I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Morgue: A Life in Death by Dr. Vincent Di Maio and Ron Franscell
I had been eagerly looking forward to reading this book. So imagine my disappointment to be so disgusted with this man's ego that it made it impossible to read this book. One wonders if Anthony E. Zuiker caught a stock speech by Di Maio because some of the things he says in this book sound like they could have come right out of Grissom's mouth. Instead of "The evidence never lies" catchphrase that Grissom uses, Di Maio says, "Forensic evidence is the bedrock of justice. It doesn't change it's story or misremember what it saw...It tells us honestly and candidly what we need to know, even when we want it to say something else. We only have the wisdom to be able to see it and to interpret it honestly." Basically the same thing in fewer words. While Di Maio's expertise is in gunshot wounds and Grissom's is bugs, the main difference between the two men is that Grissom knows his place in the universe and has no need to shout it aloud, while Di Maio does. You know of Grissom's expertise only because others tell you. Di Maio has the built the "nation's most respected forensic medical facility" and has performed more that "9,000 autopsies and examined over 25,000 deaths and continued to consult in unexplained or questionable death cases all over the world." See how he yells from the top of his lungs about how great he is.
The book's first chapter, once you wade through his ego and what at first, feels like a perceived prejudice in the case, you hit the first case he examines which is one he testified at the Trayvon Martin murder trial where Geroge Zimmerman was accused of murder. And if you can hang in there you will eventually get to the actual science where he excels at explaining in clear language. As he says the politics of the case may have been complicated but the science was quite simple. Those last moments are easy to dissect and determine scientifically. What was going through the two men's minds we may never know. He supposes that one white man profiled a black man who profiled a white man and two men who were both afraid acted on that fear and someone ended up dead as a result. Which says a lot about both sides of race relations in this country.
The second chapter is where I gave up as it goes into his personal history. His father was a pathologist and his mother had a degree in law but never officially practiced. On his mother's side, with the exception of one black sheep, they have all been doctors going back to the 1600s. Both of his parents are first generation Italian-Americans. He knew when he was a baby that he wanted to be a doctor. Give me a freaking break. I thought about just skipping the chapter and trying to read another case but then I remembered how hard it was to read that first case. He took forever to get to the actual science as he was so busy thinking so highly of himself. This guy is a pompous jerk and is not worth my time.
In case you're curious some of the other cases he covers include The West Memphis Boys, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Vincent Van Gogh.
Link to Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Morgue-Life-Death-Vincent-DiMaio/dp/1250067146/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470836009&sr=1-1&keywords=morgue+by+vincent+dimaio