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Medico-legal investigation of a series of female murders in Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka

Authors:

Muditha Vidanapathirana,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Muditha
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Rohan P. Ruwanpura,

Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya, Galle, LK
About Rohan P.
Office of the Judicial Medical Officer
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Ruwan J. illeperuma,

Genetech Molecular Diagnostics, Colombo 08, LK
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Uthpala Attygalle,

Provincial General Hospital, Ratnapura, LK
About Uthpala
Consultant JMO
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Prasanna B. Dasanayake,

Provincial General Hospital, Ratnapura, LK
About Prasanna B.
Consultant JMO
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Handun Wijewardene,

Provincial General Hospital, Ratnapura, LK
About Handun
Consultant JMO
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Tikiri K. M. B. Gunathilake ,

Provincial General Hospital, Ratnapura, LK
About Tikiri K. M. B.
Consultant JMO
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Kamal W. M. B. Wijetunga,

Provincial General Hospital, Ratnapura, LK
About Kamal W. M. B.
Consultant JMO
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Inoka Rathnayake

Provincial General Hospital, Ratnapura, LK
About Inoka
Consultant JMO
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Abstract

Background

From 2008-2015, several female murders were reported from Sabaragamuwa, Sri Lanka. The motive of most killings was not obvious and the attacks were targeted against isolated, elderly females. This study was conducted to analyze the medico-legal aspects of those female murders.

 

Methods

Data of females who had been killed under similar circumstances in Kahawatta, Ratnapura were collected from July 2008 to Dec 2015. 

 

Results

There were 17 female murders.  Ten dead bodies were left at the scene and remaining seven were moved. The cause of deaths had been cut injuries to the head (n=12) and blunt force trauma to the head (n=2), ligature strangulation (n=2) and manual strangulation (n=1). There were three double murders. The first double murder and Case 15 and 16 were due to personal enmities. Suspect arrested in 2010 was a paraphilic and claimed for 3 murders with no DNA matches. Suspect arrested in 2015, was responsible for six murders and DNA of three identical post-coital samples matched with his DNA. Features such as “two or more” “independent”, “planned” murders committed at ‘separate locations’ for ‘personal gratification’ by the same individual/s, separated by a “cooling-off” period were found in most murders.

 

Conclusions

The three special features found in this series were some attempting to mimic serial killings, some appearing to be copycat murders and in other instances appearing to be an alibi created by the suspects who were in the custody. This is the first ever reported instance of two or more serial killers operated in the same area in the same duration.
How to Cite: Vidanapathirana, M., Ruwanpura, R.P., illeperuma, R.J., Attygalle, U., Dasanayake, P.B., Wijewardene, H., Gunathilake, T.K.M.B., Wijetunga, K.W.M.B. and Rathnayake, I., 2018. Medico-legal investigation of a series of female murders in Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 6(2), pp.55–63. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v6i2.7375
Published on 26 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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