Vanessa Place autopsy report

“The play betrays the usual conversions: that monkeys become men, that men become gods, and that there is something to us other than the merely human.”

“Vanessa Place autopsy report” is an excerpt from the play Les Singes (The Monkeys) by Naomi Toth and Vanessa Place, set to a soundtrack by Estonian DJ Maria Minerva, and a video piece, “Traffic,” composed by Place. Les Singes was first performed in Silencio, David Lynch’s private club in Paris, a contemporary version of the eighteenth-century salon. Composed of three movements, Les Singes moves from carnival to monkey-mocking and -making to self-rendering to drinking to the poet’s demise. The play betrays the usual conversions: that monkeys become men, that men become gods, and that there is something to us other than the merely human. The final act is not so much sacrificial as judicious, violence being the predicate for every law and all art. “Vanessa Place autopsy report” reminds its audience that monkeys are the only primates who cannot stand to see a body of one of their own kind dissected, making the ape the better indexical man. 

Vanessa Place autopsy report

This white female, positively identified
by fingerprint comparison as Vanessa Place,

was pronounced dead at 23:32 hours
on 28 October, 2017, when she was found

hanged by a belt noose in her cell.

When first viewed, the decedent is clad
in a black dress, black tights, and black shoes.

There are no personal effects.

Received in the body bag with the decedent
is a paper bag labeled, “Belt used as Ligature,”

one black belt ligature, subsequently described
under the EVIDENCE OF INJURY paragraph.

Duct tape around both wrists was left
in place pending the examination.

The body is that of a normally developed,
167.7 cm, 52.6 kg white woman whose
appearance is consistent with the given age.

The straight black hair measures up
to approximately 2.5 cm in length.

The eyes have blue irises. The conjunctivae have
no hemorrhage, petechiae, or trace of jaundice.

The earlobes are pierced.

Multiple tattoos are over the upper body,
Including the arms, back, and neck.

The fingernails are short and intact.
The hands have no visible injuries.

The torso and extremities are normally developed.

The genitalia are free of injuries.
The anus is unremarkable and has no injuries.

There is a furrow/impression about the neck.

No other trauma is present.

There is marked rigor mortis of the upper and lower
extremities, neck, and jaw. Lividity is blanching,
pink-purple, visible posteriorly in the dependent areas
as well as over the palms.

The body is cold.

The decedent has a ligature mark about the front of the neck.

The decedent also has duct tape about both wrists.

A furrow is present around the neck.

Anteriorly, it is oblique, located at the level
of the superior thyroid cartilage to the right of midline,
and above the thyroid cartilage to the left of midline.

It cants upward posterior to the left ear
across the left side of the neck.
It is roughly horizontal
to the right side of the neck,
canting slightly upward posteriorly.

It measures approximately 2.5 cm in maximal width
and up to 10 mm in depth. No noose is present.

The organs are in their normal situs.
The plural, pericardial, and peritoneal
cavities contain no abnormalities.

The scalp has no contusions. The skull has no fractures.
There are no epidural, subdural, or subarachnoid hemorrhages.
The brain weighs 132.5 grams and is of normal size and shape.
The cerebral vessels have no aneurysms or atherosclerosis.

The external aspects of the brainstem
and cerebellum are unremarkable.

Coronal sections of the cerebrum reveal
no focal lesions of the cortex, white matter,
or deep nuclear structures. The ventricles
are normal size and configuration.

On cut surface, the brainstem and cerebellum
have the usual patterns.

Evidence of hanging is previously described.

The cervical vertebrae, thyroid bone, tracheal
and laryngeal cartilages, and paratracheal soft tissues
have no visible injuries.

The upper airway is patent.

The tongue is unremarkable.

The heart weighs 300 grams and has a right-dominant
coronary artery circulation without atherosclerosis
of the epicardial vessels.

The myocardium has no focal lesions.

The left and right ventricles and four cardiac valves
are unremarkable.

The aorta is unremarkable.

The right lung weighs 400 grams and the left weight 380 grams.
The lungs are slightly congested. The bronchi are unremarkable.

The liver weighs 1,320 grams, has an intact capsule and no focal lesions.
The gallbladder contains 15 milliliters of bile without stones.
The pancreas is unremarkable in lobulation, color, and texture.

The spleen weighs 100 grams and has an intact capsule.
The color, red and white, pulp, and consistency are unremarkable.

There are no enlarged lymph nodes.

The bone marrow, where viewed, is unremarkable.

The thyroid and adrenal glands are of normal color, size,
and consistency.

The right kidney weighs 125 grams and the left weighs 132 grams.
Each kidney has a smooth red-brown surface with unremarkable
architecture and vasculature. The ureters maintain uniform caliber
into an unremarkable bladder.

The ovaries and fallopian tubes are unremarkable.

The vagina has no trauma or lesions.
The uterus has no evidence of pregnancy.

The cervix is unremarkable.

The esophagus and gastroesophageal junction are unremarkable.

The stomach contains approximately 170 milliliters of fluid
without solid particles. The gastric mucosa has no focal lesions.

The serosal surfaces of the small intestine
and large intestine are smooth and glistening.

The appendix is present, and unremarkable.

The vertebrae, clavicles, sternum, ribs, and pelvis
have no fractures. Examination of the subcutaneous tissues
and musculature of the anterior and posterior torso
and upper and lower extremities reveals no hemorrhages
or injuries, except those previously described.

Specimens including blood, vitreous, urine, bile,
stomach contents, liver, and brain submitted to toxicology.

Specimens including heart, lungs, liver, kidney, spleen, brain,
and uterus submitted to histology.

Specimens including clothing, ligature (black belt),
duct tape in the paper bag in which it was received
with the decedent’s body, fingernail scrapings

and clippings, and sexual assault evidence collection kit,
are sealed in evidence containers and released to investigators.

(NOTE: Despite absence of injuries to the genitalia or anus,
a sexual assault evidence collection kit is obtained
should future testing be warranted.)