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Teasing Secrets from the Dead: My Investigations at America's Most Infamous Crime Scenes Hardcover – August 31, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
With a second CSI spinoff hitting the airwaves this fall, the timing couldn't be better for this intriguing memoir by a leading forensic anthropologist. The only full-time state employee in her field, Craig utilizes her expertise to identify victims from the tiniest remnant of tissue or bone. The author's reputation as an international expert on human anatomy led her to reconstructing faces of the dead from skull fragments to aid the police. Her credentials involved her in many notorious cases, most notably Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing and the destruction of the World Trade Center. In each instance, her dedication, professionalism and knowledge played key roles; Craig's scientific analysis established that more than one-third of the dead at Waco had died before the fire as a result of a mass murder-suicide by the Branch Davidians. She also rebutted claims that the real bomber of the Murrah Federal Building had died in the explosion by proving that a mysterious severed limb actually belonged to a victim. Despite occasional gratuitous gross-out details concerning maggots, Craig does a good job of explaining her science to the layperson and portraying the nitty-gritty everyday realities of her job.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Forensic anthropology is a blazingly popular cultural subject as reflected on television (e.g., the program CSI) and in books (Kathy Reichs' mystery series featuring a forensic anthropologist, whose seventh installment, Monday Mourning, was reviewed in BKL Je 1 & 15 04). Analogous in spirit to Clea Koff's account of exhuming mass graves in Rwanda and Croatia (The Bone Woman [BKL My 15 04]), Craig's memoir presents her experiences drawn from the past decade as an expert on human bones. Like Koff, she stresses the strain that arises from maintaining a businesslike application of her expertise to the macabre facts of decomposed human remains. Nevertheless, readers discover how burnt, shattered, shot, or sawed-off bones harbor vital clues, and, interestingly, how Craig reconciles such forensic information with occasionally erroneous missing-persons information. Wrapping this factual core with her interactions with sheriffs and scientists at crime scenes, which in this work include the World Trade Center, Craig will especially intrigue readers drawn to fictional portrayals of her profession. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
There is a bunch of very interesting stories. They seems to be more interesting than fiction books.
Emily Craig was working on many cases important to US, like Waco and WTC. She wrote about science, trauma, but she is not only a ice-cool scientist, but human.
If you are interested in subject of forensic anthropology, probably you would like to read these books as well:
The Bone Lady: Life As a Forensic Anthropologist
Dead Men Do Tell Tales
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