William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Saturday, 31, January, 2009

Search Term Blank Verse

Filed under: Oddness — williamthecoroner @ 14:35

A load of spam links on my comment policy, that made interesting blank verse.

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Friday, 30, January, 2009

Seminars in Forensic Anatomy–OJ

Filed under: Forensics,Social Commentary,Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 17:50

So, this week we were discussing the first and second OJ Simpson trials; the criminal one in 1994-5 and the civil trial, touching on Simpson’s later actions and later legal troubles. The discussion was good. I need to learn more about being a facilitator, and less the guy sitting in the front of the room and blathering. Perhaps I should go Socratic on these guys. But, early days yet, and we do ultimately have a good discussion. My goal is to have it be less of the Dr. Zeus show.

Be that as it may, we had all looked at Marcia Clark’s book, Beyond a Doubt, and other material on the web. For modern cases like these, I find that web sources (or newspaper articles) are superficial, but can serve as an overview and a jumping off point for a more in-depth discussion.

The first thing that struck me when reading Beyond a Doubt was the defensiveness of the author. Admittedly, she lost me when she made a crack about medical examiners “They’re not all Dr. Quincy. What happens if they make a mistake, their patients come back to life?” That little gem aside, her book blamed a lot of people for mistakes and mismanagement.

Looking at the physical evidence, there’s enough blame to go around. In most trials, the extant trace evidence would have been enough to convict Simpson. The trial length also surprised me. I would have expected, under ordinary circumstances, a trial involving a double homicide to take about five to ten business days. Thirty-three weeks is incredible. The trace evidence and blood evidence should have been enough to put any normal defendant behind bars.

But this was no normal defendant.  Specifically, he had plenty of money.  He had enough money that people walked carefully around him.  People were worried about  his power (because money is power) and his largess.  He was enabled by many people who benefited from his largess.  He also benefited from errors made by, let’s face it, everyone associated with the case.  From people who liked to see themselves on television, (Dancing Itos, anyone) and people who wanted money (too many to mention) and people who were worried about the consequences of the trial and racial tensions in the Los Angeles county.  The driving forces, though, were publicity and underlying that, money.  Money buys publicity, and the publicity sells advertising, making money in a circle.

The take-home message, was, being a rich narcissist may help you get away with a double homicide, but being a rich narcissist helps you commit a double homicide, and those behaviour patterns will hurt you in the long run.

Wednesday, 28, January, 2009

Noted While Driving To Work

Filed under: Life, the universe, & everything. — williamthecoroner @ 16:22
  • Snowplows are more effective when you’re behind them
  • It’ s always a good idea to hire a plow service
  • Front wheel drive cars spin their front wheels, rear wheel drive cars spin their back wheels
  • Ragtop Miatas are cute, but not meant for Cleveland winters
  • Panel trucks can slide sideways
  • You see an awful lot when traffic is backed up
  • I’m glad I put gas in the car yesterday
  • I could have walked to work faster than I drove


Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 12:02

Sparrow’s haiku contest is up HERE. Go thou and contribute. This week’s topic is DOOM

Tuesday, 27, January, 2009

What Has He Got In His Pocketses?

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 23:39

A question posed by Brigid the fair recently. I still have no digital camera, but I’ll bite, I’ll just do it in words.

A Swiss Card in the wallet
CRKT Van Hoy Snaplock
Home, office, and car keys
2 GB flashdrive on the keychain
A Victronox Classic SD knife on the keychain
Assorted change
8 x 57 mm cartridge
Fountain pen
Box of matches

So, what’s in YOUR pockets?

You Find Interesting Things When You’re On Hold.

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 10:30

Here’s one:  Call to Wings.

As I was browsing, I found this: Sword In The Thatch: Key graf:

Just ’cause it might sometimes, very rarely, when all other avenues are exhausted – be right (or at least, “least bad of a host of bad options”) – that doesn’t mean it comes cheap. That price is darned high, and Mr. Mitty can keep his fantasies. Bleck.

And this: from 2008, The Year I Stopped Believing:

From supposedly apolitical New Year’s Eve broadcasts of the ball drop, filled with gushing announcers going on about how everything will be different now, to the outright character assassination of Gov. Palin.. the bold-faced one-sidedness of self-professed professional, neutral media outlets was breathtaking.

For the first time ever, I found myself looking at a newscast and saying to myself “I… I can’t believe a word you’re telling me anymore.”

Yeah, I felt that way, too. go READ:

Monday, 26, January, 2009

One Thing Went Right Today

Filed under: Self mockery,Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 16:28

Ignoring the spammer (please), my overdraft (oops) and Mr. Suicidal Bicyclist man during rush hour (it’ll buff out) I’ll be coordinating an autopsy experience for some law students. This means I’ll have given classes for the undergraduates, graduate students, nursing students, medical students, dental students and law students at my university. There is also a business school, an art school, an engineering school, and a school of social work, but I don’t expect to be working for them any time soon.

Sunday, 25, January, 2009

Burns Night

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 21:06

Tonight is Burns Night. I can’t be bothered to find “Ode to a Haggis.” Frankly, I couldn’t be bothered to find a haggis. I had a liverwurst sandwich. It tastes a lot like haggis, as I remember it, but the last time I had haggis I was 1. in Scotland and 2. really rather drunk.

Be that as it may, here’s some Battlefield Band for you.

Friday, 23, January, 2009

Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 15:57

A cinnamon Long-Evans rat and a ginger cat. Two very tame animals who are obviously quite well-fed.

That’s Nice To Hear

Filed under: Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 15:46

An e-mail from an old student

I am currently writing you from the Caribbean island of Dominica, where I am taking a break from Medical Biochemistry. I was accepted almost immediately to Ross University, and took it. I can not thank you enough for your help in getting me here. I’ll spend the next year and a half here on Dominica, and then return to the states to do my rotations.

Seriously, you were fantastic. They were impressed with my credentials and my recommendations and offered me a spot one week after the interview. Faced with transplanting my family and having to face another year on a wait list, I chose the former. [SNIP] Anyway, my stories from your class are gaining notariety, and I even had my now-useless cell-phone to show everyone the pictures I took the day you handcuffed everyone.

[SNIP] now I can show this school how well I can handle the subject matter. Gross Anatomy is really easy so far, and they take a whole year to do what I had to accomplish in a single semester. I plan on knocking the USMLE I out of the park on the first try,

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