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The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America's Coldest Cases Hardcover – July 1 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 144 ratings

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“A lively study that’s part whodunit, part sociological study. . . . The result is eminently entertaining and will be devoured by armchair detectives.” ― Publishers Weekly

“Brilliant . . . Ms. Halber chronicles with lucidity and wit . . . the workings of this fascinating new subculture.” ―
The Wall Street Journal

The Skeleton Crew is a carefully crafted account of an intriguing new opportunity for arm chair sleuths. Thanks to the Internet, anyone with a computer, curiosity, patience, and a passion for justice can enter the dark world of missing persons and unsolved homicides. It’s fascinating to learn how such matches are made and heartening to witness the growing cooperation between law enforcement and ordinary citizens whose persistence can sometimes crack the code in cold cases that have languished unresolved for years. I loved it.” -- Sue Grafton

“From home-computer screens to a new national database, join
The Skeleton Crew for a page-turning behind-the-scenes look at the world of Internet sleuths who give names to the men and women who have died without identity. For the first time ever, readers are brought the real-life cases of missing persons, the unidentified dead, and the network of people that gives them their names . . . proving once again what I said at the conclusion of every episode of America’s Most Wanted: ‘One person can make a difference.’” -- John Walsh, host of America's Most Wanted

"A compelling glimpse into a little-known subculture inhabited by a colorful cast of the idiosyncratic, the quirky, and the downright weird." -- Alison Bass, author of Side Effects

"In this highly addictive story-within-a-story narrative, Deborah Halber skillfully exposes the complex Internet subculture of amateur sleuths. The people who obsess over the fates and identities of Jane and John Does are puzzles in themselves, which adds a fascinating layer to this captivating book.
The Skeleton Crew will likely inspire many more case resolutions." -- Katherine Ramsland, author of The Devil's Dozen and Cemetery Stories

“Exploring the world of amateur sleuths, Halber proves to be the perfect guide: unflinching, perceptive, wry. I was hooked from page one.” -- Allison Hoover Bartlett, bestselling author of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

“Halber’s artful sleuthing into this little-known demimonde leaves one bloodthirsty for more.” -- Ted Botha, author of The Girl with the Crooked Nose

“An integral component of NamUs is the group of responsible, dedicated volunteers who scour case details in an effort to match long-term missing persons to unidentified decedents. In
The Skeleton Crew, Deborah Halber follows the journey of some of these volunteers who have made it their mission to assist criminal justice professionals in resolving those cases.” -- Arthur Eisenberg, PhD, Co-Director, UNT Center for Human Identification

“For me, this book was much more than a terrific read about a layered subculture in a field that crosses my own. It was an invitation to get involved… I hope a lot of people read this book. I hope they feel the urgency of the need to identify those who’ve been separated from their names and to reunite the missing with their loved ones. I hope this book inspires the addition of many more eyes and ears in this work…I know of no better guide for navigating this multifaceted world than Halber’s book.” ―
Psychology Today

About the Author

Deborah Halber is a Boston-based journalist whose work has appeared in The Boston Globe; Technology Review; the interactive, illustrated digital magazine Symbolia; and many university publications. A native New Yorker, she received her BA from Brandeis University and an MA in journalism from New York University. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Mystery Writers of America, and the National Association of Science Writers, she has chronicled breakthroughs in neuroscience, molecular biology, energy, and technology at MIT and Tufts, but is most enthralled with “quantum weirdness,” worm longevity, cell undertakers, and the properties of snail slime. Visit her at DeborahHalber.com.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster (July 1 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1451657587
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1451657586
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 1.02 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 3.05 x 22.86 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 144 ratings

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Deborah Halber started out as a daily newspaper reporter, then turned to the dark side to do public relations. She worked as a writer and editor for Tufts and as a science writer for MIT, where she chronicled everything from quantum weirdness (that's the technical term) to snail slime. A freelance journalist since 2004, her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, MIT Technology Review, the graphic news magazine Symbolia, and many university publications. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the National Association of Science Writers, she lives near Boston in a house with a lot of former pets buried out back.

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
144 global ratings

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2.0 out of 5 stars Book Impossible To Read For Folks with Less Than 20/20 Vision
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great subject that needed a stronger narrative
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2.0 out of 5 stars Great topic but the authors scattered writing style makes it unreadable
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3.0 out of 5 stars Topic Fascinating; Writing Not So Much
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1.0 out of 5 stars I am trying to extract some facts (possibly as many ...
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