Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.
Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?
Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).
A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice.
In 2014, PBS's AMERICAN EXPERIENCE released a film based on The Poisoner's Handbook.
In this absorbing, surprising, and undeniably compelling book, forensics expert Emily Craig tells her own story of a life spent teasing secrets from the dead.
Emily Craig has been a witness to history, helping to seek justice for thousands of murder victims, both famous and unknown. It’s a personal story that you won’t soon forget. Emily first became intrigued by forensics work when, as a respected medical illustrator, she was called in by the local police to create a model of a murder victim’s face. Her fascination with that case led to a dramatic midlife career change: She would go back to school to become a forensic anthropologist—and one of the most respected and best-known “bone hunters” in the nation.
As a student working with the FBI in Waco, Emily helped uncover definitive proof that many of the Branch Davidians had been shot to death before the fire, including their leader, David Koresh, whose bullet-pierced skull she reconstructed with her own hands. Upon graduation, Emily landed a prestigious full-time job as forensic anthropologist for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a state with an alarmingly high murder rate and thousands of square miles of rural backcountry, where bodies are dumped and discovered on a regular basis. But even with her work there, Emily has been regularly called to investigations across the country, including the site of the terrorist attack on the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, where a mysterious body part—a dismembered leg—was found at the scene and did not match any of the known
victims. Through careful scientific analysis, Emily was able to help identify the leg’s owner, a pivotal piece of evidence that helped convict Timothy McVeigh.
In September 2001, Emily received a phone call summoning her to New York City, where she directed the night-shift triage at the World Trade Center’s body identification site, collaborating with forensics experts from all over the country to collect and identify the remains of September 11 victims.
From the biggest news stories of our time to stranger-than-true local mysteries, these are unforgettable stories from the case files of Emily Craig’s remarkable career.
From the Hardcover edition.
When a deadly diphtheria epidemic swept through Nome, Alaska, in 1925, the local doctor knew that without a fresh batch of antitoxin, his patients would die. The lifesaving serum was a thousand miles away, the port was icebound, and planes couldn't fly in blizzard conditions—only the dogs could make it. The heroic dash of dog teams across the Alaskan wilderness to Nome inspired the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and immortalized Balto, the lead dog of the last team whose bronze statue still stands in New York City's Central Park. This is the greatest dog story, never fully told until now.
Now, for the first time, Dr. Noguchi recounts his colorful and stormy career, explains his innovative techniques, and reveals the full story behind his most fascinating investigations.
In Coroner, Dr. Noguchi sheds new light on his most controversial cases—controversies that persist even today:
—How did Natalie Wood spend the last terrifying moments of her life?
—Did Marilyn Monroe commit suicide or were the drugs that killed her injected into her body by someone else?
—Did Sirhan Sirhan or another gunman fire the bullet that killed Robert Kennedy?
—How could the knives used in the murder of Sharon Tate be identified and traced to the Manson gang if they were never found?
—What were the real circumstances behind the drug-related death of Janis Joplin?
—Were Patty Hearst’s kidnappers victims of police brutality or of their own revolutionary zeal?
—How and why did William Holden die?
—Was John Belushi murdered?
These are just some of the questions answered in this powerful, gutsy book written by the real-life “Quincy,” with co-author Joseph DiMona.
Parker examines various forensic techniques and principles of investigative sciences, some of the historical figures in the evolution of forensics over the last two centuries, and provides real cold case examples where forensic sciences were key to not only in identifying the guilty but also in clearing the innocent and freeing the wrongly convicted.
For fifteen years, Shiya Ribowsky worked as a medicolegal investigator in New York City’s medical examiner’s office—the largest, most sophisticated organization of its kind in the world. Utilizing his background in medicine, he led the investigations of more than eight thousand individual deaths, becoming a key figure in some of New York’s most bizarre death cases and eventually taking charge of the largest forensic investigation ever attempted: identifying the dead in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedies.
Now, in this mesmerizing book, Ribowsky pulls back the curtain on the New York City’s medical examiner’s office, giving an enthralling, never-before-seen glimpse into death and the city. Born and raised in New York City’s orthodox Jewish community, Ribowsky seems an unlikely candidate for this macabre profession. Nevertheless he has forsaken a promising career of medical work with the living, descending instead into the realm of the dead, enticed by the challenge of confronting death on a daily basis. Taking you through the vermin-infested Bowery flophouses and posh Upper East Side apartments of the city’s dead, Ribowsky explores in gruesome detail the skeletons that hang in the Big Apple’s closets. Combing through the autopsy room, he also exposes the grim secrets that only a scalpel and a dead body can tell and explains how forensic investigation does not merely solve crimes—it saves lives.
But it is in the aftermath of September 11 that the ME’s office is handed its biggest challenge: to identify as many of the fallen as possible. With poignant descriptions, Ribowsky provides a dramatic account of the office’s diligent and unflappable work with the families of the victims, helping them emerge from the ashes of this tragedy while displaying the strength, grit, intelligence, and compassion that Americans expect from true New Yorkers.
At once compelling and heartbreaking, Dead Center is a story of New York unlike any other, blending the haunting with the sublime, while painting a striking portrait of death (and life) in the city that never sleeps.
Miletich, who trained at the Alberta Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, teams with Lindstrom to introduce readers to the medical examiner's role, including autopsy techniques and analysis. Twists and turns emerge as what was initially thought to be a murder proves to be suicide; what was suspected to be a natural death proves to be murder or environmental poisoning; or what was thought to be an accidental death proves to be something more sinister. This work includes appendices with guides to Medical Examiner organizations, seminars, and conventions.
The dead talk—to the right listener. They can tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died, and, of course, who killed them. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help serve justice using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene, or the faintest of human traces. Forensics draws on interviews with some of these top-level professionals, ground-breaking research, and McDermid’s own original interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientists.
Along the way, McDermid discovers how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine one’s time of death; how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer; and how a team of young Argentine scientists led by a maverick American anthropologist were able to uncover the victims of a genocide. It’s a journey that will take McDermid to war zones, fire scenes, and autopsy suites, and bring her into contact with both extraordinary bravery and wickedness, as she traces the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.
This third edition is thoroughly revised and expanded with new chapters in different fields. Topics covered address automotive, aviation, military and other environments. Field data collection; injury coding/scaling; injury epidemiology; mechanisms of injury; human tolerance to injury; simulations using experimental, complex computational models (finite element modeling) and statistical processes; anthropomorphic test device design, development and validation for crashworthiness applications in topics cited above; and current regulations are covered. Risk functions and injury criteria for various body regions are included. Adult and pediatric populations are addressed. The exhaustive list of references in many areas along with the latest developments is valuable to all those involved or intend to pursue this important topic on human injury biomechanics and prevention.
The expanded edition will interest a variety of scholars and professionals including physicians, biomedical researchers in many disciplines, basic scientists, attorneys and jurists involved in accidental injury cases and governmental bodies. It is hoped that this book will foster multidisciplinary collaborations by medical and engineering researchers and academicians and practicing physicians for injury assessment and prevention and stimulate more applied research, education and training in the field of accidental-injury causation and prevention.
Radical changes have been effected in the chapters Death and Its Medicolegal Aspects: Forensic Thanatology; Sudden and Unexpected Deaths; Asphyxial Deaths; Deaths Associated with Surgery, Anaesthesia and Blood Transfusion; Custody Related Torture and/or Death; Medicolegal Examination of the Living; Injuries by Firearms; Complications of Trauma: Was Wounding Responsible for Death?; Consent to and Refusal of Treatment; Medical Negligence; and Intricacies of Forensic Toxicology.
Enriched with photographs, drawings, sketches, flowcharts, and tables for easy and catchy understanding.
Old cases have been replaced with new ones, making way for the readers to appreciate medicolegal implications.
Reflects author’s personal experience of about three decades and the knowledge gathered from extensive reading, interactions, deliberations, etc. at various platforms.
As a practicing toxicologist, Dr. Amitava Dasgupta is involved with the pre-employment drug testing at his own hospital and aptly shares his expertise in Beating Drug Tests and Defending Positive Results: A Toxicologist’s Perspective, which covers all major issues concerning how people try to beat drug tests and defend positive test results. In each chapter, extensive references are cited so that readers can access more information on a particular topic that may interest them. The book will undoubtedly prove helpful to toxicologists, medical technologists, pathologists, human resources professionals and anyone interested in workplace drug testing.
* 300+ A-Z entries covering all aspects of forensic science, including crime scene investigation, evidence identification, and the historical development of forensics
* 30+ photographs illustrating techniques such as the examination of ink and handwriting, hairs and fibers, guns and ammunition, and foot and tire prints
* Clear, descriptive entries, geared toward high school students and readers interested in criminology or criminal justice
* Dozens of real life examples from the fields of criminology, justice, and forensic science, revealing the latest and most advanced techniques
Fundamentals in Physics, arms and ammunition, ballistics
Simulating gunshot wounds: Virtopsy – a virtual autopsy method, combining CT, MRT and surface scanning and Materials that reproduce the interaction of soft tissue, bone and blood vessels with a bullet that penetrates the body.
Wound ballistics for Short-range and long-range weapons, fragments, such as those from bombs and hand grenades, gas jets from blanks, gas weapons, etc., “Non-lethal” weapons as used by the police, in military operations or in urban settings
Specialist knowledge and reference detailed tables: ballistic tables for typical ammunition, ballistic values for numerous types of ammunition, including older types, materials properties, plus additional, hard-to-find data. Most tables are in both metric and U.S. units., an extensive trilingual glossary of specialized terminology in German, English and French
NEW: the latest diagnostic / simulation methods and the latest types of ammunition
The practice and application of wound ballistics in: forensic medicine, surgery – especially emergency and war surgery and international conventions
Globalized conflict zones, terrorism and crime – these issues affect a wider circle than just the armed forces and medical services abroad. Police officers, surgeons, forensics specialists and criminalists also need to be familiar with ballistics and gunshot wounds and must be able to assess the complex factors involved.
The practice and application of wound ballistics in forensic medicine. surgery – especially emergency and war surgery and International conventions.
Globalized conflict zones, terrorism and crime – these issues affect a wider circle than just the armed forces and medical services abroad. Police officers, surgeons, forensics specialists and criminalists also need to be familiar with ballistics and gunshot wounds and must be able to assess the complex factors involved.
In addition to gaining a practical understanding of how computers and networks function and how they can be used as evidence of a crime, students will learn about relevant legal issues and will be introduced to deductive criminal profiling, a systematic approach to focusing an investigation and understanding criminal motivations. Readers will receive unlimited access to the author's accompanying website, which contains simulated cases that integrate many of the topics covered in the text.
This text is required reading for anyone involved in computer investigations or computer administration, including computer forensic consultants, law enforcement, computer security professionals, government agencies (IRS, FBI, CIA, Dept. of Justice), fraud examiners, system administrators, and lawyers.Provides a thorough explanation of how computers and networks function, how they can be involved in crimes, and how they can be used as a source of evidenceOffers readers information about relevant legal issuesFeatures coverage of the abuse of computer networks and privacy and security issues on computer networks
Following a thematic structure within a broad chronological framework, the book focuses on practitioners, the development of notions of ‘expertise’ and the rise of the expert, the main areas of the criminal law to which forensic medicine contributed, medical attitudes towards the victims and perpetrators of crime, and the wider influences such attitudes had. It thus develops an understanding of how medicine has played an active part in shaping legal, political and social change.
Including case studies which provide a narrative context to tie forensic medicine to the societies in which it was practiced, and a further reading section at the end of each chapter, Katherine D. Watson creates a vivid portrait of a topic of relevance to social historians and students of the history of medicine, law and crime.
An intrepid investigator crawls through miles of air conditioning ducts to capture the implicating fibers of a suspect’s wool jacket . . . A forensic entomologist discovers insects in the grill of a car and nails down a drug dealer’s precise geographical path . . . A gluttonous criminal’s fingerprints are lifted from a chocolate truffle. . . .
Filled with these and many other intriguing true stories, and packed with black and white illustrations and photographs, The Forensic Casebook draws on interviews with police personnel and forensic scientists—including animal examiners, botanists, zoologists, firearms specialists, and autoposists—to uncover the vast and detailed underworkings of criminal investigation. Encyclopedic in scope, this riveting, authoritative book leaves no aspect of forensic science untouched, covering such fascinating topics as:
• Securing a crime scene
• Identifying blood splatter patterns
• Collecting fingerprints—and feet, lip, and ear prints
• Interpreting the stages of a body’s decay
• Examining hair and fiber evidence
• Trace evidence from firearms and explosives
• “Lifting” DNA prints
• Computer crime and forensic photography
• Career paths in criminal science
Lucidly written and spiked with real crime stories, The Forensic Casebook exposes the nitty gritty that other books only touch upon. Here is a reference book as addictive as a page-turning novel of suspense.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This book is comprised of 11 chapters and begins with a discussion on sources of ignition and materials first ignited, paying particular attention to three temperature thresholds of combustible substances: flash-point temperature, fire-point temperature, and self-ignition temperature. Examples of sources of ignition are given, including ashes, soot, gas, and naked or open flame. Subsequent chapters deal with the reasons, motives, and methods of arson, as well as timing devices that may be used by arsonists; fire and non-fire explosions; variables that must be taken into account when trying to determine the rate of growth of a fire; and fatality occurring in a fire. The use of photographs and drawings in fire investigation is also considered, along with collection of samples and physical evidence from a fire scene and gathering of information through interviews. The final chapter presents abridged case histories of the six categories of arson.
This monograph is written for students, fire officers and investigators, police officers, insurance investigators, and loss adjusters.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In his first book, the runaway bestseller Coroner, Dr. Noguchi wrote of his controversial investigations as medical examiner of Los Angeles County. In Coroner at Large, the man who has often been called the “Detective of Death” probes the mysteries surrounding the most celebrated criminal cases in recent American history.
Using sophisticated techniques of modern forensic science and once again “telling it like it is,” Dr. Noguchi reveals the truth behind the headlines in the untimely deaths of show business celebrities:
—The drowning of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson
—The murder of Sal Mineo
—The suicide of Freddie Prinze
—The slaying of “Playmate of the Year” Dorothy Stratten
—Elvis Presley’s fatal heart attack
Forensic science, too, provides new clues to fascinating historical puzzles: the true fates of General George Custer, the Emperor Napoleon, and Adolf Hitler.
In Coroner at Large, Dr. Noguchi brilliantly provides the missing links in our knowledge of these cases. Here, from his own investigations and his pioneering work in the field, we see forensic science in action, unraveling the mysteries of death—both natural and unnatural—in real-life cases that might have baffled even the great Sherlock Holmes.
Mike Silverman started his career in the days when fingerprints were still kept on card files and DNA profiling was just a pipe dream, so Written in Blood is more than just a casebook – it is also a definitive history of the development of forensic science over the course of the past thirty-five years.
From collecting blood samples at gangland executions to investigating forensic science failings, including in the murders of Rachel Nickell and Damilola Taylor, Mike Silverman’s unique career provides a fascinating insight into the ways forensic science is used to help solve real-life crimes.
Packed with genuine crime scene photographs and original sketches, Written in Blood is the ultimate insider’s account of the fascinating world of forensic science.
In 1978, 56-year-old Leoma Patterson left a bar in Clinton, Tennessee, and was never seen again. Six months later, a female skeleton was found on a wooded lakeshore in a neighboring county. The bones were consistent with those of the missing woman, and one of Patterson's daughters recognized a ring found at the death scene as her mother's. The bones were buried, and six years later, a relative of Patterson's—one of the men she was last seen alive with—confessed to killing her. Case closed.
But the tentative identification—made years before DNA testing was available to confirm it—failed to convince some of Patterson's relatives. And so it was that in 2005 Dr. Bass found himself winding around hairpin curves to the mountainside grave, where he would unearth the disputed remains and collect DNA samples. The forensic twists and turns that followed would test the limits of DNA technology … and of Dr. Bass's half-century of forensic knowledge.
As a consultant to many novelists around the world and to the writers of such popular TV shows as Monk, Law & Order, House, and CSI: Miami, D. P. Lyle, M.D., has answered many cool, clever, and oddball questions over the years. Forensics and Fiction: Clever, Intriguing, and Downright Odd Questions from Crime Writers is a collection of the best of these questions. The answers are provided in a concise and entertaining fashion that will keep you wide awake so you can read "just one more."
Robert Sadoff addresses the long-term harm that can be either avoided or minimized through careful planning and application of ethical principles. He is not advocating that the harm can be totally eliminated, because that is impossible in the adversarial system in which forensic psychiatrists work. However, there are means by which harm may be minimized if care is taken during the assessment, the report writing, and the testimony phase of the proceedings. The book develops the scope of forensic psychiatry from the standpoint of administrative, civil and criminal cases. It presents the practical issues involved in conducting forensic psychiatric assessments under various conditions plus special considerations, such as bias, minimizing harm, developing a therapeutic approach, and elaborating on various vulnerable individuals who are frequently examined in forensic cases. These include juveniles, mentally retarded, autistic, sexual assault victims, the elderly, the organically damaged, the psychotic, and mentally disabled prisoners. Immigrants are covered in a chapter by Solange Margery Bertoglia. The ethical issues in conducting forensic psychiatric examinations and presenting psychiatric testimony in court are examined and discussed. Cases illustrating the difficulties involved punctuate the presentation. The book closes with a fascinating account of the legal perspective by Donna Vanderpool.
In summary, this book illustrates the ethical and practical issues that affect forensic psychiatric practice. The question is not what we do, but how we do it, and which standards, ethical guidelines and personal values contribute to the total picture. Despite the fact that we cannot always adhere to the doctrine of "primum non nocere," we can minimize the harm caused inherently by the adversarial system in which we participate.
Praise for Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychiatry
"One of the founding giants of the forensic psychiatric field has written here far more than a "mere" ethics textbook. Instead, this compendium serves multiple purposes: it is a valuable primer on forensic techniques of examination and testimony, a model of best forensic practices, and an instruction on the most appropriately civilized way in which to conduct oneself as a forensic psychiatrist.
The success of these multiple accomplishments clearly derives from characteristics of the author. In both sage advice to practitioners and in many revealing case examples, Dr. Sadoff displays the tact, good manners and sensitivity of a consummate gentleman – a term not always associated with the hurly-burly of courtroom work. The book's primary focus on avoiding harm to all the parties involved in the work places it on the moral high ground of the legal system in which participating clinicians must find a place."
Thomas G. Gutheil, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Founder, Program in Psychiatry and the Law, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
When Ludwig van Beethoven lay dying in 1827, a young musician named Ferdinand Hiller came to pay his respects to the great composer, snipping a lock of Beethoven's hair as a keepsake--as was custom at the time--in the process. For a century, the lock of hair was a treasured Hiller family relic, until it somehow found its way to the town of Gilleleje, in Nazi-occupied Denmark. There, it was given to a local doctor, Kay Fremming, who was deeply involved in the effort to help save hundreds of hunted and frightened Jews.
After Fremming's death, his daughter assumed ownership of the lock, and eventually consigned it for sale at Sotheby's, where two American Beethoven enthusiasts, Ira Brilliant and Che Guevara, purchased it in 1994. Subsequently, they and others instituted a series of complex forensic tests in the hope of finding the probable causes of the composer's chronically bad health, his deafness, and the final demise that Ferdinand Hiller had witnessed all those years ago. The results, revealed for the first time here, are the most compelling explanation yet offered for why one of the foremost musicians the world has ever known was forced to spend much of his life in silence.
In Beethoven's Hair, Russell Martin has created a rich historical treasure hunt, a tale of false leads, amazing breakthroughs, and incredible revelations. This unique and fascinating book is a moving testament to the power of music, the lure of relics, the heroism of the Resistance movement, and the brilliance of molecular science.
This book is organized into two part encompassing 34 chapters. The opening chapters of Part I deal with legal procedure in criminal courts, physical evidence of the crime, autopsy, exhumation, and some medico-legal practices. Considerable chapters are devoted to other aspects of legal medicine, including determination of death causation, legitimacy of evidence, incident of rape and unnatural offenses, miscarriage, infanticide, insanity, and the privileges of medical men. Part II focuses on the toxicological aspects. This part emphasizes the medico-legal aspects of some classes of poisons, such as corrosive, irritant, neurotic, cerebral, spinal, cardiac, and peripheral poisons.
This book will prove useful to medical college students.
The book contains approaches that wildlife forensic investigators and laboratory technicians can employ in investigations and provides the direction and practical advice required by legal and police professionals seeking to gain the evidence needed to prosecute wildlife crimes.
The book will bring together in one text various aspects of wildlife forensics, including statistics, toxicology, pathology, entomology, morphological identification, and DNA analysis.
This book will be an invaluable reference and will provide investigators, laboratory technicians and students in forensic Science/conservation biology classes with practical guidance and best methods for criminal investigations applied to wildlife crime.Includes practical techniques that wildlife forensic investigators and laboratory technicians can employ in investigations. Includes case studies to illustrate various key methods and applications. Brings together diverse areas of forensic science and demonstrates their application specifically to the field of wildlife crime. Contains methodology boxes to lead readers through the processes of individual techniques. Takes an applied approach to the subject to appeal to both students of the subject and practitioners in the field. Includes a broad introduction to what is meant by 'wildlife crime', how to approach a crime scene and collect evidence and includes chapters dedicated to the key techniques utilized in wildlife investigations. Includes chapters on wildlife forensic pathology; zooanthropological techniques; biological trace evidence analysis; the importance of bitemark evidence; plant and wildlife forensics; best practices and law enforcement.
The book first gives an introduction to the threats being posed by noise, followed by topics such as the awareness of the people on the detrimental effect of noise; overall effects of noise on the whole body; and effects of noise on the condition of sleep. The sources of noise, such as the surface transportation and motor vehicle, are extensively discussed. Negative psychological effects of noise are also covered. The final chapter of the book is about the reduction of noise produced by motor vehicles.
The text is a comprehensive source of information about noise intended for the general reader.
Comprehensive and fully updated, Criminal Poisoning: Investigational Guide for Law Enforcement, Toxicologists, Forensic Scientists, and Attorneys, Second Edition, offers forensic scientists, police and private investigators, forensic psychologists, and criminal lawyers a unique one-volume summary of the knowledge and techniques needed to solve the near-invisible crime of poisoning and convict the perpetrator.
This isn't Hollywood fantasy—it's the true story of a boy born into the deprivations of a white trash trailer park who as an adult gets further involved in the desperate backdoor sagas of the "new South." No hot blondes here, just maggots, grief, and the truth about forensics and death investigation.
Joseph Scott Morgan became a death investigator with the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office in suburban New Orleans in 1987, the youngest medicolegal death investigator in the country. During the day, Morgan worked in the morgue, and at night investigated for the coroner. In 1992 Morgan became senior investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office in Atlanta. Morgan is now a college professor at North Georgia College and State University, where he teaches a death investigation course based on the national standards which he helped develop. He and his family reside in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia.
The first chapter of this book is dedicated to the evolution of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner over the last 20 years, its transformation to one of the largest and best in the world. This tale is presented throughout the prism of the author’s individual experiences and closely intertwined with her professional life. It lays the foundation for the following 25 chapters of challenging cases from the author’s personal experience. Many of them include captivating stories of homicide investigation with court testimonies. The truth, however, is that the crime related deaths cover fewer than 15% of all cases performed by medical examiners. This book brings up and creates public awareness of many important issues beyond the traditional topic of homicides, among them drug intoxication death, child negligence and abuse, sudden death of young people, misdiagnosis, prophylactics of sudden infant death.
But what does the forensic nurse know and do that other well-trained nurses and even most doctors do not? Recognizing a possible forensic situation is just the beginning. Forensic nurses are trained to know when to bring in law enforcement, how to treat the patient so as to learn the full story, how to present the findings to doctors and detectives. They learn to recognize possible evidence and preserve it properly. They have particular skills in spotting details that are overlooked by those who are without medical knowledge that is coupled with law. A forensic nurse is skillful with special equipment. They photograph evidence, and may find such evasive clues as nearly invisible marks that an automobile's bumper leaves on the victim's clothing, and they know how to question a fearful child to get accurate information. They are also trained to give evidence in a court case, since nurses are almost inevitably called upon as the first witness to see the patient when he or she is brought into the emergency room, a requirement that often terrifies someone without experience or training.
In fascinating informal case histories that read like stories in a novel, Stevens describes all these and many more aspects of the forensic nurse's work. Each individual case looks at the valuable "extras" these nurses bring to their medical specialty. In one case early in the book Stevens even walks us through the necessarily several-hour examination of a young female victim of sexual assault, and every reader will be amazed by the nurse's techniques, how she uses special equipment to bolster her information, and how thorough the examination must be for an accurate result.
Forensic Nurse is a book that will leave every reader hoping to have this fast-growing medical specialty represented in his or her medical world, always on call if and when it is needed.
New to This Edition
* Incorporates updates in research, case law, statutes, and practice.
* Examines the developing role of mental health professionals as forensic consultants.
* Increased attention to ethical issues, such as dual relationships, professional boundaries, confidentiality, and competence.
* An appendix with reflection questions that extend the scope of each chapter.
* Explores special issues that may arise in cases involving children
* Supplemental materials for course use--including an instructor's manual--are available at the author's website.
Author Robert S. West, who served as a physician-coroner in rural Kootenai County, Idaho, from 1970 to 2011, delves into the challenges he faced on the job. While he often lacked resources, he always did the best he could to serve his community, solving numerous mysteries using the tactics of forensic medicine.
Dr. West also explores the shortcomings of the coroner/medical examiner system and how it can be improved. Widely varying educational requirements and unrealistic expectations need to be balanced in order to fill the shortage of forensic pathologists while enhancing the training of current coroners.
Join a coroner from rural northern Idaho as he looks back at his career’s most challenging cases and explains how to reform the system in It Can (and Does) Happen Here!
No part of the investigation into the 9/11 attacks has taken as long or been less discussed than the daunting task of identifying the victims -- and the hijackers -- from the remains in the rubble of Ground Zero. In Who They Were, Dr. Robert C. Shaler, former director of the Forensic Biology Department at the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, tells the inside story of the relentless process of DNA identification and depicts the victories and frustrations that he and his team of scientists experienced during more than three years of grueling work.
On September 11, 2001, New York City was unprepared for the mass-fatality event that occurred at the World Trade Center. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner had to completely reconfigure itself to process and identify the nearly 20,000 remains that would eventually come through its doors. Facing an astonishing array of obstacles -- from political infighting and an overwhelming bureaucracy to the nearly insurmountable task of corralling personnel and supplies to handle the work -- Shaler and his team quickly established an unprecedented network of cooperation among public agencies and private labs doing cutting-edge research.
More than a story of innovative science at the frontiers of human knowledge, Who They Were also tells the very human story of how Dr. Shaler and his staff forged important and lasting bonds with the families of those who were lost. He shares the agony of mistakes made in the chaos and unintended misidentifications resulting in the excruciating difficulty of having to retrieve remains from families of the lost.
Finally, Dr. Shaler shares how he and the dedicated team of scientists who gave up more than three years of their lives when the rest of the world had moved on had to face the limits of science in dealing with the appalling level of destruction at Ground Zero and concede that no more victims would be sent home to their families. As of April 2005, when the process was suspended, only 1,592 out of the 2,749 who died on that fateful day had been identified.
With compelling prose and insight, Who They Were reveals the previously untold stories of the scientists determined to bring closure to devastated families in the wake of America's largest disaster.
The book is more than an introduction to forensic entomology as it offers in depth coverage of non-traditional topics, including the biology of maggot masses, temperature tolerances of necrophagous insects; chemical attraction and communication; reproductive strategies of necrophagous flies; archaeoentomology, and use of insects in modern warfare (terrorism). As such it will enable advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to gain a sound knowledge of the principles, concepts and methodologies necessary to use insects and other arthropods in a wide range of legal matters.
Dr. Otis Brawley is the chief medical and scientific officer of The American Cancer Society, an oncologist with a dazzling clinical, research, and policy career. How We Do Harm pulls back the curtain on how medicine is really practiced in America. Brawley tells of doctors who select treatment based on payment they will receive, rather than on demonstrated scientific results; hospitals and pharmaceutical companies that seek out patients to treat even if they are not actually ill (but as long as their insurance will pay); a public primed to swallow the latest pill, no matter the cost; and rising healthcare costs for unnecessary—and often unproven—treatments that we all pay for. Brawley calls for rational healthcare, healthcare drawn from results-based, scientifically justifiable treatments, and not just the peddling of hot new drugs.
Brawley's personal history – from a childhood in the gang-ridden streets of black Detroit, to the green hallways of Grady Memorial Hospital, the largest public hospital in the U.S., to the boardrooms of The American Cancer Society—results in a passionate view of medicine and the politics of illness in America - and a deep understanding of healthcare today. How We Do Harm is his well-reasoned manifesto for change.