Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death

By Jessica Snyder Sachs | Go to book overview

6 A MODEL FOR MURDER

Who saw him die? "I," said the Fly, "With my little eye, I saw him die!"

—"WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN?"
(MOTHER GOOSE)

HAD THE BELEAGUERED Thaddeus Harris remained to haunt Harvard Yard a century after his death, he might have been shocked by the free love and protest rallies flowing over its grassy commons. But he would have been absolutely electrified by the entomology. Though social upheaval engulfed U.S. campuses in the I960s, quieter forces were advancing insect studies beyond Harris's wildest dreams.

The sheer massiveness of the continent's insect fauna still promised discoveries in perpetuity. Nevertheless, U.S. and Canadian entomologists had sped far beyond the mere identification of new species to pioneer research in insect physiology, biochemistry, ecology, and behavior. North American scientists had likewise taken the lead in the forensic sciences. Between 1960 and I974, they established the use of polarizing light microscopy for

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Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Prologue i
  • 1 - The Body Handlers 11
  • 2 - Reasonable Doubt 27
  • 3 - The Bone Detectives 47
  • 4 - The Witness Was a Maggot 69
  • 5 - Bug Sleuthing Crosses the Atlantic 93
  • 6 - A Model for Murder 119
  • 7 - The Dirty Dozen 147
  • 8 - Perfecting the Postmortem Clock 171
  • 9 - Plants, Pollen, and Perpetrators 197
  • 10 - The Pathologist's Garden 219
  • 11 - Chemical Clues 229
  • 12 - The New Mod Squad 247
  • Further Reading 259
  • Index 261
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