Dissecting Death
Frederick Zugibe & David L. Carroll
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Buy *Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner* online

Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner
Frederick Zugibe & David L. Carroll
256 pages
July 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Being the CSI geek that I am, I dove right into this book looking to quench my thirst for forensics while the show is on summer hiatus. And sure enough, the book lives up to the age-old adage that truth is sometimes much stranger than fiction. Dissecting Death: Secrets Of A Medical Examiner is former chief medical examiner of Rockland County, New York, Dr. Frederick Zugibe’s presentation of ten of the most challenging cases that he has encountered over his thirty-five year career.

Even if you’re familiar with some of the cases, it is still unique getting the medical examiners point-of-view. For example, the first case is about a killer dubbed “The Iceman.” There have been books and HBO specials on this killer, but it is still interesting to read how Zugibe pondered the evidence before him.

From here on, Zugibe presents the other nine cases, giving each one a chapter, and discusses the scientific methods he used to gather the clues and identify bodies when remains were all that were left. In simple prose, Zugibe explains how forensic pathologists go about doing their job: finding the approximate time of death, the importance of lividity, the importance of DNA and the subsequent revolution in criminal justice, and how forensic anthropologists study skeletal remains.

The conversational tone keeps the book from reading like medical text, making it an easier read. And you don’t need to be in the forensic field to enjoy how he uses his trade to crack the cases. If you like mysteries you will enjoy the book. If you’re as big a fan of CSI as I am, you’ll be able to picture Gil Grissom going through his texts as he finds the clue he needs to solve the case.

As an unnecessary added bonus, Zugibe gives us his opinion of the O.J. Simpson case and the Jon Benet Ramsey case. Overall, this is an enjoyable book that takes complicated scientific data and breaks it down into easily understandable parts.

© 2005 by Bobby Blades for curledup.com.

buy *Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner* online
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