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Coroner at Large by Thomas T. Noguchi
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Coroner at Large (edition 1985)

by Thomas T. Noguchi (Author)

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696173,491 (3.21)11
Member:Voivode1456
Title:Coroner at Large
Authors:Thomas T. Noguchi (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster (1985), Edition: First Edition, 249 pages
Collections:4 Stars, True Crime, Forensic Pathology, Read (inactive)
Rating:****
Tags:4 Stars, Forensic Pathology, Forensics, True Crime, Death, 1985, Autopsy, Coroner, Medical Examiner, Non-Fiction

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Coroner at Large by Thomas T. Noguchi

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Early on while still in my teens, I developed a deep fascination with the manners and mechanisms of death. Most likely the result of too many gore laden horror films growing up and chance encounters with the subject matter as people I knew died along the way! In any event, I developed what became a genuine curiosity regarding something I took to be a great mystery and I decided that I wanted it to be my life's work to study death further!

As I began my journey and I was still working out the direction I ultimately wished to follow, one of the first names I encountered associated with the field of forensic pathology was Dr. Thomas Noguchi and one of the very first books on the subject I managed to get my hands on was Coroner at Large.

As it has been quite a few years since I read the book, I cannot recollect the exact content, but I remember it went a great way to inspiring me to pursue my goals further. The book was reasonably well written with a fair body of knowledge, for such a small text, and covered aspects of many famous cases, centering on Dr. Noguchi's examination of the evidence in each instance. Elvis Presley, Dorothy Stratten and Freddie Prinze are among the celebrity deaths highlighted in the book along with several other reasonably well-known cases from the previous 20 years or so.

The downside to the book is, of course, its age! Written so many years ago it is without a doubt completely outdated as advances in forensics and new findings have drastically changed the views regarding many of these cases. That is not to say it is not worth reading if you stubble upon a copy in an old book store. Dr. Noguchi was a pioneer in his field and the book serves as an excellent window into the world of death investigation that Dr. Noguchi helped foster.

I certainly wish I still had a copy in my possession as I would love to read it again. I definitely recommend it for anyone interested in forensic pathology or true crime! ( )
  Voivode1456 | Jul 17, 2017 |
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Preview
Coroner at Large
by Thomas T. Noguchi, Joseph DiMona
3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 · rating details · 126 ratings · 13 reviews
* Contents: The unanswered question : the Claus Von Bülow case -- For love of Hy : the Jean Harris case -- The other side of Fatal Vision : the Jeffrey MacDonald case -- The love-triangle murder : the Buddy Jacobsen case. -- Breakthroughs in forensic science: A curious cause of death : Dorothy Dandridge -- The visible and invisible murderer : the case of Sal Mineo -- One ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Pocket Books (first published 1985)
original title
Coroner at Large
ISBN
0671625713 (ISBN13: 9780671625719)
edition language
English
other editions (5)

Coroner At Large (Coroner Series)
Coroner at Large
Coroner at Large
111x148
Coroner at Large

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My Review
Mar 13, 2015
rating 3 of 5 stars
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status Read in March, 2015
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review A good middle of the road, well written easy read with some interesting topics and thoughts from Noguchi on cases other than ones he personally oversaw. Readers of the true crime genre will be familiar with most, if not all, the cases mentioned. They range from the historical to the contemporary.

Noguchi does not rehash each case from the beginning to end. His focus is solely on the forensic science and how it was applied or mis-applied in each case. At times, this involves sitting down with the medical examiners or other forensic experts who had a role in examination of the evidence. He then either ends each chapter concurring with the outcome of offering an alternative explanation of the evidence that could have resulted in a different outcome.

There are times when he lapses into the scientific but never so deeply that a reader becomes lost or can't understand where he is headed or what he is trying to explain. I found it interesting that he traveled to many of the locations and looked at both the crime scenes and the forensic evidence. Most astonishing to me, was that a couple bought the Scarsdale home of Tarnower because of their belief in the innocence of Jean Smith, his killer. They kept the room intact and by all accounts of both Noguchi and another investigator, her story was very accurate and it was an accidental shooting just as she described. Proving the old adage that the truth is often stranger than fiction.

It also shows that despite their best efforts, and mostly getting it right, the police also get it wrong. Many times, there seems to be a rush to prove a first hunch because of community pressure to get it solved where a wait and see attitude would have better served the case. When looking at older crimes, it also shows how far the police have come with forensic investigation in preserving the crime scene and of course the introduction of the use of DNA has further changed the landscape.

A great read for true crime buffs and those interested in science and forensic science. An easy, accessible read that won't take long. At most one or two days. ( )
  ozzieslim | Mar 13, 2015 |
I have read individual books about many of these cases. Some cases I found interesting and some I did not. My favorite was The Funhouse Corpse. Everyone thought this was a dummy and it turned out to be a mummified body of an outlaw from 1911.
I also enjoyed the case of Jean Harris, because I did not know much about that case. I am always interested in the Jeffrey MacDonald case, but if you read Fatal Vision, there was nothing new. The same with Dorothy Stratton, if you have read The Killing of the Unicorn, there was nothing new.
I realized as I read about Elvis, his case is very similar to Michael Jackson.
I enjoyed this book as I did his earlier book, Coroner. ( )
  dara85 | Nov 22, 2014 |
In this book Dr. Noguchi assumes the role of a consultant on some famous, unsolved deaths. I got this book for the killing of "Playmate of the Year" Dorothy Stratten after seeing the movie "Star 80" starring Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts. I wish that he had gone into more detail in the chapter on Jack the Ripper. The book was published in 1985 and seems like it might be a little dated. Still interesting to see that investigative techniques changed from the times that the crimes were committed. ( )
  R0BIN | Apr 27, 2013 |
In this book Dr. Noguchi assumes the role of a consultant on some famous, unsolved deaths. I got this book for the killing of "Playmate of the Year" Dorothy Stratten after seeing the movie "Star 80" starring Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts. I wish that he had gone into more detail in the chapter on Jack the Ripper. The book was published in 1985 and seems like it might be a little dated. Still interesting to see that investigative techniques changed from the times that the crimes were committed. ( )
  R0BIN | Apr 27, 2013 |
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To my brothers, Kazuo and Tatsuo, and their families, to the delegates of the World Association on Medical Law, and to my fellow Medical Examiners and the hard-working employees in the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office.
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Did the urbane Claus von Bulow twice attempt to murder his rich socialite wife, Sunny, by the surreptitious injection of insulin?
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