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No Stone Unturned: The True Story of the World's Premier Forensic Investigators

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,780 ratings  ·  257 reviews
A body stuffed in a car trunk swallowed by the swirling, muddy waters of the Missouri River. A hiker brutally murdered, then thrown off a cliff in a remote mountain range. A devious killer who hid his wife's body under a thick cement patio. For investigators, the story is often the same: they know a murder took place, they may even know who did it. But without key evidence ...more
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 14 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by WildBlue Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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Start your review of No Stone Unturned: The True Story of the World's Premier Forensic Investigators
The title led me to think it was about individuals who were particularly excellent at forensics. But it isn't. It's about Necrosearch International. A company of volunteer specialists who search for the graves of murder victims, recover and investigate the remains and any localised evidence. Necrosearch operates worldwide, not just in the discovery of the graves and bodies, but in training law enforcement in outdoor forensics. Why the book was not given a more accurate title is a mystery to me.

"They burn their victim, they blow him up, they toss him in the ocean, they bury him in the desert, they throw 'em to wood chippers. Sometimes, you know, years go by. They relax. Then they start living their lives like they didn't do anything wrong, like they didn't spend somebody else's life in order to get what they got. They think they're safe from retribution. You make those bastards unsafe." - Booth to Brennan on the TV show Bones, here appropriated because it's an absolutely perfect way to ...more
I found this book fascinating. I was most interested in all the various scientific specialties that were utilized and the basic research done by the group.

Necrosearch was founded in 1991 as a not for profit forensic investigation team. They specialize in homicide cold cases where a body cannot be produced.

The team members are from a wide range of experts, from chemists, geophysicists, behaviorists, medical examiners, forensic anthropologist, photography, retired police officers to cadaver dogs.
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quest
Some of the best parts were involving the description of the science involved. I enjoyed listening to them work through the entire scientific process to figure out different problems posed. There were many scientific first in this book, and I absolutely love hearing about the first time a scientist finds a questions, and then goes about discerning the truth in the best way they can.

I think this narration by Pierce was right on point. He has the right kind of cadence and inflection for a book foc
Phil Brown
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting.

Very interesting. Sometimes a little slow. The real cases were good illustrations of how their methods worked. I'm glad I read it.
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
Subject matter was interesting but the writing wasn't awfully dynamic...
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
We've been brainwashed into thinking that murder investigation always start with a body found. Not so. How then, do we go about finding the body? Ghostbusters won't answer the call, but nowadays, NecroSearch is the organization to call. A fine group of science nerds and cadaver dogs have adapted and utilized technology usually known to us only through archaeology. In this edition, the early cases which prodded the ideas resulting in a mobile team to provide what most departments cannot afford to ...more
Becky Moore
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

As a lover of the tv show 'Forensic Files', I knew I had to read this book after seeing it on the show. This is the story of a group of scientists that put their efforts into finding clandestine graves. The book covers several cases that are each amazing! From the use of sonar equipment to blood hound dogs, this group uses all sorts of methods to reach their conclusions. It is a real group that are called into real cases to bring closure to otherwise cold cases. Amazing and addicting. I
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book!! I loved learning how technology is being used to help solve crimes today and how the group, Necrosearch, helped facilitate many of the methods used today. The methods used are constantly evolving. To be honest, when I downloaded it I thought it was a mystery. :) It kinda is, in a sense, in that past unsolved crimes are the mysteries in this book. I would recommend this book to anyone interested. I am not in law enforcement in any way, I found the book compellng, interestin ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
Excellent story and narration, but towards the end the it got to be a little long in the tooth.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Development of a Branch of Forensics - How to Find a Body...

Even though this book was written in 1998, it gives a real life view into how many of the forensic techniques for finding dead bodies were developed by the nonprofit NecroSearch International. The book gives a concise history of forensics, then goes on to explain how the nonprofit developed out of a monthly discussion of three law enforcement officers in a coffeehouse in Colorado, who needed a better way to find where bodies were bu
Katherine Addison
This book suffers a little from not being sure whether it's the history of NecroSearch International or the history of the major cases NecroSearch had (by publication in 2002) helped solve. From a true crime perspective, it's interesting to read the course of the investigations and how the detectives searching for Michele Wallace, Diane Keidel, Cher Elder, and Christine Elkins came to the point of asking NecroSearch for help, but from a history-of-NecroSearch perspective, I'm actually way more i ...more
Gripping story of a multidisciplinary team, including rescue workers, naturalists, criminalists, police, you name it -- who solve tough criminal cases by doing whatever it takes to find the evidence. Not a single dull story in here!
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

NO STONE UNTURNED was a good listen on the basis of forensics. It was informative on how forensic science came about and what it entailed. The story involved a group of hardworking, dedicated individuals who never gave up in the search for missing people who were murdered and the evildoers who killed them. Despite multiple road blocks they had gotten lucky in several cases.

The book follows Diane France and others throughout the process which at first began as Project Pig, enlisting a group of tr
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook-done
Very interesting. Opens with a general history of the origins of professional police investigators and the development of forensics in the late 19th/early 20th century. Continues into the more specific history and growth of an eclectic group of scientists/academics with a wide set of backgrounds and experience to become the world's premier forensic search team, Necrosearch. Using their diverse set of skills to help locate missing bodies in cold cases. As they say, there's no device or technology ...more
Cyndie Honeyford
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my usual reading genre, but I did enjoy this book. I did not realize that the forensic investigators involved in criminology was such a young science, started informally in the late 1980's. Seeing the CSI and like- type shows having been around what seems like forever, I assumed the science had been older than it really is. This book explained how people sharing different expertise's in various scientific fields began gathering and collaborating as NecroSearch Internationaland how it change ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, audible
I just want to rave about this book. It has thoroughly pulled me in and shown me just how much interest I have in this topic. The author is very capable of drawing the reader in to experience the nature and work of Necrosearch. An incredible team, having this opportunity to see through their eyes is invaluable. The book goes into great detail about the cases that it profiles. And it does not focus singularly on the work of the team, but also on the emotional and physical challenges leading up to ...more
Brenda Dickenson
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a compelling book for the use of sciences in our investigation of the truth in justice.

This is well written for the average person to just pick up and read. The real situations are handled with passion, and considering the cases with where in the investigation certain scientific research may come to the aid of law enforcement. This a story of a group of scientists that do research for better understanding in helping locate bodies and help the forensics be the best it can. They
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have any interest in the history of forensics this is a great read. They begin by discussing how they created a group; each person a specialist in their field (botanists, geophysics, etc) in order to use each skill set to enhance the ability to find bodies determined by the needs of each case. They move into how those forensics are used and then follow with actual cases applying the forensics and how they create the teams for the most efficient use of man power and resources. A very enjoy ...more
Mallory Showalter
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the structure of this book; it lended itself to adequate background of the organization and scientists while also providing sufficient time spent on the cases covered. Jackson does a great job at tying together the viewpoints, opinions, and experiences of many different people in a way that is clear and concise. I would recommend picking up this book if you:

a) Enjoy the field of forensics and the various fields of science it takes into consideration

b) Are interested in true cri
Mikko Muilu
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The real life CSI and how it got started. The book starts off with the history of fingerprints and microscope analysis of bullets, but mainly happens in 70's-90's. There was a tiny bunch of people who wondered if they could bury pigs to find out how the cadavers and the ground behaved while time went by. In time the bunch grows, while they add geologists, botanists etc. The book has several (was it seven?) cases that had gone cold and the PIG-people come to save the day. Really fun read, I would ...more
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Fascinating accounts of the founding of necrosearch, a group of people who try to find the bodies of victims with the hope of catching the killer, or in some cases ensuring the police and the courts have the evidence to close a case.
The work sounds harrowing and yet rewarding when they get the results everyone is hoping for.
Dec 19, 2015 marked it as didnt-finish
I didn't like this enough to continue listening to it. I'm not sure what it was about it exactly, because the concept is interesting and I liked the narrator just fine, but I couldn't make myself focus on the words for more than a minute or two at a time. It was a useless endeavor, in the end, so I have to give up and move on to something else.
Rachel Aranda
I'm so glad that Necrosearch exists because it is a little relief to know that good people exist in this world. It's sad to know that a crime like this happened but I'm glad that it was able to be solved.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No Stone Unturned by Steve Jackson is the true story of the world's premier forensic investigators. It tells the formation of NecroSearch International and some of the cases they have investigated. A fascinating and interesting account of the scientific and meticulous methods used to locate bodies.
Melanie Ericson
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating history of forensic science.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this up on a personal recommendation from my good and very close friend- Georgia Hardstark. HA, I wish. This, while not exactly an addicting read/listen, was very interesting from start to finish. I really enjoyed that the introduction acted as a brief history of forensic science and I really appreciate the way the book flowed- opening with a story that it came back to at the end. There is, in my opinion, just the right amount science to give readers/listeners a good understanding of wh ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit worried about gory details, but the author really highlighted the team work between the different specialists (like the forensic anthropologist, geophysicist, "slobber-ologist" (dog handler), etc) and also the reality of the tough challenge of finding grave sites in vast wilderness. He didn't shy away from talking about their early failures, or lessons they learned about not getting families hopes up too soon. But overall, I liked the care paid to families ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No Stone Unturned focuses on five of the most interesting cases with which NecroSearch assisted. The major appeal of this book is the selflessness of NecroSearch's members, who worked tirelessly to recover remains that would have otherwise probably never been found. In many cases, the offender may not have been convicted in a body-less homicide case. Reading about these people traveling thousands of miles, crawling around on their hands and knees in the middle of nowhere for sometimes twelve hou ...more
Maria Lewis
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to track this bad boy down in Australia (I had to buy one secondhand from a police library in the US, ironically) but damn it is so worth it, especially if you have any interest in true crime or forensic criminology. The most fascinating segments were the forming of the Pig People and specifically how they collected experts like rare Pokemon. Also, when they were actually out in the field and putting that research to use on IRL cases I was captivated. I found some of the passages a lit ...more
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“He writes with both muscle and heart”—New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen

New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Steve Jackson has written ten non-fiction books in true crime, history and biography genres; he has also written fourteen crime fiction thrillers for the long-running and Times bestselling "Butch Karp Series" in collaboration with former New York assist

Articles featuring this book

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are the cohosts of the wildly popular true-crime podcast My Favorite Murder. This spring they'll...
101 likes · 42 comments
“So why do they do it? Simple. Just ask the families of Michele Wallace, Diane Keidel, Cher Elder; Lois Kleber, Ike Hampton, Gerry Boggs, Heather Ikard, Heather Dawn Church, and Christine Elkins. No one could replace the lives lost, but neither were their loved ones left wondering what had happened to them. There is no statute of limitations on grief, and the truth does matter.” 2 likes
“Hell, he thought, this is about as close to Sherlock Holmes as you could get.” 0 likes
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