Summary: From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, Dr. WilliamMaples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a murder victim, the mannerin which the person was dispatched, and, ultimately, the identity of thekiller. In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples revisits his strangest,most interesting, and most horrific investigations, from the baffling cases ofconquistador Francisco Pizarro and Vietnam MIAs to the mysterious deaths ofPresident Zachary ...show moreTaylor and the family of Czar Nicholas II.
''When he's not shattering myths about maggots, Dr. Maples is delightfullyunraveling true murder mysteries, ancient and modern. He's not just anotherclever forensic detective -- he's a poet, a philosopher, and a sly commentatoron the fractured human condition, pre-and post-mortem. ''
-- Carl Hiaasen, author of Strip Tease and Native Tongue''Whether Maples' subjects are famous or anonymous, it is how he tellstheir stories that makes this book so fascinating and -- in its fashion --delightful. ''
--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World''William R. Maples and Michael Browning could've written a dry clinicalanalysis of forensic anthropology; instead they tell tales better than the deadcould for themselves. ''
-- New York Times Book ReviewForensic anthropologist Maples revisits his strangest, most interesting, and most horrific investigations, from gruesome and baffling dismemberment cases to the revelation of the identity of long-buried skeletons. ''These tales of crime unmasked by science are compelling in their own right. ''--The Boston Globe. Photos.William Maples is blessed with an eerie but powerful gift. From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, he can deduce the age, gender and ethnicity of a corpse, and the manner in which the victim was dispatched; his gift has sealed the doom of many a killer. His skill is to read the tales of death written on the bones of the dead, and in this fascinating book he revisits his strangest, most interesting and most horrific investigations, from gruesome and baffling dismemberment cases to the revelation of the identity of long-buried skeletons. In his work at the C. A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory at the University of Florida, Dr. Maples has borne witness to every act of cruelty and brutality of which the criminal mind is capable. Yet he never forgets that the remains spread before him were once human beings, and that compassion is as powerful a tool in solving the riddle of bones as is scientific knowledge. Maples has gained an international reputation for his work on skeletons ranging from the family of Czar Nicholas II to Vietnam MIAs to conquistador Francisco Pizarro, but, as he writes in these memoirs, his most satisfying moments come when his investigations lead to ''the heavy clang and click of a prison door slamming shut'' on the guilty. Dead Men Do Tell Tales is a completely engrossing journey into the world of forensic anthropology, the science of bones, a form of detection equal parts knowledge and empathy.