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An expert who has consulted on investigations ranging from JFK's assassination to the murder of Laci Peterson, forensic pathologist Wecht dissects five recent high-profile cases. The opening chapters cover the deaths of former Playboy centerfold Anna Nicole Smith and her 20-year-old son, Daniel. Rumors abounded, and Wecht-called in by Smith's lawyer and friend Howard K. Stern to perform a second autopsy-determined that Daniel and Smith both died of accidental drug overdoses. In the murders of 12-year-old Stephanie Crowe in 1998 and seven-year-old Danielle van Dam in 2002 in their San Diego homes, Wecht agreed with prosecutors who argued that Crowe had been stabbed by a mentally unstable transient, but in the van Dam case, he concluded that the girl was kidnapped and later killed by a neighbor. In the most compelling section, Wecht explores the case of a doctor accused of administering fatal doses of morphine to nine hospital patients during Hurricane Katrina. But fascinating as the cases are, and though Wecht's breadth of forensic knowledge and experience is undeniable, these stories lack cohesion and too often veer into unnecessary minutiae. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.