Fly for the Prosecution How Insect Evidence Helps Solve Crimes

ISBN-10: 0674007271
ISBN-13: 9780674007277
Edition: 2000
List price: $20.00 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: The forensic entomologist turns a dispassionate, analytic eye on scenes from which most people would recoil--human corpses in various stages of decay, usually the remains of people who have met a premature end through accident or mayhem. To Lee Goff  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 9/1/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

The forensic entomologist turns a dispassionate, analytic eye on scenes from which most people would recoil--human corpses in various stages of decay, usually the remains of people who have met a premature end through accident or mayhem. To Lee Goff and his fellow forensic entomologists, each body recovered at a crime scene is an ecosystem, a unique microenvironment colonized in succession by a diverse array of flies, beetles, mites, spiders, and other arthropods: some using the body to provision their young, some feeding directly on the tissues and by-products of decay, and still others preying on the scavengers. Using actual cases on which he has consulted, Goff shows how knowledge of these insects and their habits allows forensic entomologists to furnish investigators with crucial evidence about crimes. Even when a body has been reduced to a skeleton, insect evidence can often provide the only available estimate of the postmortem interval, or time elapsed since death, as well as clues to whether the body has been moved from the original crime scene, and whether drugs have contributed to the death. An experienced forensic investigator who regularly advises law enforcement agencies in the United States and abroad, Goff is uniquely qualified to tell the fascinating if unsettling story of the development and practice of forensic entomology.

M. Lee Goff is the Coordinator of the Forensic Sciences Program and Professor of Forensic Sciences at Chaminade University of Honolulu.

He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1929. He is currently Pellegrino University Research Professor & Honorary Curator in Entomology of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. He is on the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy, Conservation International & the American Museum of Natural History. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Prologue: Honolulu, 1984
Beginnings
The Bugs on the Body
The Pigs' Tale
The First Flies
Patterns of Succession
Cover-ups and Concealments
Predators
Air, Fire, and Water
Drugs and Toxins
Coping
Testifying
Spreading the Word
Epilogue: Summing Up
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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