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The Bone Lady (Hardcover) Loot Price: R367
Discovery Miles 3 670
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The Bone Lady (Hardcover): Mary H Manhein
The Bone Lady (Hardcover): Mary H Manhein

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The Bone Lady (Hardcover)

Mary H Manhein

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List price R465 Loot Price R367 Discovery Miles 3 670 You Save R98 (21%)

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A subtly creepy collection of stories culled from the experiences of a leading forensic anthropologist. Manhein describes her role as an expert witness as the laying out of her analysis to the jury without a lot of unexplained scientific jargon - the exact technique she employs in this account. While one of her goals seems to be teaching the public about the field of forensic anthropology, she never loses sight of her main intention, the spinning of a good story. The result is a rare, effective blend of entertainment and education. As we follow Manhein into the Louisiana bayou, where she digs up the levee to claim a five-year-old corpse, into industrial fires where victims bodies lie unrecovered, into cemeteries both old, newly discovered, and improvised, under houses, and into the forest to examine the bones of potentially mistreated horses, we learn about identifying bodies through dental X-rays, bone composition, and facial reconstruction. It is the same combination of the desire to solve puzzles and a fascination with death that led Manhein into her field and which also compels the reader to move quickly from one story to the next. Whether she is describing a human skull being pulled up in a fishing net or her nervousness at testifying in court, she maintains a grounded eye for detail and a compassionately detached style which renders the subject matter interesting rather than gruesome. While many of Manhein's cases have attracted media attention, most notably the exhumation of the killer of Huey Long, the book primarily focuses on the much less glamorous side of the field - the identification of drowning victims sometimes years after their deaths, or the discovery that those bones in the yard belonged to the previous owner's pet dog. Despite the morbid nature of her work, she loves what she does and communicates that enthusiasm in her absorbing harrative. (Kirkus Reviews)
"On the first day of the search, I failed to find the body." So writes forensic anthropologist and bioarchaeologist Mary H. Manhein -- or "the bone lady" as law enforcement personnel call her. In this, one of dozens of stories recollected in her powerful memoir, Manhein and the state police eventually unearth a black plastic bag buried in the banks of the Mississippi River containing the body of a man who has been missing for five years. After the painstaking process of examining the remains, confirming the victim's identity, and preparing a formal report for the police, Manhein testifies for the prosecution at the murder trial. The defendant is convicted (due in no small part to Manhein), and the bone lady has helped solve yet another mystery.

As director of the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory at Louisiana State University, Manhein unravels mysteries of life and death every day. In The Bone Lady, she shares, with the compassion and humor of a born storyteller, many fascinating cases that include the science underlying her analyses as well as the human stories behind the remains.

Manhein, an expert on the human skeleton, assists law enforcement by providing profiles of remains that narrow the identification process when the traditional means used by medical examiners or coroners to conduct autopsies are no longer applicable -- simply put, when bones are all that are left to tell the story. She assesses age, sex, race, height, signs of trauma, and time since death, and creates clay facial reconstructions.

The case studies Manhein includes in The Bone Lady highlight the diversity of the field of forensic anthropology. She presents some ofher more lighthearted cases, such as that instigated by the suburban man who discovers a box of bones buried in his backyard labeled "Patsy Lou Bates -- Sis." A coroner, police investigators, and swarms of media are present when Manhein identifies Patsy Lou as a dearly departed family pet. One of her most chilling cases concerns a husband who murdered his wife, buried her in their yard, planted a rose garden over her grave, and continued to garden there for eight years until his deed was discovered. Manhein's involvement in historic cases includes her participation in the exhumation of Dr. Carl Weiss, the alleged assassin of Huey P. Long.

Although Manhein enjoys solving high-profile cases, her personal crusade is identifying the John and Jane Does who wait in her lab. Manhein's own words perfectly characterize her mission: "Identifying a victim can bring peace of mind to the family and can help them to go on with their lives. Sometimes, peace of mind is the only gift that I can give."


Imprint: Louisiana State University Press
Country of origin: United States
Release date: March 1999
First published: March 1999
Authors: Mary H Manhein
Dimensions: 216 x 139 x 19mm (L x W x T)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 224
ISBN-13: 978-0-8071-2404-8
Barcode: 9780807124048
Categories: Promotions
Books > Social sciences > Sociology, social studies > Crime & criminology > Criminal investigation & detection
Books > Medicine > Other branches of medicine > Forensic medicine
Books > Social sciences > Sociology, social studies > Anthropology
Books > Social sciences > Sociology, social studies > Anthropology > General
Books > Language & Literature > Biography & autobiography
Books > Biography
Books > Biography > General
Books > Language & Literature > Biography & autobiography > General
LSN: 0-8071-2404-4

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