The Dollhouse Murders: A Forensic Expert Investigates 6 Little Crimes

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PI Press, 2004 - Fiction - 165 pages
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"The Dollhouse MurdersA Forensic Expert Investigates 6 Little CrimesThomas P. Mauriello With Ann Darby/Photographs by John Consoli

Ever wonder what it's like to walk into a real crime scene? Inside "The DollhouseMurders lies a strange world of razor-sharp stories that show exactly how serious crimesare investigated. Walk through these miniature rooms with the Detective, who thinks instinctsjust get you into trouble, and his younger partner, who seems to have them all the time, towitness the state of the art in modern forensic techniques and the simple genius of aneffective investigation.

Eleven years ago, preeminent expert on crime scene forensics Thomas Mauriello built sixdioramas to help him teach his crime lab students how to "peel" a crime scene. He inventedscenarios and then meticulously fabricated the clues and their setting. Over the years thesebizarre dioramas have been featured in men's magazines, a medical institute bulletin, aminiature-collector magazine, and an array of popular science media. But now, in collaborationwith the brilliant novelist and science writer Ann Darby, Thomas Mauriello has produced thestories that go with his dioramas and thus made his science more accessible than ever before.Together with over 40 of John Consoli's ingenious full-color photographs, this is a uniquewindow into the gritty, imperfect world of solving crimes.

As these hard-boiled compelling narratives demonstrate, a strategic investigation harnessesthe talents of a variety of teams, from the uniformed officers and detectives to the evidencetechnicians and medical examiners. When they begin their work, the lab results are not in, andno one can be certain exactly what crime hasbeen committed or even if one has been committedat all. Nevertheless, the "manager"--the ranking detective first on the scene--is the personwho determines whether the key evidence is noticed or not. The questions he asks set the wholearmy of criminal investigators on the right track or the wrong one.

Time to get out the crime scene tape. It's another day on the job for the Detective of "TheDollhouse Murders--a book that takes criminal investigation to a new level of exquisite detail.

""In these simple stories, the fundamental questions of all crime scenes are set out. Andtheir dollhouse resolution is often--like human justice--only the best we can do."

--from the Preface


""In The Dollhouse Murders," Thomas Mauriello, an outstanding authority in thefield, has produced an excellent way to understand how crime scene investigation reallyworks. I recommend it to professionals as well as armchair sleuths. These stories and photographsaren't just instructive--they 're exquisite."

--Dr. Gerald W. Lynch

President of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice

""I've seen a lot of creepily fascinating stuff in my years as a forensic writer, butnothing quite as mesmerizing as Tom Mauriello's graphically detailed miniature crime scenes. Ifwe can't all attend Tom's renowned laboratory exercises, at least we can delve into TheDollhouse Murders.""

--Jessica Snyder Sachs

Author of "Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to PinpointTime of Death

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About the author (2004)

About the Authors and Photographer

Thomas P. Mauriello has taught crime scene investigation and managed the Crime Laboratory forthe University of Maryland at College Park, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, forthe last 26 years. A former police officer and investigator for the state of Maryland, he isalso employed by the U.S. Department of Defense, and is presently the Director of theInteragency OPSEC Support Staff. He is the author of the legal text, Criminal InvestigationHandbook: Strategy, Law, and Science, which is now in its 13th edition. He and his family livein Howard County, Maryland.

Ann Darby is a critically acclaimed bestselling fiction writer and author of the novel TheOrphan Game. She is also a science writer and was an editor at Scientific American Medicine.She lives in New York City.

John Consoli is an award-winning photographer. He lives in Maryland.

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