Foreword

This Second Edition of Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques, written by Vincent J. M. Di Maio, M.D. has been greatly expanded to include over 78 new photographs with references and discussions not covered in the original text. Dr. Di Maio has taken his personal observations, experience and research of gunshot wounds and firearms to create an extremely practical hands-on guide.

Guns continue to be the most frequently used weapons in murder and firearms account for more than half of the slayings. Therefore, this Second Edition of Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques, will continue to be the definitive source and reference for Medical Examiners, forensic pathologists, professional law enforcement officers, forensic crime laboratories, lawyers and others involved in the criminal justice and forensic fields.

In 1985, the First Edition of Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques written by Vincent J. M. Di Maio, M.D. was published within my Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations Series.

At the time of this first publication, I had the opportunity to write the Foreword and stated; ".. .without a doubt this text was the most comprehensive text on gunshot wounds available today." Little did I know how significant that statement would become. In fact, the First Edition became a benchmark within the forensic community and could only be replaced with this new and augmented Second Edition.

I have known Dr. Di Maio for over twenty years and I consider him to be the nation's foremost authority in the sphere of gunshot wounds and forensic techniques as they relate to firearm injuries. In both my Second and Third Editions of Practical Homicide Investigation: Tactics, Procedures and Forensic Techniques I cite the work of Dr. Di Maio.

Dr. Di Maio, who is presently the Chief Medical Examiner of Bexar County, in San Antonio, Texas was previously affiliated with Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Di Maio has been able to view gunshot wounds at the same time as the weapons and ammunition used to inflict them. He has also been able to discuss the weapons and ammunition with firearm examiners at the time of autopsy.

This Second Edition of Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques combines over twenty-five years of medicolegal investigation with practical experience.

The book begins with an excellent presentation regarding firearms and ammunition and acquaints the reader with some basic knowledge of firearms and the terminology used by ballistics and firearm examiners. The text then describes the practical aspects of ballistics, wound ballistics, and the classification of various wounds pertaining to handguns, bang guns, rifles, and shotguns. The Second Edition has been expanded to include new information on the use of DNA and cytology to associate a bullet recovered at the scene to a deceased; rubber and plastic bullets, hangfires, slamfires and wounds due to assault rifles.

In addition, Dr. Di Maio has expanded on a number of topics not discussed in the original edition and has updated and expanded on wound structures and suicide investigation involving firearms. The final chapters deal with autopsy technique and procedure as well as the very pertinent laboratory analysis relating to weapons and gunshot evidence.

Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques, Second Edition is written clearly and concisely. The text is accented by numerous photographs that depict exactly what to look for and how to interpret gunshot wounds and evidence. As I have said before; "Without a doubt, this book is the most comprehensive text on gunshot wounds available today.

Vernon J. Geberth, M.S., M.P.S. Homicide and Forensic Consultant Retired Homicide Commander New York City Police Department

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