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Mortal Evidence: The Forensics Behind Nine Shocking Cases
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Mortal Evidence: The Forensics Behind Nine Shocking Cases

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  154 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A lifeless newborn baby is found discarded in a motel Dumpster. Authorities quickly arrest the infant's teenage parents, charging them with murder. Did Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson, in fact, murder their own baby? Tammy Wynette died suddenly at a relatively young age, and yet no autopsy was performed? Was someone trying to hide the real cause of death? Did Sam Sheppard ...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Prometheus Books (first published 2003)
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Amber
Oct 01, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, true-crime
I've been a fan of Cyril H. Wecht since the 90's when he would sometimes be on that HBO Autopsy show with Dr. Michael Baden. Both of them are stellar at what they do but I feel like Wecht writes better books and Baden has better shows.

Anyway, the climax for me was when Wecht explained that Dr. Michael Baden was one of his closest friends with his utmost respect but he disagreed strongly with what Baden's opinion was for a certain case. That moment awakened a desire in me to read a book (or watch
...more
Cynthia
Dec 25, 2014 Cynthia rated it liked it
Shelves: science
I enjoyed learning about the forensic aspects of some famous cases, as well as information from trials or depositions that I had not previously heard. While it was very interesting information, I think I would have enjoyed reading about cases where Dr. Wecht was the physician performing the autopsy or examinations rather than reporting on what had been done by other physicians. His involvement in the cases was limited to reviewing the documentation of the medical forensics and autopsies and then ...more
Susan
Oct 12, 2014 Susan rated it liked it
Good pacing and clearly written. This book is a good way to get introduced to the basic procedures, technologies, and weaknesses in forensic science and some basic medical terms. The author did a good job of covering each case in just enough details (as gruesome as you might've imagined) to engage, without lingering overly long on technical details and pedagogical points which is a common weakness I've found in this kind of books. Some cases in the book seems especially relevant right now, given ...more
Lena Jo
Apr 30, 2014 Lena Jo rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of mystery. Writing my own books makes reading for information sometimes not so fun. This book was a pleasure to read! It walks you through the forensics behind nine highly publicized cases. Anyone who remembers any of these cases from the news will like reading this book.
Alyssa
Apr 14, 2015 Alyssa rated it really liked it
Cyril Wecht gives a lot of insight and opposing views to some famous cases. I really liked how he gave his professional opinion even if it wasn't popular opinion and he always backed it with hard forensics.
Judy Croome
Jun 27, 2013 Judy Croome rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: true crime fans, anyone wanting to research forensic pathology
A well-documented book on nine high profile and controversial true crimes in the USA. Written in gruesome detail, the style is at times pedantic, but one would imagine this is an essential quality for a forensic scientist who would need to be meticulous down to the last hair.

There's also personal anecdotes (e.g. the information that the author doesn't gamble) and prejudices (e.g. the author's overt judgement on beauty pageants for little girls) which, at times, detracted from the overall profess
...more
Carrie
Jul 31, 2015 Carrie rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy Cyril Wecht's style of writing. The info on the Jonbenet Case was disturbingly facinating.
Claire
Jan 29, 2016 Claire rated it liked it
Enjoyable if you like forensics (which I do). Why you'd pick it up otherwise is beyond me! I was especially fascinated with his view into the JonBenet Ramsay murder, which at this point is probably beyond solving. If you have a fascination with this area, this is a good read.
Mord McGhee
Jul 27, 2015 Mord McGhee rated it really liked it
Cyril's MORTAL EVIDENCE is a VERY hard read. His use of enormous words and long, flowing thought stream is exactly the way he is in person. I love listening to Dr. Wecht and this book was him through and through. If you enjoy autopsy accounts and evidence examinations then you'll find this an excellent read. If you are a passing reader that gives up in the face of detail... it may not be for you.
Great book full of "who knew" moments... particularly the Brian Jones and Michael Jackson sections.
~M
...more
J.M.
Interesting to see a forensic medical expert's opinion regarding the evidence behind nine "shocking" cases. Includes chapters on Tammy Wynette, JonBenet Ramsey, O.J. Simpson, and some Las Vegas bigshot I actually saw an episode of "Snapped" about a while back.

The book contains graphic descriptions of the forensic evidence, which may not sit well with some readers who may not want to hear all the grisly details of the autopsy and its findings, but I found it fascinating. Very good read.
Janet Jay
Interesting forensics but I wish the co-author had done more: this reads like an ME's testimony a lot of the time.
Angela
Mar 11, 2011 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, work
An enjoyable look at nine cases some famous, some that should have been but for whatever reason fell through the cracks. Dr. Wecht has some interesting insight into the O.J. case as well as the Jon Benet-Ramsey case. I think the synopses of the various cases was well done, and was entertaining.
Naeem
Feb 14, 2012 Naeem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very useful book
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