We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service—two dishes, but to one table.
That's the end.
HAMLET (ACT 4, SCENE 3)
NOT UNTIL THE I980s would an American entomologist add the line "Forensic Consultant" to his curriculum vitae. Yet, whenever modern-day forensic entomologists step before an audience—be it a jury, college class, or a room full of homicide detectives—they invariably introduce their science as "ancient," nearly 800 years old. They trace its first known use to a tale of murder by slashing recorded in Sung Tz'u's thirteenth-century Chinese detective manual, Hsi Yuan Chi Lu (The Washing Away of Wrongs).
On a sweltering afternoon, a group of farmers returning from their fields outside a small Chinese village found the slashed and bloodied body of a neighbor by the roadside. Fearing bandits, they sent for the provincial death investigator, who arrived to convene an official inquest. "Robbers merely want men to die so that they can take their valuables," he informed the gathered crowd. "Now the personal effects are there, while the body bears many