William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Sunday, 20, September, 2009

Red Tail

Filed under: Natural History — williamthecoroner @ 13:18

Driving along River Road, saw a red-tail sitting on a dead tree.  Raptors know they’re cool.  redtail-on-a-tree-perch

Friday, 18, September, 2009

It Happened

Filed under: Natural History — williamthecoroner @ 23:27

Someone threw the switch, and the leaves are turning.  Just a little, but what once was green is now fading, and tinges of yellow and red are starting to appear. It’s coming.

Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 16:31

Tinker Literary Cat of MysteryTinker profile

Thursday, 17, September, 2009

Graduate Class 9 & 10 Modification

Filed under: Forensics,Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 18:37

Tattoos, piercings, brandings, scarification, foot binding, tight lacing.  Neck stretching.  Other, more extreme modifications.  Some of shom can lead to accidental deaths, by choking, falling, or mechanical asphyxia.  Here, it is also important to recognize prison iconography, tattoos that are bad signs* and remember what is still the most common tattoo in the world **.

We are also reminded that tattoos are permanent, and that it is unwise to put anyone’s name on your body who isn’t your child.  It is also unwise to put ink on places that are always visible.  Zebraman_great_omiOne student asked if there were any laws to protect people with tattoos against discrimination in employment.  Other than common sense and maturity, no.

I pointed out that some tattoos, those that were done in prison, those that bespoke criminal affiliation, and those that bespoke an anti-social attitude were indicators of immaturity and poor judgement, and that perhaps people with those character traits were not good to hang out with or give your money to invest.  That arguement didn’t hold a lot of weight with a group of early twenty-year-olds it seemed.

*FTW (Fuck the World) OUTLAW, Hate and Love on the knuckles, swastikas, Born to Lose, for examples

** MOM.

Monday, 14, September, 2009

Graduate Class

Filed under: Forensics,Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 21:30

It’s my own fault, I should have got the slides onto powerpoint sooner.  Trying to find a working projector in under 24 hours is almost impossible nowadays.

So, I went to the back up plan, but the powerpoint computer wasn’t booted, and no one was around to boot it, and I can’t do it because that means my class wouldn’t have to wait for fifteen minutes.

Epic thwart.

Sunday, 13, September, 2009

Sir Isaac, You Magnificent Bastard

Filed under: Self mockery — williamthecoroner @ 20:53

isaac_newton So there I was, at the Honey Hut, waiting for a small turtle sundae.  Their combination of salty pecans, sweet hot fudge and caramel, silky vanilla ice cream is well worth the calories.  They have a dedicated clientel.  They also have a wide variety of sizes.  While I can eat a large sundae, it is wiser for me to share a small one.  I don’t have the metabolism of a teenager anymore.

Teenagers, now, that’s who works there.  This season their counter help is young and male.  Mine made the sundae with a flair, and he also served it to me with a flare, putting it down on the counter and pushing it toward me with a flourish.  This is where Isaac came into play again, as an object in motion wants to remain in motion.  His hand stopped the cup, but the mass of whipped cream went flying off, straight onto my trousers.  Right on the zipper.

Now, the first rule of forensic pathology is one should never wear anything that isn’t machine washable.  So that’s not a problem.  My companion, though, thought it was a laff riot.  The sundae was rebuilt, with significantly less whipped cream.  The girls from last year were a lot more careful.

Friday, 11, September, 2009

Graduate Class #8–Teeth

Filed under: Forensics,Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 21:25

They may be putting flouride in the water supply to damage our precious bodily fluids (Thanks, GEN Jack D. Ripper) but teeth last a long time and are obvious.  Some criminals bite their victims, some people bite their victim’s food.  Some people have fillings.  Many ways teeth are used in forensics.

Fun fact, the first forensic odontologist was Paul Revere, who identified a victim of the Boston Massacre by his dental appliance that Mr. Revere had made for him.

Project 2,996

Filed under: History,In Memoriam — williamthecoroner @ 08:37

Via Crankylitprof, we learn of this site. Too many times, I find, the victims are forgotten. Even when cases go to trial, they are referred to by the name of the defendant (State v. Doe) or the Doe case. The victim is forgotten.

I can understand it, intellectually. The defendant is right there, and his fate is still up in the air. The victim is dead and gone. It’s almost a matter of bookkeeping. It still pisses me off on an emotional level.  I suppose with the system of justice, that is how it has to be, to allow calm heads to prevail, and not make decisions in the heat of the moment.  It isn’t particularly fair to the victim, but nothing more can happen to them.  Society is better served by a bit of dispassion.

In 2001, nearly three thousand people were going about their business when they were killed. They were killed to make a political point, to cause political harm, and to advance the political and religious goals of cynical manipulators for whom the means justify the end. I knew people who died on 9/11/01. I also know the DMORT and forensic workers who had to go in and take care of the rubble.

We recognize differences in intent.  An accidental death is less blameworthy than one that happens in the heat of action, and that in its turn is less blameworthy than a coldy planned killing.  A coldly planned mass murder for policial motives, would seem to be the most blameworthy of all.  At present, I’m not in a particularly forgiving mood. Not for the perpetrators, and not for the other people who would use these deaths and events as a way to curtail civil liberties and advance their own cynical agendas. Go read, and remember.


Filed under: Forensics,History,In Memoriam,People who need pianos dropped on them — williamthecoroner @ 07:04

falling man

Never forget.

Thursday, 10, September, 2009

Bank Bleg

Filed under: People who need pianos dropped on them,Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 20:49

I’ve been a loyal National City Bank customer for nearly thirty years. I’ve liked their service, I’ve been happy with their rates, heck, I went to school with the former CEO’s kid. Many friends have worked for them.

But they were taken over by PNC. For the past couple of months, their standards have changed. Oh, the young guy in the Lakewood branch where I buy my cashier’s cheques is still on the ball and friendly. The branch manager in my home branch, though, is treating me with thinly-veiled contempt. Errors are made. Funnily enough, they are always errors in the bank’s favour, and I cannot get a satisfactory resolution.

Frankly, National City now sucks. Can anyone recommend one? The best one I’ve ever had to deal with was the First National Bank of Damariscotta, where I have an account, but the closest branch is in Wiscasset. And Wiscasset traffic is a bear on Rte 1. I’d be interested in hearing suggestions. I want a checking account, a savings account, I want to transfer the house note, and pleasant, friendly service.

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