Blood Beneath My Feet: The Journey of a Southern Death Investigator

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Overview

Have you ever been locked in a cooler with piles of decomposing humans for so long that you had to shave all the hair off your body in order to get rid of the smell? Joseph Scott Morgan did. Have you ever lit a Marlboro from the ignited gas of a bloated dead man's belly? Joseph Scott Morgan has. Have you ever wept over a dead dog while not giving a shit about the dead owner laying next him? Morgan did. Were you named after a murder victim? Joseph Scott Morgan was.

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Blood Beneath My Feet: The Journey of a Southern Death Investigator

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Overview

Have you ever been locked in a cooler with piles of decomposing humans for so long that you had to shave all the hair off your body in order to get rid of the smell? Joseph Scott Morgan did. Have you ever lit a Marlboro from the ignited gas of a bloated dead man's belly? Joseph Scott Morgan has. Have you ever wept over a dead dog while not giving a shit about the dead owner laying next him? Morgan did. Were you named after a murder victim? Joseph Scott Morgan was.

This isn't Hollywood fantasy—it's the true story of a boy born into the deprivations of a white trash trailer park who as an adult gets further involved in the desperate backdoor sagas of the "new South." No hot blondes here, just maggots, grief, and the truth about forensics and death investigation.

Joseph Scott Morgan became a death investigator with the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office in suburban New Orleans in 1987, the youngest medicolegal death investigator in the country. During the day, Morgan worked in the morgue, and at night investigated for the coroner. In 1992 Morgan became senior investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office in Atlanta. Morgan is now a college professor at North Georgia College and State University, where he teaches a death investigation course based on the national standards which he helped develop. He and his family reside in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The terse, earthy tone and black humor read like hard-boiled fiction." - The Statesman
"The book intersperses Morgan's real-life experiences from crime scenes with stories from his childhood in New Orleans in classic Southern gothic style that one author dubbed "Mem-Noir."" -Oxford American
"...a great book utilizing traditions in Southern storytelling to appall and amaze. It is contemporary Southern gothic at it’s best." -The NOLA Defender
" ... it is easy to imagine Joseph Scott Morgan making a cameo appearance in Faulkner’s 'A Rose for Emily.' Blood Beneath My Feet—a sanguinary, though not at all sanguine work—clearly functions as a 'therapeutic memoir'. With it, Morgan has pumped the old 'open a vein and start writing' axiom into a torrential burst of aortic hemorrhaging; instead of the usual razor, he used the Grim Reaper’s own scythe on himself." — Candice Dyer, Paste Magazine
"If you ever had an interest in this profession (forensics), this is a book that will give you the cold, hard, unvarnished truth. Morgan is jaded, and for good reason." You've Gotta Read This (blog)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936239337
  • Publisher: Feral House
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 963,384
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Joseph Scott Morgan became a death investigator with the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office in suburban New Orleans in 1987. At the time of his hire, he was estimated to have been the youngest medicolegal death investigator in the country working in a major metropolitan area. Over the course of his career he was required to work in the morgue during the day and subsequently work as an investigator for the coroner at night.

In 1992 Morgan accepted the position of Senior Investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia, where he remained until 2005 when he medically retired. During his tenure he was a part of the United States Department of Justice Task Force for the design of a national standards for death investigators nationwide. He was one of the founding members of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. In 2002 he achieved National Board Certified “Fellow” status, the highest ranking for a death investigator in the United States.

Morgan is now a college professor at North Georgia College and State University where he teaches Forensics courses.

Joseph Morgan was named 2013 Author of the Year by the Georgia Writers Association.

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Table of Contents

Advice from Dead Kinfolks 1

Painting the Town with Joe 11

Jerry Lee and Me 19

It's All in How You Say It 27

Southern Man 38

The Mustache 46

Red Beans 54

Hey, Haven't We Met Before? 58

The Earache 64

Forsythia 70

Gainful Employment 81

Color Plates 87

Little Gods and Chocolate Milkshakes 105

He Was Your What? 117

The Trailer Park Swimming Hole 123

Eventually the Sun Will Shine on Every Dog's Ass 133

Hell Yeah, It Hurt! 143

Terminus 146

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2012

    Murder victims, grieving families, and sights and smells that no

    Murder victims, grieving families, and sights and smells that no normal person would ever want to encounter were what made up the daily life of Joseph Scott Morgan. By giving the public a first-hand account of these experiences, Mr. Morgan opened up his world to the rest of us. Detailed descriptions allow the reader to feel as if they are at the crime scene with the author. Mr. Morgan also presents the emotional side of his grisly business which further allows the reader into his life. For some people, discovery, investigation, and perhaps even death, are just in their blood. This is the case with Joseph Scott Morgan and this book brings his story to the people.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    Students Poing of View

    Gives a lot of insight into the world of a death investigator. As a Criminal Justice major, this text has really opened my eyes to the day to day job that these professionals have to go through, and the sights that they have to see day in and day out. Highly recommended to those who are interested in Criminal Justice, CJ professionals, or anyone who loves to read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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