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5.0 out of 5 stars If you love a good book, You will love this one!
Fasten your seatbelts. Get ready for the exciting trip into the world of a medical examiner, who is known for having a part in the investigation of some of the country's most recent and most publicized criminal cases. There is nothing better than reading an excellent book, capable of sending chills down your spine. In this informational, attention-grabbing paper-back, Dr...
Published on Nov. 4 2003 by Kelly Burke

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Expected More!! Very disappointed.
After reading Confessions of a Medical Examiner I eagerly expected Dead Reckoning to be better. (Wouldn't you?) Confessions was written in 1989 and Dead was written in 2001. Dr Baden proudly announces a few times how many autopsies he has conducted (20,000), yet he mostly talks about other people's accomplishments. He is green with envy over Dr Lee. (whom a lot of us...
Published on Jan. 15 2002 by Poop Snoot's Mom


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5.0 out of 5 stars If you love a good book, You will love this one!, Nov. 4 2003
By 
Kelly Burke (Detroit, MI USA) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
Fasten your seatbelts. Get ready for the exciting trip into the world of a medical examiner, who is known for having a part in the investigation of some of the country's most recent and most publicized criminal cases. There is nothing better than reading an excellent book, capable of sending chills down your spine. In this informational, attention-grabbing paper-back, Dr. Michael Baden walks us science lovers through various crime scenes and popular crime cases, throwing us readers into a frenzy as we try to speculate the truth. With the help of Baden's colleagues, this book gives an amazingly interesting insight into crime scene investigation and "the new science of catching killers".
As part of our human nature, there is some part of us that finds the death of a human somewhat intriguing. Especially me, a freshman in college, hoping to one day become a forensic pathologist myself, the readers' mind is almost over stimulated with the cracking open of this piece of work. I could barely wait to turn the page to absorb the interesting facts reiterating the importance of blood stain patterns and even bugs to the determination of time of death or even the solving of a crime case.
I must admit, this grisly text is almost guaranteed to churn the stomachs of the weak and frighten away even the average medically-curious individual. Dr. Baden seamlessly depicts images of corpses and their appearance after the decomposition process has begun. He is not ashamed to throw at you the monstrous illustration of a single head apart from its being.
Even for those readers that have no prior interest in forensics, this book is capable of quickly persuading the minds of the vulnerable. Things that one may have once found horrid and gruesome may now be the motivation to read on. This book is an open door that provides the reader an enormous opportunity to explore a completely new world in medicine.
For those that are even slightly intrigued by the disgusting but amazingly tempting tone of this book, it is a must-read. But beware; the journey might be a rough one. Be sure you are wearing your seatbelts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pathological Humor, Jan. 25 2003
By 
E. A. Lovitt "starmoth" (Gladwin, MI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
People contrive some very peculiar ways to die, and Dr. Baden, who was once the chief medical examiner of New York City seems to have seen or heard of them all.
For instance, there was the airline pilot who stripped down and chained himself to a moving--well, I don't want to spoil the story for you. But if you have a mordant sense of humor, try attending a convention of pathologists and forensic scientists--especially if Dr. Baden is scheduled to speak. They usually meet near Reno and book Wayne Newton in to entertain them.
(I don't know why medical examiners are so endeared with Wayne Newton. This might be one of those deep philosophical conundrums that ordinary mortals should not speculate upon lest they go blind).
Did you know that it is possible to special-order a pair of diamond-studded handcuffs?
This is just one of the fascinating tidbits that Dr. Baden and Marion Roach share with us in "Dead Reckoning." This book is more of an overview of modern forensic pathology than was their previous volume, "Unnatural Death," which was primarily a series of Dr. Baden's criminal cases. In "Dead Reckoning" we are introduced to other famous (in their own circle, at least) forensic scientists such as the bug man, Dr. Neal Haskell (his specialty is my least favorite part of crime solving) and Dr. Henry Lee, the American 'Sherlock Holmes' whose Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory was involved in the infamous 'wood chipper' case (there was a very thorough murderer, indeed).
The authors also illuminate criminal cases where Dr. Baden had no direct involvement, such as the O.J. Simpson murder trial. It was shocking to learn how badly the crime scene was handled in this particular case.
"Dead Reckoning" is a must-read for true crime buffs. It also helps to have a peculiar sense of humor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Great, Nov. 28 2002
By 
Patrick Crowe "Pat Crowe" (Huntington Station, New York USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
Marion Roach and Michael Baden take you into the autopsy room and lives of a foensic pathologist, while teaching and educating
readers the fascinating (and gruesome) aspects of forensic medicine. The book is a fascinating mix of humor, philosophy, history and science, ending in an odd, but appropriate chapter on the brotherhood (and sisterhood) of pathologists, criminalists and scientists at a convention in love with a craft the public finds both gruesome and fascinating. Their writing collaboration brings out the best of Roach and Baden in a surprising well written, and sometimes poetic, passionate recount of forensic cases carefully chosen to illustrate the science. Several chapters were dedicated around top experts in the fields of entymology and blood spatter evidence literally taking the reader to school under the tutelage of some entertaiining teachers
True crime buffs and pathology groupies will not find the
material old hat-and novices to this growing area of literature
will feel the passion and philosophy of the doctor who 'listens'
to the dead to help learn what happened during their life,and
more particularly how they came to their end.
Along the way ,you'll learn the personal history of both both Baden and his good friend, the legendary henry lee. Their stories as to how these legends arrived who and where they are
today makes great reading.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest at all in forensic pathology and the lives of those whom the
science and search for the truth about the dead is their passion---with one caveat for the faint of heart--- be aware
of maggots . . .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome but informative, Oct. 15 2002
By 
dr_sasp (England, UK) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (Paperback)
Like sex and psychology, we all know something about death. As a forensic pathologist, Baden is an expert. He shares his expertise and fascination with cause and mode of death in this enthralling book. As a frequent expert-witness in his field, Baden has mastered the art of expressing his science in easy-to-understand terms, without patronising the reader. His passion for his subject spills onto the page like so many bodily fluids seeping inextricably into the text.
Our authors revel in the gruesome and grotesque subspecialties of forensic pathology. The reader is invited to the Blood School where practising crime investigators go to learn about the ballistics of blood splatter. The course includes esoteric experiments where participants find themselves blowing mouthfuls of blood at each other to demonstrate what evidence may result. The squeamish among you may have your stomachs turned by a weekend trip to a leading forensic entomologist's ranch, where pigs are slaughtered and then, later, are re-examined for evidence of insect activity: this science helps to estimate the time since death of a corpse. As a source of many clues, heads warrant a chapter of their very own: the skull may be subject to facial reconstruction; dental histories can lead to identification of the deceased; DNA and evidence of drug use or poisoning can be extracted from hairs from the scalp.
All of these stories are told with zeal, but also with an underlying gravity. Our authors take the scientific processes of collecting and preserving evidence seriously - experience tells them that any evidence may turn out to be essential in the examination an unnatural death. Vitally, it is truth that the investigator seeks here - regardless whether he has been employed by the prosecution or defence for a case.
Baden and Roach take a potentially interesting subject and make it fascinating - and highly readable. The breadth of fields studied in the search of truth, and subsequently justice, is broad and continues to evolve. I wonder what form evidence will be found in next? Baden and Roach are surely qualified to tell us.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, but a bit political at times, Aug. 14 2002
By A Customer
This was a very interesting book. If you have it, the book will help satisfy that aptly named term, morbid curiosity. If you're squeamish, skip it though.
I liked the organization of the book. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the field. For example, there are chapters on the autopsy itself, blood, and bugs. The authors could have left the last chapter out, as far as I was concerned. It discussed a forensic convention held in Reno.
That chapter described some of the personalities and interests that exist in forensics. It also tended to lighten the tone of the book. I still didn't think it was necessary.
My one, small complaint is with how political this book is. For example, Baden seems to use almost every other paragraph to remind us of how awful the LAPD is, the LAPD crime lab is, and everyone involved with the prosecution of OJ. I think he has a point; it simply became rather painfully repetitious.
There are other examples of Baden expressing is political perspective on everything including Clinton. He's certainly entitled to his opinions and entitled to express them. He just doesn't seem to understand that he could use something other than a sledgehammer to drive his point home.
But that's a small complaint. Overall, it's a very good book, worth the price and the time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating reading!, Aug. 9 2002
By 
C. K. Ogi (NW MO USA) - See all my reviews
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OK, I'll admit to already being a fan of Dr. Baden's from HBO's Autopsy series. He truly loves what he does and his ability to convey intricate scientific details in layman's terms is greatly appreciated.
I purchased this book after seeing him lecture, and let me tell you, this is a fascinating aspect of criminology. The 'clues' that no one would ever think of that are left behind will amaze you in their ability to accurately point to a murderer or a cause of death. He recounts some of him numerous consultations on cases, hi and low profile (O.J. Simpson's case for one. That alone will explain how he may have gotten away with it) and brings it home in a way that any reader can understand. Another thing that I found very helpful, is Dr. Baden's sincere respect for the dead. He's not simply recounting tales to be goulish, but to illustrate how crimes can be solved when it seems there is nothing to lead to.
It's not for everyone, granted. But Dr. Baden's book is fascinating if you have even the slightest interest in criminology.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not As Interesting as You Might Expect, May 21 2002
By 
I snatched this book off our New Books cart at the library, certain that I would be staying up all night ripping through riveting text similiar to the writing in the book "Dead Men Do Tell Tales" by William Maples.
However, I was disappointed.
The book starts out in a promising manner with the description of an unexplained death and the beginning of an autopsy. The mystery of what goes on in an autopsy room is explored, and some interesting tidbits of information about hospitals and law enforcment officers are tossed out to the reader.
However, the book soon slides into a confused and jumbled collection of segues about the main author's early life, laboriously detailed descriptions of the classes forensic experts take, too-precious inside jokes, half-baked and unsatisfying attempts at summarizing the history of forensic science, and chapters based on themes that sound good ("Bugs") but are somehow rendered tedious by the syllabus-like writing style and the lack of a connecting narrative.
The main author could not resist dragging in a yawn-inducing discussion of the O.J. Simpson evidence scandal. He also spends an inordinate amount of time yapping on and on about a boring Russian murder case from the early part of the twentieth century that, for some reason, commands great interest in his family but is as dull as a butter knife to the reader.
When we finally find out what happened to the murder victim who was introduced like bait at the beginning of this strange and awkward book, we don't care. The authors make no real attempt to humanize the victim, who was killed by his lover, and actually make the murder victim an unsympathetic character by detailing the handful of Viagra pills found in his pocket, his HIV-positive status, his unemployment, and by not describing what drew this unfortunate man to a lover who would kill him during a sex act.
The authors need to go back to writing school and hope to get Ann Rule for their teacher.
If you want to spend your evening courting a dull headache reading about autopsies and forensic science told NPR/Internet message board style, this is the book for you. If you want a really good, fascinating book about forensic science, pick up "Dead Men Do Tell Tales" ... or just about anything else.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing read, March 23 2002
By A Customer
I was expecting stories of true crime and how they were solved through forensic pathology. Baden's book describes some aspects of forensics, but doesn't tell good stories. He boasts about himself, and his wonderful colleagues who are geniuses, and, yes, he complains repeatedly that we'll never know who killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, "those poor innocent people."
Baden sometimes tries to make a teaser statement at the beginning of a chapter or section, to keep you reading, but there's no payoff. Here's an example: Baden writes, "Five years ago a woman in a small town in Alaska began her day by stepping into her white cotton underpants. Now those same panties are under the magnifying glass held by Dr. Henry Lee . . . " This is a prelude to a discussion of what a hell of a scientist Dr. Lee is. I never did find out about the woman in Alaska. Baden apparently didn't find her case interesting enough to recount here. Who was she? How did she die? Why did they send her undies to Lee? What did he find? What difference did it make? Why mention the underwear at all? Isn't Baden exploiting the victim just a tad here?
I didn't see much interest here in the victims or their families, or even in the crimes. It's a self-congratulatory book about what a great job Baden and his buddies are doing, partly by keeping all their emotions tidily in check. Emotions and conflict and human feeling make for more engaging prose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and imaginative read!, March 22 2002
By 
K. L Sadler "Dr. Karen L. Sadler" (Freedom, Pa. USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've read a few books on forensic science. Because I am biased for reading science anyway, I tend to like it when a scientist can manage to write a book which uses language well and who can do it with a sense of humor towards himself and his fellow scientists. Baden and Roach do this very well in this book. I inhaled the book, rather than merely reading it. It isn't the smallest tome on this stuff that I've picked up, but it definitely is the quickest I've read one of these. That I was disappointed at the end because it wasn't enough indicates the
wealth of the writing and the abilities of the authors.
Along with other reviewers, I really got a kick out the forensic entomologist in Indiana. He sounds like my kind of scientist. Anyone going into this field had better have a strong stomach and a good sense of humor. Apparently the field is loaded with practical jokers, which doesn't surprise me. Having been in classes in the morgue with a doctor who loved to torture my sign language interpreters...I totally understand the need for humor in these situations. This entomologist sounds like subject matter for a book of his own. I also enjoyed the section on Henry Lee, probably the most famous forensic criminologist. I'd read his stuff before, and it was not as enjoyable as this book. But I gained a lot of respect for his talents from Baden's obvious admiration for the man.
This book is an excellent educator. This is an expanding field of endeavor for several reasons, not the least of which is more people equals more deaths. And our society is not getting any less violent. I think the happenings of September 11th and the subsequent need to be able to identify the victims of terrorist attacks has made it clear we need more scientists in this area. I would wish that Baden and his colleagues who are able to write well and speak well would make themselves available to speak to large groups of young people. He treats his 'patients' and their families with respect. We need that respect filtered down to high school and college students, to perhaps make them think more carefully about their life choices and the impact they have on others.
Great book!...
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2.0 out of 5 stars Name dropping and inaccurate data, March 17 2002
By A Customer
My reason for reading the book was to learn some of the ins and outs of forensic medicine and science. If one can manage to wade through the celebrity lists and name dropping, it will fulfill this purpose.
Having been born in and am still familiar with the town of Rensselaer, Indiana, I was surprised to see that it was featured in the chapter about bugs. The authors, for some reason, choose to provide detailed descriptions of the town and its surroundings even though they have little or nothing to do with the subject of forensic science. This interlude from the main topic would not have been so bad except that many of the descriptions were erroneous. He describes the town's people as drinking red pop, Mr. Pibb, and a lager called Old Scratch. Red pop went out in the 50's. Mr. Pibb, although not unknown, is hardly a popular drink. No one I could find had ever heard of Old Scratch. (For this and the following, I queeried a group of 8 contemporaries who have lived in Rensselaer for an average of 67 years each.) Like me they have never heard of a political affiliation or designation of any bank. The author's talk of picking up a "Republican" (newspaper) heading north out of town. The newspaper office is a short stone's throw from the center of town. The Ritz theater has been closed for over 25 years. (Actually the theater now called the Ritz was the Palace when it was open.) Lastly they talk about the car dealerships dispaying the owner's names being on one end of town and Bazz's roller rink on the opposite.
The rink is on the north outskirts along highway 231, and there are no car dealerships on the south end.
The apparent ficticous account of the town make one wonder about the veracity of the rest of the book.
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Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers
Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers by Marion Roach (Paperback - Sept. 4 2002)
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