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From TV's "CSI "to bestsellers by Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs, interest in forensics is at an all-time high. Now one of our most respected forensic pathologists gives a behind-the-scenes look at eleven of his most notorious cases, cracked by scientific analysis and Sherlock Holmesian deduction.
As chief medical examiner of Rockland County, New York, for almost thirty-five years, Dr. Frederick Zugibe literally wrote the book on the subject--his widely used textbook is considered the definitive text. Over the years he has pioneered countless innovations, including the invention of a formula to soften mummified fingers--enabling fingerprinting, and thus identification, of a long-deceased victim. He has appeared as an expert hundreds of times in the media and in the courtroom--and not once has a jury failed to accept his testimony over opposing expert witnesses. And now, in "Dissecting Death," he has opened the door to the world of forensic pathology in all its gruesome and fascinating mystery.
Dr. Zugibe takes us through the process all good pathologists follow, using eleven of his most challenging cases. With him, we visit the often grisly--though sometimes shockingly banal--crime scene. We inspect the body, palpate the wounds, search for clues in the hair and skin. We employ ultraviolet light, strange measuring devices, optical instruments. We see how a forensic pathologist determines the hour of death, the type of weapon used, the killer's escape route. And then we enter the lab, the world of high-tech criminal detection: DNA testing, fingerprinting, gunshot patterns, dental patterns, X-rays.
But not every case ends in a conviction, and in a closing chapter Dr.Zugibe examines some recent high-profile cases in which blunders led to killers going free, either because the wrong party was brought to trial or because the evidence presented didn't do the trick--including Jon-Benet Ramsey's murder and, of course, the O.J. Simpson trial.
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About the Author

FREDERICK ZUGIBE, M.D., Ph.D., is the former chief medical examiner of Rockland County and remains one of the nation's most respected forensics experts. DAVID L. CARROLL has cowritten thirty-one books and produced twelve network television films. Both men live in Rockland County, New York.


While not a household name, Zugibe, who was chief medical examiner of Rockland County, N.Y., for 35 years, has the experience and credentials to write meaningfully about his field: he developed numerous new techniques for forensic pathology and presided over an amazing variety of investigations. In this readable account, the doctor presents 10 challenging cases he encountered, as well as his insights as a self-described Monday-morning quarterback on two of the most notorious crimes of the 1990s: the brutal slaying of JonBen?t Ramsey and the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. As Zugibe's own work is intriguing enough, the inclusion of those sensations seems like a ploy to widen appeal, and the authors' decision to include a section on the scientific accuracy of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ may strike some as odd. The writing is sometimes flat, and the book would have had more depth and resonance had Zugibe presented instances where, despite his skills and instincts, he was led astray. Nonetheless, Zugibe's detections in the 1981 Brinks robbery case and his pro bono work in the case of a young journalist who disappeared in El Salvador make compelling reading for fans of insider accounts of forensics. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Compelling reading for fans of insider accounts of forensics." --Publishers Weekly "This is the sort of book that makes you miss your bus stop. Ten of Dr. Zugibe's most puzzling murder cases serve as gripping examples of the medical examiner's gruesome magic." --Mary Roach, author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Compelling reading for fans of insider accounts of forensics. Publishers Weekly This is the sort of book that makes you miss your bus stop. Ten of Dr. Zugibe s most puzzling murder cases serve as gripping examples of the medical examiner s gruesome magic. Mary Roach, author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers"

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