Catalogue


A voice for the dead : a forensic investigator's pursuit of the truth in the grave /
James E. Starrs with Katherine Ramsland.
imprint
New York : Putnam, c2005.
description
284 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0399152253
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Putnam, c2005.
isbn
0399152253
catalogue key
5367289
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [273]-277) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2005-02-15:
The study of forensics has expanded rapidly in academic and law enforcement circles, and forensic investigation has been popularized by several recent television shows. Starrs (George Washington Univ.; Meriwether Lewis: His Death and His Monument) is a pioneer in the field who defends the value of exhumations on the grounds that they may help to solve crimes because "the dead cannot speak for themselves." In this appropriately named work, he provides six (cold) case studies, including that of Jesse James and whether or not his remains are buried in his official grave, and Albert DeSalvo, the long-accused Boston Strangler. An intriguing book that students of forensics will find quite informative, as many of the "untold" stories behind forensics work is discussed. Recommended for specialized collections in criminology.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2005-01-31:
With the CSI craze showing no sign of abating, there will doubtless be an eager audience for Starrs's intriguing but quirky accounts of the noteworthy and notorious exhumations he has participated in. Starrs, a pioneer in forensic science, recounts his dogged, almost obsessive involvement with seven historical mysteries, ranging from the assassination of Louisiana demagogue Huey Long to the Boston Strangler. Using clues from Dr. Carl Weiss's exhumed skeleton, Starrs makes a powerful case that the young doctor widely believed to have been Long's assassin was probably innocent. Starrs will also probably change the minds of many who have discounted challenges to the veracity of Albert DeSalvo's confession to the sex murders that plagued Boston in the 1960s. His narrative isn't for everyone-it's occasionally repetitive (he explains several times that remains with flesh still attached are "stinkies"), and it's filled with "humor" that many will find distasteful. Furthermore, despite his assertions of respect for the dead, he displays a cavalier attitude toward some bones he recovers, which are occasionally on the verge of being damaged in airplane overhead bins. These oddball aspects should not overshadow the significance of Starrs's accomplishments, but they easily might. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. Agent, John Silbersack with Trident Media Group. (Feb. 17) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, January 2005
Booklist, February 2005
Library Journal, February 2005
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Summaries
Main Description
In the midst of his distinguished law school career, James Starrs made an extraordinary leap into the politically fraught, physically arduous business of actually exhuming bodies to solve cold cases that have defied answers for years. Helped by cutting-edge technology as well as the forensic science he had been teaching for decades, he has made important discoveries. These fascinating revelations are dramatically chronicled in A Voice for the Dead. Starrs's passionate intention is to set the record straight, to right the wrongs done by tall tales and cover-ups, by even the most cherished historical legends. Among the high-profile cases he writes about are Jesse James-are the remains buried in his purported grave really Jesse's? Mary Sullivan-was she, as supposed, a victim of Albert DeSalvo, who confessed, perhaps falsely, to being the Boston Strangler? And the Cold War government scientist who fell to his death from a high floor of a New York hotel-did he jump or was he pushed?
Main Description
In the midst of his distinguished law school career, James Starrs made an extraordinary leap into the politically fraught, physically arduous business of actually exhuming bodies to solve cold cases that have defied answers for years. Helped by cutting-edge technology as well as the forensic science he had been teaching for decades, he has made important discoveries. These fascinating revelations are dramatically chronicled in A Voice for the Dead . Starrs's passionate intention is to set the record straight, to right the wrongs done by tall tales and cover-ups, by even the most cherished historical legends. Among the high-profile cases he writes about are Jesse James-are the remains buried in his purported grave really Jesse's? Mary Sullivan-was she, as supposed, a victim of Albert DeSalvo, who confessed, perhaps falsely, to being the Boston Strangler? And the Cold War government scientist who fell to his death from a high floor of a New York hotel-did he jump or was he pushed?
Unpaid Annotation
Law school professor and forensic sciences expert Starrs writes about his incredible jump mid-career into the politically fraught, physically arduous business of exhuming bodies to solve the coldest of cases with the help of the forensic science he has taught for years.
Table of Contents
Introduction : desiderata for an exhumationp. 1
Alfred G. Packer : the Colorado cannibal with a ... consciencep. 13
Carl Austin Weiss, M.D. : he died in marble hallsp. 57
Frank Olson : the man who fell thirteen storiesp. 105
Jesse James : the Houdini of Western outlawsp. 155
Mary A. Sullivan : she was just nineteenp. 189
The unheard voices of the deadp. 235
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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