Morgue: A Life in Death

Vincent DiMaio and Ron Franscell. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-06714-2
In this engrossing look behind the headlines of notorious homicides, Franscell, a veteran crime writer, aids DiMaio, a renowned forensic pathologist, in narrating the career he made of solving some of the most disturbing puzzles of the dead. In 40 years of work, DiMaio has worked on cases that involved the disturbed and infanticidal Martha Woods; the grisly exhumation of J.F.K. assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, whose own mouth debunked a conspiracy theory about his identity; and a deviously wicked nurse, Genene Jones, who was jailed for killing one patient and “deliberately injuring” another, and suspected of being responsible for dozens of other deaths. The often lurid, occasionally sad, and always intriguing details never overpower the drive for justice that fuels DiMaio’s life and work. “Forensic evidence,” he writes, “tells us honestly and candidly what we need to know, even when we want it to say something else.” The killing of teenager Trayvon Martin by neighborhood-watchman George Zimmerman serves as DiMaio’s example of an instance about which, even after the question of homicide was settled, “the bigger questions about humanity” were left unanswered. Di Maio and Franscell deliver a well-paced, thoughtful, and absorbing work that will fascinate crime buffs and scholars alike. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 05/17/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-4668-7506-7
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-250-10832-6
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