. On the reverse of the right hand near the base of the thumb there is the tattoo ‘Gena’ (‘Гена’). On the reverse of the right forearm in the medium third there is a tattoo of a beetroot [picture] and ‘letters + С’; the reverse side of the left forehand has a tattoo with the image ‘G.S.’ DAERMMUAZUAYA’ (‘Г.С.’ ДАЕРММУАЗУАЯ’), a five-point star and the letter ‘С’, the letters Г+С+П = Д’ and the number 1921.’

B.Internal examination:

The skin of the scalp from the internal surface is wet, dim, and pale red. The bones of the cranial vault and base are intact. The dura matter is bluish green and of poor blood saturation. The pia matter is thin and opaque. The brain gyri are poorly defined. The grey and white matter are poorly differentiated. The contours of the brain ventricles are not defined. The vessels of the cranial base show no particularities. The subcutaneous fatty tissue is satisfactorily developed. The position of the internal organs is proper. The pleural cavities contained up to one litre of liquid dark blood. The pericardium contained up to 15 cm3 of opaque amber liquid. The heart is sized 13 х 10 х 6 cm. The cardiac muscle is dark red when sectioned. The right and left halves of the heart contained up to 50 cm3 of liquid dark blood. The aortic heart valve and pulmonary artery valve are slightly thickened on the adjacent line. The coronary vessels of the heart are free and passable. The internal surface of the aorta is smooth and clean. The lungs are bluish red on the surface and fluffy upon palpation. The pulmonary tissue is of dark cherry color when sectioned. When pressed, a large amount of foamy bloody liquid is secreted from the surface of the section. The lumen of the throat and bronchi is free. The sublingual bone is intact. The mucosa of the esophagus, trachea and bronchi is bluish red. The stomach contained traces of pale red mucosal mass. The gastric mucosa is bluish red with poorly defined folds. When sectioned, the pancreas is finely lobular with a red yellowish color.

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The liver is dim and smooth at the surface. When sectioned the tissue is brown-red with bluish shade and poorly distinguished hepatic patterns. The liver 26 х 15 х 10 х 7 cm in size. The gall bladder contained traces of brown liquid. Its mucosa is brown. The spleen is feeble during palpation. Its capsule is shrunk. The size of the spleen is 10 х 7 х 3 cm. The spleen tissue is of dark cherry color when sectioned. The pulp from the sectioned surface is scratched well. In the lumen of the small intestine there is a mucosal mass of dirty yellow color. The intestinal mucosa is of a bluish green color. The lumen of the colon contains fecal masses of brown-yellow color. The intestinal mucosa is bluish grey. The kidneys on the surface are smooth and dim; the capsule of the kidneys is easily removed. The size of the right kidney is 10 х 6 х 3 cm; the size of the left kidney is 9.5 х 6 х 3 cm. The cortex and medullar layer of the kidney are poorly differentiated. When sectioned, the kidney tissue is dark red in color. The cortex and medullar layers of the adrenals are poorly differentiated. The bladder contained up to 500 cm3 of opaque yellowish liquid. After the removal of the organ complex from the thoracic and abdominal cavity, the fracture of the II, III, IV, V, and VI ribs was detected on the right on the adsternal and mid-axillary line with hemorrhaging into the adjacent intercostal muscles.

Parts of the internal organs of the body were taken for chemical and histological examination.

Forensic expert signature (Vozrozhdenny)
Prosecutor Criminalist
Regional Prosecutor's Office
Jr Counselor of Justice
signature (Ivanov)
Expert criminalist (Churkina)



Based on the examination of the body of Zolotaryov, 37 years old, I think that he died due to multiple fractures of the right ribs with internal hemorrhaging to the pleural cavity while at a low temperature. The above mentioned multiple fractures of Zolotaryov’s ribs with hemorrhaging into the pleural cavity were caused in vivo as an effect of a high-power impact to the chest of Zolotaryov at the moment of his fall, squeezing or throwing. The damage of the soft tissue in the area of Mr. Zolotariyov’s head and the presence of bath skin in the area of fingers and upper and lower extremities are postmortem changes in the body of Zolotaryov, which was underwater before it was found.

Zolotaryov died as a result of violence.

Forensic Medical Examiner - signature (Vozrozhdenny)


Dyatlov Pass: Open Discussion
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