1 Institute of Forensic Medicine, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU2 ADBOU, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU3 Institute of Forensic Medicine, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU
The homicide of King Canute the Saint
The Danish King Canute the Saint was killed in St Alban church in Odense July 1086. According to a legend the king was kneeling in prayers when a lance thrust to his side killed him. Our re-examination of the skeleton presumed to belong to Canute showed a slimly build man with an approximate stature of 165-170 cm and an age of 27-38 years. There was a peri-mortem lesion on the sacral bone. It was a so-called hinge-fracture that consisted of a horizontal fracture on the ventral surface of the 3th sacral vertebra, and with a corresponding crack on the dorsal surface of the sacral bone. Computed tomography shoed these two fractures to be connected. We suggest that the fracture was caused by a thrust of a sharp instrument through the abdomen with direction posterior and to the right.
Scandinavian Journal of Forensic Science, 2010, Vol 16, p. 24-27