Multiple Abnormalities in the Skull of a Prostitute. An Autopsy Report (1900)

Marta Licata, Omar Larentis, Chiara Tesi, Silvia Iorio


Objective. The study presents and comments on the publication of an autopsy report.

Case Report. In 1900 De Blasio published an article entitled “Multiple abnormalities in a prostitute’s skull” in the “Journal of Psychiatry, Criminal Anthropology and related sciences”. In this work De Blasio related anomalies at the cranial level to the presence of mental pathologies. The skull belonged to a 24-year-old prostitute who died of syphilitic hepatitis. In his article, De Blasio described the life of the woman, after which he gave a macroscopic description of the skull. De Blasio believed that the subject’s amoral behavior was caused by the anomalous shape of the subject’s skull.

Conclusion. From the study, it is evident that the school of criminal anthropology influenced De Blasio’s autopsy medical practice, and it is interesting to note the interpretation of anthropologists of the time who tried to describe the link between physical and behavioral anomalies.


Criminal Anthropology; Abele De Blasio; Morphological Anomaly; Autoptic Examination

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