Cover image for Mortal evidence : the forensics behind nine shocking cases
Mortal evidence : the forensics behind nine shocking cases
Wecht, Cyril H., 1931-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
315 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Teenage baby killers? : the truth behind the death of Baby Boy Grossberg -- A fallen beauty queen : who killed Jonbenet Ramsey? -- Sex, drugs, and a dead casino magnate : how Ted Binion died -- The real fugitive : Sam Sheppard and his wife's murder -- Shootout in Miracle Valley : the killing of religious sect members -- Standing by her man : Tammy Wynette's final song -- The trials of O.J. : the final verdict -- Robert Berdella : madman or just murderer? -- Heavy metal murder : the curious demise of Robert Curley.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA1063.4 .W433 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
RA1063.4 .W433 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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A lifeless newborn baby is found discarded in a motel Dumpster. Authorities quickly arrest the infant's teenage parents, charging them with murder. Did Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson, in fact, murder their own baby? Tammy Wynette died suddenly at a relatively young age, and yet no autopsy was performed? Was someone trying to hide the real cause of death? Did Sam Sheppard (later dubbed "The Fugitive" based on a television series) really kill his wife? And if not, who committed the murder?

Things are not always as they appear, as world-renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht shows in this riveting behind-the-scenes look at nine famous cases. In the nationally known baby case involving Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson, Dr. Wecht reviews the evidence and comes to a startling conclusion. In fascinating detail, he demonstrates how the tools of forensic pathology often uncover murky, long-hidden secrets that crack seemingly unsolvable crimes. Writing in the first-person Dr. Wecht leads you into the heart of the investigation, focusing each chapter on a single engrossing drama. He reveals the most startling evidence that shows why JonBenet Ramsey's killer most likely came from within her home, why O.J. Simpson probably had an accomplice in the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, shocking revelations about Robert Berdella's grisly torture and sex-abuse crimes against young men, and many intriguing facts about other infamous cases.

If you find the fictional plots of such dramas as C.S.I. exciting, you will be amazed by the true stories told by Dr. Wecht, with the help of two top-flight veteran reporters, Greg Saitz and Mark Curriden, in this amazing real-life thriller. As this intriguing page-turner proves, the science of forensic pathology has changed the face of detective work forever.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Notes

Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D. (Pittsburgh, PA), one of the world's leading pathologists, is the author of Who Killed JonBenet Ramsey?, Grave Secrets, Cause of Death, and hundreds of professional publications. He has served as president of both the American College of Legal Medicine and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and has appeared on numerous nationally syndicated television programs including NBC's Dateline, Larry King Live, 20/20, Burden of Proof, and many others.
Greg Saitz (Parsippany, NJ), for many years a crime and court reporter for The (Newark) Star Ledger, now works on the business desk.
Mark Curriden (Dallas, TX) is the lawyer-media strategist for Vinson & Elkins, LLP, and the former legal writer for The Dallas Morning News and The Atlanta Constitution. > .

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this review of nine of his cases, pathologist Wecht gives readers a glimpse into the dark secrets that only the police, lawyers and criminals know about some of America's most intriguing murder cases in recent memory. The prose is crisp, and Wecht, writing with crime reporter Saitz and legal writer Curriden, does an admirable job of explaining technical procedures and scientific evidence in layman's terms. While Wecht's forensic expertise helps shed some light on what really happened in this collection of solved and unsolved cases, the book as a whole points out that forensics is not an infallible method for determining who committed a certain crime. For instance, Wecht's review of the Grossberg and Peterson case (two college freshmen accused of murdering their baby in 1996), on which he consulted for Grossberg's defense, demonstrates the different conclusions that doctors can reach from studying the same autopsies. Furthermore, in two of the high-profile stories mentioned in the book, the O.J. Simpson and JonBenet Ramsey cases, the limitations of forensic science are exposed. Having viewed autopsy records in both cases, Wecht does have compelling theories about who committed these headline-making crimes, but his educated guesses are not proof enough to put anyone behind bars. Still, while some of the cases in this volume are still unsolved, the inherent life-and-death dramatics in each of Wecht's reviews will certainly catch the eye of those who like a good murder mystery or fancy themselves armchair detectives. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.