DOI: 10.5584/jiomics.v8i1.235


  • Isabella Aquila University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Italy
  • Giuseppe Chiaravalloti Arma dei Carabinieiri, Nucleo Investigativo of Catanzaro, Italy
  • Roberto Raffaele University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Italy
  • Antonio Ottolino Arma dei Carabinieiri, Nucleo Investigativo of Catanzaro, Italy
  • Santo Gratteri University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Italy
  • Pietrantonio Ricci University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Italy


‘Ndrangheta is a mafia criminal organization, hailing from Calabria, Italy. This organization is able to use any kind of weapon and the choise depends on the type of murder to commit. So, even bazooka have been used when the victims, judges or rival mafia clan boss, travelled by armored cars. Kalashnikov is not only used “normally” to commit mafia ambushes, but often it has been found carbonized with the car used by killers. This act confirm that mafia clan have available vast arsenals of weapons and it is a demonstration of what this organization is able to do. Gunshot wounds cause significant mortality and morbidity. The analysis of the features of injuries makes it possible to establish which kind of weapon has been used. The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated assault rifle and it uses a long stroke gas system. In order to shoot, who uses a AK-47, inserts a loaded magazine, pulls back and releases the charging handle, and then pulls the trigger. It can be semi-automatic, when the firearm fires only once, or full-automatic, if the rifle continues to fire automatically and cyclically fresh rounds into the chamber. AK-47 rifle bullet injuries present with uncharacteristically large entry wounds and cause complex structural injuries. The consequent trajectory is difficult to predict making regional examination and radiological investigations. Bullets may be retained, leaving no exit wound. We report a case of an AK-47 murder. An autopsy was performed and documented the external lesions. Terminal ballistic reconstructions were carried out. The results of the forensic investigations revealed a mafia matrix in the genesis of the homicide. Kalashnikov is not a frequent weapon, so the wounds are not so common to see in the forensic practice. But, in ‘ndrangheta homicides, this firearm is preferred for its high harmful power that ensure a murder “without mistakes” and with devastating consequences on the shot body.