Without sensationalism but with a generous dusting of dark forensic humour David Bowen writes of the trial-making and breaking clues he uncovered during his 40 years as one of London's key forensic pathologists.
Following in the footsteps of pioneers such as Bernard Spilsbury and Keith Simpson, it was Bowen who was the first to identify the true nature of the 'chicken bones' found in Dennis Nilsen's drain after a complaint by his neighbour and it was Bowen who led the investigation into the grisly contents of the black rubbish bags found in Nilsen's home.
In these extraordinary memoirs we find his take on many of the famous and challenging cases he worked on, including the tragic Railway Murders of the 1960s; the unsolved London Nude Murders of the 1960s; the still-baffling death of Roberto Calvi, chairman of Italy's largest bank, found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge; the frustrating PC Keith Blakelock case; and the mystery surrounding the apparent Second World War defector Rudolf Hess.
'On Wednesday, 9th February, 1983 I was in the cutting-up room looking at some fixed tissues from a case. It was mid morning. "Mr Jay to see you Prof," said the departmental secretary. He had bought me several strips of skin to examine. After our short conference Mr Jay returned to north London to await the arrival from work of a Mr Nilsen.'