Synopses & Reviews
For almost a century, New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has presided over the dead. Over the years, the OCME has endured everything-political upheavals, ghastly murders, bloody gang wars, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and non-stop battles for power and influence-and remains the final authority in cases of sudden, unexplained, or violent death.
Founded in 1918, the OCME has evolved over decades of technological triumphs and all-too human failure to its modern-day incarnation as the foremost forensics lab in the world, investigating an average caseload of over 15,000 suspicious deaths a year. This is the behind-the-scenes chronicle of public service and private vendettas, of blood in the streets and back-room bloodbaths, and of the criminal cases that made history and headlines.
"In its ninety years, the OCME of New York City has investigated over one million deaths and earned recognition as 'the finest facility of its kind in North America, and as good as any in the world.' Evans (The Casebook of Forensic Detection: How Science Solved 100 of the World's Most Baffling Crimes) makes a fascinating story of its operation, complete with clues to be discovered, internal intrigue, cut-throat politics and lots of local color. He writes with vibrant detail about eccentric criminals such as Abraham Becker and his friend Reuben Norkin who, in 1922, accused each other of murdering Becker's wife-a deed for which both were brought to justice-and a surgeon who killed the patients of his rivals-and who nonetheless was acquitted. Highpoints include the epic battle between Elliot Gross and Michael Baden for the post of Chief Medical Examiner and the thousand-suspect murder of a violinist backstage at Lincoln Center. The book ends with a tribute to the bravery and tireless efforts of the OCME staff who identified victims from 9/11. Evans keeps things clicking while sticking to the facts; true crime buffs will not want to miss it." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Colin Evans is a veteran writer specializing in forensics. His books include The Casebook of Forensic Detection: How Science Solved 100 of the World's Most Baffling Crimes, and A Question of Evidence: The Casebook of Great Forensic Controversies from Napoleon to O.J. He resides in England.