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Coroner's Journal: Forensics and the Art of Stalking Death [NOOK Book]

Overview

During Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Louis Cataldie remained in New Orleans in dangerous and often unbearable conditions to attend to the sick, the injured-and the dead. As chief coroner of Baton Rouge, tending to the dead is Cataldie's job. A little town with big-city problems, Baton Rouge means "Red Stick"-and lives up to its bloody name. Cataldie has faced unusual and disturbing cases, from tracking three serial killers on the loose simultaneously while working the scene of a Malvo/ Muhammad Beltway Sniper shooting, ...
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Coroner's Journal: Forensics and the Art of Stalking Death

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Overview

During Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Louis Cataldie remained in New Orleans in dangerous and often unbearable conditions to attend to the sick, the injured-and the dead. As chief coroner of Baton Rouge, tending to the dead is Cataldie's job. A little town with big-city problems, Baton Rouge means "Red Stick"-and lives up to its bloody name. Cataldie has faced unusual and disturbing cases, from tracking three serial killers on the loose simultaneously while working the scene of a Malvo/ Muhammad Beltway Sniper shooting, to helping apprehend Baton Rouge serial killer Derrick Todd Lee in a controversial case that was featured in an ABC Primetime Live special with Diane Sawyer and Patricia Cornwell.

Cataldie's maverick ways have made him a favorite target of the media, but he offers no apologies, and speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. Graphic and frank, this is his unique, up-close look at his life spent stalking death in the Deep South.


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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Working in the coroner's office of East Baton Rouge Parish from 1993 to 2003, I wrote whenever it struck me. I jotted notes in the field and sketched images on a small pad as I remember them." From these notes, Dr. Louis Cataldie constructed Coroner's Journal, a striking, sometimes chilling account of a decade's labor in the fields of the dead. Cataldie's cases are diverse but almost always tragic: brutal acts of strangling; an LSU professor killed by a barn door; a shooting by Beltway snipers Malvo and Muhammad; and unsolved serial murders.
Publishers Weekly
Cornwell's foreword may attract readers to this unremarkable account by the chief coroner in Baton Rouge, La. Flat writing and the occasional platitude ("How sad. This is someone's daughter") detract from what could have been an interesting professional memoir by a dedicated public servant whose duties include ordering psychological evaluations and commitments, as well as the more familiar forensic work. Instead, the scenarios, whether an autoerotic hanging or the evaluation of a psychiatric patient, are brief and lacking dramatic tension. Some readers may also be put off by the short prologue added after Hurricane Katrina, which is the "incomplete accounting" the author labels it; the value and heroism of the doctor's work are not adequately captured by his words. His perspective on a number of serial killer cases-and the mistakes made by law enforcement in investigating them-will be new to many and are indicative of the frankness and professionalism that have apparently marked his career. (Mar. 16) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440679544
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/6/2007
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 104,299
  • File size: 277 KB

Meet the Author

Louis Cataldie was the coroner of East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana from 1998 to 2003. He has worked as both a small-town general practitioner and an emergency-room doctor in Baton Rouge.



Patricia Cornwell was born on June 9, 1956, in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Montreat, North Carolina.



Following graduation from Davidson College in 1979, she began working at the Charlotte Observer, rapidly advancing from listing television programs to writing feature articles to covering the police beat. She won an investigative reporting award from the North Carolina Press Association for a series of articles on prostitution and crime in downtown Charlotte.



Her award-winning biography of Ruth Bell Graham, A Time for Remembering, was published in 1983. From 1984 to 1990 she worked as a technical writer and a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia.



Her first crime novel, Postmortem, was published by Scribner’s in 1990. Initially rejected by seven major publishing houses, it became the first novel to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d’Aventure in a single year. In Postmortem, Cornwell introduced Dr. Kay Scarpetta as the intrepid Chief Medical Examiner of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1999, Dr. Scarpetta herself won the Sherlock Award for best detective created by an American author.



Following the success of her first novel, Cornwell has written a series of bestsellers featuring Kay Scarpetta, her detective sidekick Pete Marino, and her brilliant and unpredictable niece, Lucy Farinelli: Body of Evidence (1991), All That Remains (1992), Cruel and Unusual (1993) [which won Britain’s prestigious Gold Dagger Award for the year’s best crime novel], The Body Farm (1994), From Potter’s Field (1995), Cause of Death (1996), Unnatural Exposure (1997), Point of Origin (1998), Black Notice (1999), The Last Precinct (2000), Blow Fly (2003), Trace (2004), Predator (2005), Book of the Dead (2007) [which won the 2008 Galaxy British Book Awards’ Books Direct Crime Thriller of the year; she is the first American ever to win this award], Scarpetta (2008), and The Scarpetta Factor (2009).



In addition to the Scarpetta novels, she has written three best-selling novels featuring Andy Brazil: Hornet’s Nest (1996), Southern Cross (1998), and Isle of Dogs (2001); two cook books: Scarpetta’s Winter Table (1998) and Food to Die For (2001); and a children’s book: Life’s Little Fable (1999). In 1997, she updated A Time for Remembering, and it was reissued as Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham. Intrigued by Scotland Yard’s John Grieve’s observation that no one had ever tried to use modern forensic evidence to solve the murders committed by Jack the Ripper, Cornwell began her own investigation of the serial killer’s crimes. In Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed (2002), she narrates her discovery of compelling evidence to indict the famous artist Walter Sickert as the Ripper.



In January 2006, the New York Times Magazine began a 15-week serialization of At Risk, featuring Massachusetts State Police investigator Win Garano and his boss, District Attorney Monique Lamont. Its sequel, The Front, was serialized in the London Times in the spring of 2008.



Both novellas were subsequently published as books and promptly optioned for adaptation by Lifetime Television Network, starring Daniel Sunjata and Andie MacDowell. In April 2009, Fox acquired the film rights to the Scarpetta novels, featuring Angelina Jolie as Dr.Kay Scarpetta. Cornwell herself wrote and co-produced the movie ATF for ABC.



Often interviewed on national television as a forensic consultant, Cornwell is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine; a founding member of the National Forensic Academy; a member of the Advisory Board for the Forensic Sciences Training Program at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, NYC; and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research. She is also well known for her philanthropic contributions to animal rescue and criminal justice as well as endowing college scholarships and promoting the cause of literacy on the national scene. Some of her projects include the establishment of an ICU at Cornell’s Animal Hospital, the archaeological excavation of Jamestown, and the scientific study of the Confederacy’s submarine H.L. Hunley. Most recently she donated a million dollars to Harvard’s Fogg Museum to establish a chair in inorganic science.



Her books are translated into thirty-six languages across more than fifty countries, and she is regarded as one of the major international best-selling authors. Her novels are praised for their meticulous research and an insistence on accuracy in every detail, especially in forensic medicine and police procedures. She is so committed to verisimilitude that, among other accomplishments, she became a helicopter pilot and a certified scuba diver and qualified for a motorcycle license because she was writing about characters who were doing these things. “It is important to me to live in the world I write about,” she often says. “If I want a character to do or know something, I want to do or know the same thing.”












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Table of Contents

1 Katrina 1
2 Coroner 21
3 Forensics 101 41
4 What are the odds? 69
5 Too young to die 91
6 Head cases 117
7 Final exit 143
8 Thou shalt not kill 169
9 Headhunter 199
10 Monster on the loose 209
11 Unsolved mysteries 245
12 In the sights of a sniper 255
13 A killer strikes again 271
14 To catch a killer 295
15 Conclusion 323
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling and Absorbing

    I love the state of Louisiana and the city of Baton Rouge (red stick) therefore, this book is not only about a subject that interests me but also set in a location that I am familiar with.


    At over 300 pages and 15 chapters, it is a very informative and compelling read. Some of the cases presented were thrilling to follow. Others, not so much. However as a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and can recommend it to others.


    I was especially pleased to note the doctor's opinion of TV versus reality. You have to know that the professionals in the real world get so frustrated with the one-hour mindset of the general public.


    I also enjoyed Dr. Bill Bass's book Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales.


    I hope you find my opinion helpful.

    Michael L. Gooch
    Author of Wingtips with Spurs

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 13, 2008

    A reviewer

    I wish he would write another book, even though retired,he still got a lot to tell, I am sure. It was well written and emotional at times. I recommend this book highly, I felt like I was there with him, as he decribes the scenes and the emotion he was going through with each case.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 11, 2011

    Fascinating Read

    The stories are so interesting! Loved the book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

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    A REALL PAGETURNER

    it is a thrilling read....I was hoping he had other books but have not found any I hope one day he writes another. It is a fascinating look into the life of a M.E.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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