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Marion Roach and Dr. Michael Baden

December 4, 2001

4:00 Joint Seminar, HU 354

8:00 p.m. Joint Reading
Page Hall

135 Western Avenue

UAlbany, Downtown Campus

Dr. MICHAEL BADEN and MARION ROACH are co-authors of the new book, Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers (2001, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-86758-3), an entertaining and informative examination of the latest breakthroughs in forensic pathology. The authors go to the crime scene, take readers to the autopsy table in the morgue and practically place the scalpel in the reader's hand to show how advances in forensic science are solving crimes as never before. They visit cases both famous and ordinary to explain why the first hour at a crime scene is crucial. They reveal for the first time how a key clue to the killer of Nicole Brown Simpson was lost during the transportation of her body to the morgue. In another case, they show how something as obscure as the imprint of a button on a dead man's skin was overlooked until months later when, while reviewing the crime-scene photos, Dr. Baden saw it, causing the case to take an astonishing turn. In one passage, students blow mouthfuls of blood onto one another in order to better understand blood-spatter patterns. Another passage examines the growth stages of maggots as indicators of time of death.

One of America's most respected forensic pathologists, Michael Baden, M.D. has conducted more than 20,000 autopsies in his forty-year career. Baden is regularly called upon to participate as investigator and expert witness in high profile murder cases. Past cases have included the murders of JonBenet Ramsey, Nicole Brown Simpson and Sunny von Bulow. Dr. Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical ExaminerBaden has served on the Congressional Select Committee on Assassinations, which conducted a reopened investigation of the John F. Kennedy killing. He was New York City medical examiner from 1960 to 1985 and currently serves as co-director of the Medicolegal Investigative Unit of the New York State Police.

Dr. Baden is also the author of Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner (1989), and host of the popular program on HBO, Autopsy. Dr. Baden is a visiting professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Albany Medical Center, and New York Law School, and has also lectured extensively to law enforcement agencies. He lives in New York City.

Marion Roach

Marion Roach is a former staff member of The New York Times, and in 1983 published a piece in The New York Times Magazine that remains one of the most reprinted articles in the magazine's history. It was about her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease and it led to her first book, Another Name for Madness (Houghton Mifflin, 1985; Pocket Books, 1986), which was published in the U.S., France, Canada, Japan and England. Her work appears in two other books on the topic of Alzheimer's as a contributor: Understanding Alzheimer's Disease and Confronting Alzheimer's Disease. She continues to write for the Times' Science Times section. Two recent stories of hers are included in The New York Times Book of Women's Health, published in April, 2000. She writes a column called "Mother's Day," for the Sunday New York Daily News. Her work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Prevention, Vogue, Maxim, Newsday, Good Housekeeping, Discover and American Health. Marion teaches the art of the personal essay at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, New York. She is a regular contributor to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," where she read her personal essays. [See also Journalism: The State of the Art, 2/19/04.]

Afternoon Seminar, UAlbany, 12/4/01
(Photo credits: Judy Axenson)

"Baden. . .and Roach. . . are a dynamic pair, delving into delightfully creepy material that can potentially bring murderers to justice or free an innocent on death row. Baden is a methodical and ethical medical examiner and consummate scientist. Every page reveals another aspect of the forensic sciences. . .the journey is never less than fascinating." - Publishers Weekly

"If you've ever wanted to explore the mind of a brilliant chief medical examiner and wander through the secret rooms of the morgue with their gleaming stainless steel tables and tragic tales of naked truth, this is your chance. Dr. Baden is honest, relentless--simply one of the best!" - Patricia Cornwell

"This book is about the work of one of our era's foremost forensic pathologist. It is a fascinating window into the world of the medical detective." - Tracy Kidder

"Marion Roach and Michael Baden have written a genuinely fascinating and entertaining book of tales that reveal just how garrulous the dead really are. This is the most fun you'll ever have in the morgue." - William Kennedy

Times Union Article
HBO.COM Autopsy
Amer Soc Clinical Pathologists