Dead Center: Behind the Scenes at the World's Largest Medical Examiner's Office

by Shiya Ribowsky, Tom Shachtman | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0061189405 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wing6of8wing of Silver Spring, Maryland USA on 7/11/2013
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wing6of8wing from Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Thursday, July 11, 2013
Bought this book from Better World Books with the intent of adding it to the Crime Scene Book Box.

Journal Entry 2 by wing6of8wing at Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Thursday, July 11, 2013
A fascinating look at the work of a Medico-Legal Investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in NYC. I only meant to peek at it for a second and ended up reading the whole thing in an afternoon. The running of the morgue and the work with doctors and hospitals and police and families was very fascinating. (Interestingly, the medical advisor at my job has made statements agreeing with the author that most doctors do not have the foggies idea how to fill out a death certificate and that no one should take one at face value unless issued after an autopsy.)

Most interesting and compelling and heartbreaking was the discussion of the aftermath of 9/11. The author was at that time in charge of handling the identification of the dead, which turned into a gargantuan task after 9/11 given the state of the remains recovered. He provided an absolutely fascinating look at the organization and management of the system he had to devise on the spot and at the things that went wrong (surprisingly few) and the things that were learned from the horror of it all. I learned quite a few things from this book that were never discussed in the news coverage -- the hard feelings that exist between the NYPD and FDNY and the families over the 2 classifications of victims and the disparate treatment, the length of time the fire continued to burn and the details of deaths, the fact that remains of four of the hijackers were found and identified but no death certificate has ever been issued, and the sheer outpouring of appreciation that the OCME team received doing their difficult work.

Altogether a great read and one that will likely stick with me for a while.

Journal Entry 3 by wing6of8wing at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Thursday, July 11, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (7/11/2013 UTC) at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA


"A book is a mysterious object, I said, and once it floats out into the world, anything can happen. All kinds of mischief can be caused, and there's not a damned thing you can do about it. For better or worse, it's completely out of your control." -- Paul Auster

This is going into the Crime Scene Book Box. Hope the next reader enjoys it as much as I did!

Journal Entry 4 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Monday, August 05, 2013
Taking from innae's Crime Scene bookbox. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 5 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Monday, October 21, 2013
Fascinating indeed! There's not a lot to add to 6of8's comprehensive review.

It was interesting (and heartbreaking) to learn that a few bodies had been misidentified at first because they had the ID card of someone else in their pocket, for example. The theory of why this occurred is very moving, but I won't say why here; you'll just have to read the book :-)

I liked the structure of the book as well. It starts with the 9/11 attack, then goes back to tell of some more "routine" cases throughout NYC that the author dealt with, then comes back to the 9/11 details. Gives a good taste of the kind of situations ME's encounter, as well as a summary of the author's career trajectory.

Journal Entry 6 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (10/22/2013 UTC) at Winchester, Massachusetts USA


Traveling in the Medicine Chest IV bookbox. Hope it finds another reader!

Journal Entry 7 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Saturday, December 21, 2013
Taken from quietorchid's Medicine Chest IV - thanks!

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