The only known morgue photos of Julia Wallace, clearly showing the wounding, including the strike which opened up her skull.
As seems to be the case with everything in the murder of Julia Wallace, everything down to even the photographs appear to present a mini riddle all on their own. The wounding in the two bottom photos does not seem to match, and I am not sure why this is.
However what we should make note of is the information that we do have. The wound on the front of the skull is fairly obvious as it is a gaping hole. On the back of the head it is very difficult to tell, but McFall claims that on the back left of the head he found “ten diagonal apparently incised wounds”.
At a glance, this may make it sound as though a blade type instrument was used to slice these wounds into her head. But actually what we are probably looking at is what is termed “split laceration” wounds. Such wounds on certain areas such as the scalp where they are on Julia, can appear like incision wounds when they are actually laceration wounds caused by a blunt instrument.
McFall notes this here:
“The appearance was as if a terrific force with a large surface had driven in the scalp, bursting it in parallel lines, with the appearance of several incised wounds, but the edges of these wounds was not sharp.”
In attacks with blades a clean cut would be seen instead, which is one way in which forensic experts differentiate between incision and laceration wounds.