Trail of Bones: More Cases from the Files of a Forensic Anthropologist

Trail of Bones: More Cases from the Files of a Forensic Anthropologist

by Mary H. Manhein
     
 

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"A fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and an expert on the human skeleton, Mary H. Manhein assists law enforcement officials across the country in identifying bodies and solving criminal cases. In Trail of Bones, Manhein reveals the everyday realities of forensic anthropology. Going beyond the stereotypes portrayed on television, this real-life crime…  See more details below

Overview

"A fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and an expert on the human skeleton, Mary H. Manhein assists law enforcement officials across the country in identifying bodies and solving criminal cases. In Trail of Bones, Manhein reveals the everyday realities of forensic anthropology. Going beyond the stereotypes portrayed on television, this real-life crime scene investigator unveils a gritty, exhausting, exacting, alternately rewarding and frustrating world where teamwork supersedes individual heroics and some cases unfortunately remain unsolved." "Manhein provides accounts of dozens of cases from her twenty-four-year career. Some of them are famous. She describes her involvement in the hunt for two serial killers who simultaneously terrorized the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, region for years; her efforts to recover the remains of the seven astronauts killed in the Columbia space shuttle crash in 2003; and her ultimately successful struggle to identify the beheaded toddler known for years as Precious Doe. Less well-known but equally compelling are cases involving the remains of a Korean War soldier buried for more than forty years and the mystery of "Mardi Gras Man," who was wearing a string of plastic beads when his body was discovered." Manhein describes how the increased popularity of tattoos has aided her work and how forensic science has labored to expose frauds - including a fake "big-foot" track she examined from Louisiana's Kisatchie National Forest. She also shares ambitious plans to create a database of biological and DNA profiles of all of the state's missing and unidentified persons.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Many readers will find this slim volume both intriguing and frustrating. Manhein, the director of Louisiana State University's FACES (Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services) Laboratory, is a distinguished and innovative forensic anthropologist who first portrayed her work in The Bone Lady. Here she recounts over a dozen cases she has worked on, most little known. Her closing chapter, describing her work on the recovery and identification of the remains of the seven astronauts killed in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle explosion, perfectly illustrates the book's potential and weaknesses. The author's reputation landed her a position on a select federal disaster team with the mordant acronym of DMORT (Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team) tasked with responding to the tragedy. But what should have been a highlight is a thin account that offers minimal details of the work Manhein actually did. She offers similarly thin treatment of other cases, such as the search for a Louisiana serial killer possibly responsible for more than two dozen murders. Manheim leaves the reader hungry for more and skeptical that she is the best choice to recount her further inquiries. 31 b&w illus. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807155585
Publisher:
Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
09/01/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
1,076,283
File size:
2 MB

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Meet the Author

Mary H. Manhein is the author of The Bone Lady: Life as a Forensic Anthropologist. The director of the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory at Louisiana State University and a deputy coroner for East Baton Rouge Parish, she lives in Baton Rouge with her husband.

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