By Douglas

Welcome to CoronerStories.com. I have worked as an investigator within a medical examiner system for going on five years now. Over the holidays, my brother-in-law suggested that some of my experiences may be of use or interest to others. I was inclined to agree with him because I routinely meet people who are curious about forensic death investigation and more specifically about what I do for a living.

These individuals typically fall into one of two categories. Those who are sincerely interested in forensics and those who scrunch up their face and remark some variation of “How can you do that?!” To this second type of individual, I usually respond with “I don’t see how people sell used cars” as “Guess where my hands were yesterday!” seems rather inappropriate. To the first type, I have always been happy to give a straightforward answer to their questions based on general knowledge of the subject. Oftentimes, I will even support my response by relating an abbreviated experience of my own.

So with my brother-in-law’s help, I have launched this website to present responses to those questions as well as entries I plan to write covering various topics within my field. These “stories” will most likely take the form of random thoughts expanded into developed segments. “CoronerSegments.com” seemed to have a different connotation and didn’t sound nearly as interesting.

I hope these segments will provide the following:

  • a basic overview of the general principles of death investigation
  • examples on the practical application of those principles
  • answers to questions I am commonly asked
  • insight into aspects of being a death investigator not covered in a textbook
  • a more accurate portrayal of death investigation than is presented on television

Also, please note the following when reading anything contained in this site:

  • references to general forensic principles and practices are used whenever possible and are as accurate as possible considering this constantly evolving field
  • my personal conclusions are based solely on empirical research and should not be construed as scientific fact
  • my inferences represent only one opinion and are based on those observations that have stood out in my mind (someone else working the exact same cases might have different impressions)

In an effort to preserve the anonymity of involved parties, I have altered non-essential details when referencing actual deaths even though this information is not afforded privacy protection. Anyone willing to pay a five-dollar fee can obtain a copy of the actual report from the State Hall of Records.

I hope the information provided here is of use to those who are interested in pursuing death investigation as a career and even to those who simply have a morbid curiosity. I plan to post at least one segment each week, so check back often or use the syndicate feature to receive updates. Enjoy, and please email me with any questions you might have.

A Douglas



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