Monday, October 8, 2007


Suicide By Ballpoint Pen

‘An unfortunate, but amazing case: a 25-year-old schizophrenic man shoved a 14.5-cm-long ballpoint pen through his eye socket, all the way to his cerebellum (in the rear of the brain). Hospital staff found him lying in a pool of blood, and the man told doctors he ‘had torn his eyes because it tickled and that 10 years earlier he had shot himself in one eye with an airgun rifle.’ His doctors were puzzled: the man slipped quickly into a coma, but there was no sign of serious trauma to the area other than a small hematoma. A CT scan (above) provided more baffling information, which the doctors initially interpreted as a bullet wound in the left parieto-occipital region. When the patient died 4 days after the injury, the ballpoint pen was discovered wedged deep into the brain. The blunt end of the pen, with cap, had been inserted first, with the cap lodged well into the right lobe of the cerebellum. This is one of the only known suicides on record from “low-velocity” penetrating objects.’

Leave a Reply