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

By Jessica Snyder Sachs | Go to book overview

7 THE DIRTY DOZEN

WORMS'-MEAT, n. The finished product of which we are the raw material. The contents of the Taj Mahal, the Tombeau Napoleon, and the Granitarium.

—AMBROSE BIERCE (1842-1914)
THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY

As LEE GOFF settled into his seat for the eight-hour flight from San Diego to Honolulu, the images from the previous day's slide show continued to flash through his mind. A graying surfer-boy who'd traded his hangboard for a Harley, Goff had been struggling with the tedium of his work as an acarologist, or mite expert, at the century-old Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Worse, the grant that funded his position paid less than Goff had earned as a graduate student. With a wife and two young daughters to support, he was perennially switching from one side job to another, most recently providing security for wholesale gift and jewelry shows. As a beefy Kenny Rogers look-alike given to motorcycle boots and denim jackets, Goff could look menacing enough. Nevertheless, he craved something that made better use of his Ph.D.

Meek's forensics presentation at the entomology conference in San Diego had not gone on long before Goff began to think that

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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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