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Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner
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Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  235 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
From TV’s CSI to bestsellers by Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs, interest in forensics is at an all-time high. Now one of our most respected forensic pathologists gives a behind-the-scenes look at eleven of his most notorious cases, cracked by scientific analysis and Sherlock Holmesian deduction.

As chief medical examiner of Rockland County, New York, for almost thirty-f
ebook, 256 pages
Published July 12th 2005 by Broadway Books (first published 2005)
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This book was a hit and miss for me. There were certain passages that kind of made me choke, like so:

"In compensation for this crown of thorns, all authority at the site also belongs to me, the medical examiner. Under this banner of dominion, I must reign with the right of kings, giving irreversible orders, making all decisions as to when and how the body should be handled, and cracking the whip with just enough snap to make certain that every worker and every agency operates at maximum effectiv
Jul 16, 2007 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originially, I read this book for a Dying and Death course I took in college; I couldn't put it down. Dr. Zugibe presents ten cases and explains the way medical examiners apply scientific methods to identify the body, cause of death, and the person responsible for the death. It contains a lot of factual information that students and those interested in the field can learn from.
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
This was by far the best Forensic book I have ever read!. The 10 cases that the M.E discussed were so interesting. One of the things that made this an awesome read was that anyone who is not familiar with the forensic field or on what Medical Examiners do can still follow along. The M.E goes into vivid details on the procedures done at the Medical Examiner's office and the reasoning behind some of their steps. I learned a lot of new intriguing facts while reading "Dissecting Death". One was rega ...more
Mandy Huot
Nov 28, 2012 Mandy Huot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! It made me want to research some of the cases myself on my own time and learn more about them (like the little girl, Joan's, case) There was just the right balance of technical terms and laymen's terms to make this book able to read without being too lofty.
Aug 02, 2011 Sophia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I was younger this is the path I would have chosen to be a Medical Examiner so reading this book was so awesome for me. I love it.
Cassie luellman
This is a very interesting book and I would recommend it to anyone interested in true crime. The only downside was all the technical explanations because I already knew much of the information given. I understand why the authors included it, but having been interested in true crime for so long it was very repetitive information. Since this book was based on cases from the around the eighties I was able to find out lots of things that I didn't already know about what was going on in the world at ...more
Sep 01, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book coins itself as secrets of a medical examiner. If you like CSI (and you can read) you'll probably really like this book. It's not flashy with lots of weird angles like CSI but it's well written and plain spoken about the life of a medical examiner.

Looking up the good doctor, I see he is very well known for his research on crucifixion. That explains why the last section of the book explains why Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ (or whatever) was medically incorrect.

Zugibe goes over 10 case
This book consists of case studies of several different deaths that one of the country's top medical examiners has worked on. It was amazingly detailed in it's explanations about all different aspects of crime scene investigations. The medical science nerd in me thought it was intriguing and beautiful. BUT the problem with it is that he weaves in his opinions about each of the examples, and I was sooo surprised to find that one of the cases he worked on was the famous brink's robbery involving t ...more
Cheryl Jensen
Aug 11, 2015 Cheryl Jensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: forensics
This book is well-written, easy to follow, and fascinating! Dr. Zugibe writes about 10 of his most challenging cases, not all of which get solved. It was a hard book to put down. His discussion of methods and discovery are rivetting.
Apr 25, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Well-written and entirely without sensationalism. Zugibe talks about cases he's worked on as the medical examiner of a suburb of New York, complete with its very own mob dump site. The forensics therein won't break much new ground for viewers of television programs or readers who are already knowledgable on this topic, but it's a solid read. None of the profiled cases were familiar to me (which is unusual as a devoted consumer of the aforementioned shows and books), as opposed to many pop-forens ...more
David Henry
Sep 16, 2015 David Henry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Book was interesting enough, but lacked a feeling of personality. Very dry and clinical. Not exactly your go-to read for an evenings entertainment.
May 04, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Very informative. I had never heard of this ME before. Usually you just hear about Michael Baden when referring to New York,, but apparently, he's famous up there too. I really liked the last chapter, especially where he analyzes Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ and how the injuries and intense beatings the movie portrayed would have caused several medical issues that he did not seem to suffer as well as the impossibility of him being able to "carry on" after some of the ...more
Apr 05, 2009 Brock rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting discussion of several case studies by Rockland County's chief ME. The writing can get a little dry at times but the cases are all interesting and there is enough levity and dark humour sprinkled throughout the book to keep the subject matter from becoming too oppressive.

It lays out a lot of the fundamentals of forensic pathology and crime scene investigation for the layman and shows how many seemingly unsolvable cases were eventually put to rest after much hard work and brilliant
Oct 07, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very fascinating and highly recommended to read for anyone who are interested in learning about forensic.
Marie Villanueva
This is a really good book that gives you an insight on forensic science, the history and how it works in different ways in solving homicides. Actually gives several cases and the techniques used to solve these murders. Careful, could be offensive to those not used to seeing death or understanding of the natural way our bodies break down once the heart stops beating.
Della Scott
Feb 02, 2012 Della Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!

This will probably be wild-released today. The review is at bookcrossing. I am more likely to review books on bookcrossing than any of my other literary sites.
Beverly Miller
Takes you through what a medical examiner experiences and does while sharing real cases that grip until the final verdict. This book is very educational as Zugibe informs of how procedures (such as autopsys) are performed and about crime scenes. A great book for anyone who loves forensics.
Nov 05, 2010 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am endlessly interested in this subject matter. I found this book to be an interesting and quick read with information about cases I have never heard of. I enjoyed that Dr. Zugibe does get a little technical and explains certain things (like decomposition) for the lay person.
Steven Andersen
Mar 26, 2012 Steven Andersen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good book overall. Boring at most parts but I have to say I liked it. When I got bored I had to read because normally I was at a good part in the book. I would recomend this book to people who like things to do with crime, forensics and anything like that.
Oct 01, 2007 Christie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wierdos like me
Hmm..I liked the info in this book, some of the cases were more interesting than others. I don't really get into the ballistic info on gunshot wounds. I like reading about the human insight into working in forensics and this was very clinical. But still a good read.
Aug 21, 2007 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating book! Becoming a court reporter is work that will expose me to these types of stories and how the crimes are solved. Dr. Zugibe's abilty to tell about his work, a world we aren't exposed to much, is one that anyone would benefit from.
May 29, 2012 Phyllis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating for the forensics and worth the whole book to read about the mistakes made in the OJ and JonBenet cases.
Jan 09, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
Actual pictures of the dead and decomposing in the glossy middle section? This guy's the REAL DEAL.
Feb 28, 2010 Potatoez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't look at the pictures if your opposed to corpses. Or at work. Like I did. Unknowingly.
Dec 16, 2009 Rae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is full of forensic tidbits (more than most books I have found). I loved it.
Sep 02, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimen
Great book, I loved it.
Sheyper marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2016
Claire L.
Claire L. marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2016
Michelle marked it as to-read
Jan 30, 2016
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