No Stone Unturned: The Story of Necrosearch International

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A body stuffed in a car trunk swallowed by the swirling, muddy waters of the Missouri River. A hiker brutally murdered, then thrown off a cliff in a remote mountain range. A devious killer, who hid his wife's body under a thick cement patio. For beleaguered police agencies and stymied murder investigators the story is often the same: they know a murder took place, they may even know who did it. But without a body, without key evidence, pursuing a conviction is nearly impossible....
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A body stuffed in a car trunk swallowed by the swirling, muddy waters of the Missouri River. A hiker brutally murdered, then thrown off a cliff in a remote mountain range. A devious killer, who hid his wife's body under a thick cement patio. For beleaguered police agencies and stymied murder investigators the story is often the same: they know a murder took place, they may even know who did it. But without a body, without key evidence, pursuing a conviction is nearly impossible. That's when they call NecroSearch International.

Founded in 1991, NecroSearch may be the most powerful crime-busting team ever put together. For this is a brain trust of the nation's top scientists, specialists, and behavioralists who use the latest technology and the most advanced techniques to help solve "unsolvable" crimes: no matter how long ago the murder took place, no matter how decayed the corpse, no matter how cleverly the killer has hidden his victim's body.

New York Times bestselling author Steve Jackson chronicles how NecroSearch came into being, how it developed, and why it is now being called into murder cases all across America and in a half dozen foreign countries. He introduces us to the biologists, chemists, meteorologists, botanists, geophysicists, anthropologists, forensic scientists, and other crime specialists who have come together under the NecroSearch banner to find bodies, retrieve and study evidence, and tie murderers to their crimes.

We meet NecroSearch's founders, who used swine carcasses -- hidden and buried in circumstances typical for many murder victims -- to demonstrate the effects of decay, earning them the nickname "The Pig People." And we journey step-by-step through NecroSearch's cases, as amazed detectives watch these modern-day Sherlock Holmeses find bodies and evidence that no one thought could ever be retrieved -- sometimes tracing the location of a corpse through one microscopic clue. We also see how the work and testimony of the NecroSearch men and women leads to courtroom convictions, as defiant killers are suddenly confronted with the indisputable evidence of their heinous crimes.

For the first time ever, here is a book that takes us on a fascinating, often shocking journey into a realm of crime investigation few people know about. As the author weaves together the true-life mysteries of NecroSearch's cases, he shows why this unique organization is destined to play a key role in some of the most notorious, as-yet-unsolved murders of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Founded in 1991 as a nonprofit forensic investigative team, NecroSearch International specializes in homicide cases shelved because of "corpus indelecti" that is, a body cannot be produced as evidence that a murder has taken place. Coming from a wide range of backgrounds geophysicists to "cadaver dog" specialists to chemists and rank-and-file cops the members of NecroSearch combine their skills to produce the most proficient (and most exciting) detective work since Sherlock Holmes. They take the coldest cases and comb for hidden graves on rural hillsides, in suburban backyards and at the bottom of mud-choked riverbeds, searching for remains that have been buried anywhere from two to 20 years. (Or 70, as in the notorious Romanov family case.) Having sharpened his true crime teeth on Monster, Jackson competes here with two other books on forensic science to appear this season: Michael Baden and Marion Roach's Dead Reckoning and Corpse by Jessica Snyder Sachs. But while those books concentrate on the establishment of forensic methods as formidable weapons in the fight for criminal justice, this book combines the burden of scientific proof with rousing tales of police work out in the field or the quarry, the Rocky Mountains or someone's backyard. The book covers the group's quirky beginnings and digs into its most important cases suspensefully; Jackson's sharp eye misses nothing in the painstakingly rendered details. A must-have for true crime fans, it should also be of great interest to anyone fascinated with the practical applications of science. 32 pages of photos not seen by PW. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
True-crime author Jackson (Monster) has created a fascinating account of a group of extraordinary people who volunteer their time and expertise to locate hidden murder victims for the police and prosecutors. Before the advent of NecroSearch International, police had few choices in searching for buried evidence. Using a backhoe for clues buried in the ground often destroyed the data, while searching in water was difficult and risky. Often, police would be within a few inches of evidence and not realize it. G. Clark Davenport, a geophysicist who had expertise in using equipment the police were not familiar with, knew there had to be a better way. At the same time, two law enforcement officials were coming to the conclusion that experts in different fields could help the police solve crimes. Davenport and the two officials met, and "the evolutionary tree of forensic science grew a new branch." From this meeting, NecroSearch International was eventually born. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Karen Evans, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641622090
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/1/2002
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.43 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Prologue 1
I. A Brief History of Forensic Science 7
II. NecroSearch International 27
Beginnings 29
Project PIG 49
Le Cochon Connection 91
III. The Michele Wallace Case 111
The Crime 113
The Investigation 122
The Trial 173
IV. The Diane Keidel Case 191
The Crime 201
The Investigation 208
The Trial 228
V. The Cher Elder Case 241
VI. The Christine Elkins Case 275
The Setup 283
The Search 299
VII. The Romanov Case 339
Afterword 357
Acknowledgments 363
Index 365
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