Search Warrants

“I think I’m going to put in for a search warrant. What do you think?” The detective asked. “The search warrant is your call, but—” I looked around the apartment. There were streaks of blood on the carpeting that looked like drag marks. Blood was smeared on several of the walls as well. The decedent was lying face down on […]

A Shocking Death

It was the middle of summer. A bright, sunny day. The victim was found in her backyard. She was lying on a plastic chaise chair, wearing a swimsuit. Next to the chair was a free-standing fan that was plugged into an extension cord. The victim’s hand was resting on top of the fan. There were no signs of trauma or […]

Can I get my kidney back?

It was a normal night at the morgue. In case you might inquire, “normal,” meant I was sitting at my desk, sending out subpoenas for medical records, interviewing family members over the phone, and talking to hospitals. Hospitals — as part of their policies — called us a lot to report deaths, even if they knew it wasn’t in our […]

Not That Kind of Doctor

“I’ve been seeing all these reports on the news about H1N1 and that it can cause deaths and I have some concerns,” the caller said. “Okay.” This conversation took place sometime in 2009. I already knew this wasn’t a death report. What I didn’t know was where this phone call was going. Just in case you’re new to this blog […]

The Case of the Christian Scientist

“Medical Examiner’s office.” It was early on a weekend morning at the morgue. “Yes,” a woman said. “Yes, I need you to come. I need someone to come.” “Okay. What’s going on?” “My husband is dead and I need you to come get him.”     via GIPHY  “I’m so sorry. Where is your husband?” Color me shocked. Family members […]

The Unexpected Death

This is a continuation of last week’s blog – Postmortem Identification. You’re always welcome to read it but if you don’t have time, I’ll sum up last week’s discussion.  Ran all over the city collecting medical/dental records Interrogated by a dentist and his receptionist Made it to my final destination to collect records at a hospital Security guard tells me […]

Postmortem Identification

Two years after I began working as a death investigator, I transferred to a different office in another state. While I wasn’t new to the job, my supervisors were keeping a close eye on me.   via GIPHY  As I’ve mentioned before, every office works differently. At my first job, the pathologists conducted scene investigations for infant deaths and homicides. […]

The Hospice Plot Twist

This blog post is dedicated to one of many Facebook discussions I’ve participated in. There’s a crime fiction group I’m a member of where writers can post questions about police procedures and investigations so they can write accurate stories. A bunch of people were asking questions about death investigations and morgues which was super exciting for me because that’s right […]

Things I’ve Said During an Autopsy

via GIPHY The following blog post contains some graphic descriptions. If you have a weak stomach, stop reading!!! via GIPHYvia GIPHYStill with me? Okay. You’ve been warned. Once upon a time, it was summer. The summer season meant two things for the medical examiner’s office. Homicides and decomposed bodies. via GIPHYMost forensic technicians would probably choose assisting a pathologist with […]

Why was this necessary?

One of the biggest gripes I had while I was in graduate school – working on my forensic science degree – was the ridiculous number of PowerPoint presentations we had to give for each class. I mean, really? Why is this necessary? How was knowing how to put together a PowerPoint presentation going to help any of us once we […]