Download Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of by William R. Maples PDF

By William R. Maples

From a skeleton, a cranium, a trifling fragment of burnt thighbone, Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a homicide sufferer, the style during which the individual used to be dispatched, and, finally, the id of the killer.  In useless males Do inform stories, Dr. Maples revisits his strangest, best, and so much bad investigations, from the baffling situations of conquistador Francisco Pizarro and Vietnam MIAs to the mysterious deaths of President Zachary Taylor and the kin of Czar Nicholas II.

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Additional info for Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist

Example text

Not me. My early experiences riding shotgun in the funeral parlor’s ambulance in Texas had shown me a side of life no book could teach. These dreadful sights gave me a certain balance, along with reserves of strength that I could call on in the ordinary trials of life at the university. When you have seen bodies burned to cinders in fires, or pummeled to jelly under a truckload of bricks, or reduced to empty skins whose bones have been squeezed from them by the terrific force of plane crashes, then the bumps and bogies of academic life hold few terrors for you.

Finally, either the serviceman himself had sickened of his gruesome relic, or he had died and his heirs wanted to get rid of the thing. But how to dispose of it? If they put it in the garbage it might be found. Burning it was too much trouble. Burying it would be bothersome and might leave traces. Best to throw it in the lake! Tie a rock to it for good measure! And so the skull went overboard, bubbling down into the depths of Lake Travis, only to be found again by the purest chance. I am certain that, somewhere in Japan today, there is a family wondering what became of an uncle, a father, a long-lost relative who marched off to war more than half a century ago.

It turned out he had stolen the car. I saw terrible things during those nights, but I could not blink or turn away. My job depended on it. After a while it became a test of strength for me, to gaze unflinchingly at the dreadful aftermaths of accidents. Emergency room personnel deal with the same situations, but I would submit that the ER technicians see people after we ambulance men have tidied them up considerably. When we arrived at the scene, we were plunged into pure chaos. It was dark. Cars were overturned or on fire.

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