An electrical mark is one of the crucial morphological findings on the body of a person who received a fatal
electric shock and it is often the only evidence of contact between the body and electricity. In cases where the electrical
mark on the skin is absent, the cause of death is often established by exclusion of other possible causes and supported by
In our study, the data were obtained from autopsy reports of all persons whose cause of death was electrocution and
whose post mortem examination was performed at the Department of Forensic Medicine and Criminology in Zagreb
between 1991 and 2010. We collected the data on victim demographics and incident circumstances including sex, age,
manner of death, alcohol concentration, place and time of death, and presence and site of the electric mark.
A total of 89 electrocution cases were identified. An electrical mark was detected in 79% of the cases, whereas no
detectable changes on the skin were in the remaining 21% of the cases. The entry wound was present in 43% of the cases,
both entry and exit wounds were found in 20%, while in 16% of the cases with extensive burns neither entry nor exit point
could be detected. Most victims of fatal electrocution were men aged between 20 and 50. Most cases were accidents
(83%) and the rest were suicides (14%) or the manner of death was undetermined.
Although inconsistently present on the victims' body, the electrical mark is of great diagnostic value as confirmative
evidence in cases of suspected electrocution.