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A Fly for the Prosecution


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About the Author

M. Lee Goff is Coordinator of the Forensic Sciences Program and Professor of Forensic Sciences at Chaminade University of Honolulu.


This is a lively and informative firsthand account of forensic entomology in the United States. Goff (entomology, Univ. of Hawaii, Manoa) is a consultant to the Medical Examiner of Honolulu. He is especially well qualified to write this book because of his active involvement in many criminal investigations and his leadership in a profession that has come into its own within the past two decades. Much of the book deals with the use of entomology in investigations, especially in estimating the postmortem interval--the time elapsed between death and discovery of the body. The interval can now be estimated with considerable accuracy by identifying the insects present on the corpse, their stages of development, and their relationships with other insects. This book is not for the squeamish owing to the descriptions of corpses at the scene of death, in the morgue, and in various states of decay, including insect infestation. But Goff also writes about coping with murder scenes, testifying in court, and publicizing his profession. This book should appeal to a wide audience owing to its readability and novel subject matter. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--William H. Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Irresistible... Goff [is] a marvellously vivid and clear explainer of his science... [His] tales can be riveting." - Atul Gawande, New York Times Book Review; "Goff takes you into the world of the forensic entomologists: the intrepid band of insect experts around the world who turn their intimate knowledge of creepy crawlers to the service of police work... A fascinating read... Goff seems like just the sort of gifted storyteller you'd want to have a drink with - but, perhaps, not dinner." - John Schwartz, Washington Post Book World

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