Corpse: Nature, Forensics, And The Struggle To Pinpoint Time Of Death

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Basic Books, Oct 17, 2002 - Law - 288 pages
7 Reviews
When detectives come upon a murder victim, there's one thing they want to know above all else: When did the victim die? The answer can narrow a group of suspects, make or break an alibi, even assign a name to an unidentified body. But outside the fictional world of murder mysteries, time-of-death determinations have remained infamously elusive, bedeviling criminal investigators throughout history. Armed with an array of high-tech devices and tests, the world's best forensic pathologists are doing their best to shift the balance, but as Jessica Snyder Sachs demonstrates so eloquently in Corpse, this is a case in which nature might just trump technology: Plants, chemicals, and insects found near the body are turning out to be the fiercest weapons in our crime-fighting arsenal. In this highly original book, Sachs accompanies an eccentric group of entomologists, anthropologists, biochemists, and botanists--a new kind of biological "Mod Squad"--on some of their grisliest, most intractable cases. She also takes us into the courtroom, where "post-O.J." forensic science as a whole is coming under fire and the new multidisciplinary art of forensic ecology is struggling to establish its credibility. Corpse is the fascinating story of the 2000year search to pinpoint time of death. It is also the terrible and beautiful story of what happens to our bodies when we die.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sandra_Berglund - LibraryThing

I found myself comparing this book to Mary Roach's Stiff, which isn't quite fair. Unlike Roach, whose book was as much a personal essay as an exploration of the topic of what happens to our bodies ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gillis.sarah - LibraryThing

I read this book for a class and it was really interesting. It was more serious than Mary Roach's 'Stiff' (which also deals with a bit of forensic anthropology), but still an enjoyable read, and I did learn a lot about it. It has a lot of facts without being overly dense or boring. Read full review

Contents

III
11
IV
27
V
47
VI
69
VII
93
VIII
119
IX
147
X
171
XI
197
XII
219
XIII
229
XIV
247
XV
259
XVI
261
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About the author (2002)

Jessica Snyder Sachs is a free-lance health and science writer whose work regularly appears in Discover, Parenting, Redbook, McCall's, and National Wildlife. She lives in Atlanta.

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