William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Thursday, 19, May, 2011

A Good Point

Filed under: Boomstick,Links to Greatness — williamthecoroner @ 13:48

Nancy R, at Excells At Nothing, makes a good point.  There was a lot of open carry of firearms seen at the NRA convention, and some folks look down on open carry because “it will scare the soccer moms”.  Now, it may.  Certainly there was a kerfuffle in Philly where it scared a cop, and there have been incidents in WI (where only open carry is legal).  But Nancy makes a good point: namely is the weapon in a proper holster?

As a general rule foresight and impulse control aren’t big in the criminal population.  As such, they are flying by the seat of their pants through life, really, and don’t plan ahead.  Criminal’s guns are usually in bad shape, in my experience.  Cheap, poorly maintained, rusty, passed around from hand to hand, rarely cleaned.  These folks are not the kind to spend $35 on an inexpensive holster (or $70-150) for a custom one.  If they had that sort of money, they’d spend it on other things.

As a general rule, street criminals aren’t wearing collared shirts and ties.  White collar criminals, sure, but not street types, and your white collar criminal is a problem, but is not going to threaten you with anything other than a pen.

Wednesday, 18, May, 2011


Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 22:08


(Dudley-Brian Smith, © 1989, BMI)

The mist is on the water; the half-moon is still;

Fires from the village burn against the chill

The watchman is sleeping – no one hears them ‘til

It’s too late to run, but you run for the hills!

Longships are coming you’d better beware

Longships are coming be prepared.

The warnings were given; danger’s on the rise.

You’d better be ready by the rising of the tide.

The signals are clear, but too many close their eyes.

Only a few remember what was prophesied.

Sure destruction – certain doom;

Only those who are ready escape the tomb.

Tuesday, 17, May, 2011

Sales Call.

Filed under: People who need pianos dropped on them — williamthecoroner @ 17:57

Just because you SAY “this is not a sales call”, that doesn’t magically make it not a sales call, particularly when you then attempt to sell me something during the call.

Yes, there IS a need to use that language.

I really don’t happen to care if it offends you.

Since you called me, I’ll respond in any way I see fit.

If you wish to make a living, there are lots of things you can do.  Have you considered pimping?

If I give you my Social Security Number you’ll take my name off your list?  How nice.

You’ll just have to keep calling?  OK.

Monday, 16, May, 2011

Move-Out Day

Filed under: Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 17:06

Today is Move-out day.  The day after graduation when students, well, move out.  The dorms empty, to be cleaned/used for Summer programs/remodeled/whatever.  Several years ago, one of my patients woke up on Move-out day, went into the living room, grabbed a roommates’ hammer and knocked out the window that was next to the hedgehog cage.  My patient then jumped out.  The room was on the fifteenth floor.

Considering how long it took for facilities to get me a new office key (12 weeks) it was really, really amazing how quickly facilities could clean up (or destroy the evidentiary value, depends on how you look at it) a scene.  By the time the coroner’s team got there the window was still shattered and the hammer was on the floor, but the patient and any signs  had been power-washed away, and the concrete was completely dry.

We never figured out why the patient did it, the toxicology was all negative, the family was present and there was no note or other discernable reason for this action.  I think of it every time move-out day rolls around.

Sunday, 15, May, 2011

Door-To-Door Doctoring

Filed under: Forensics,Social Commentary,WTF? — williamthecoroner @ 15:22

According to this story, people in Turkey are dressing up as doctors and doing door-to-door hypertension screenings.  They discover high blood pressure, give the people pills to treat the high blood pressure, but they are powerful sedatives and the criminals ransack the house while their victims are passed out.  The police replicated the experiment with placebos, and 86% of the people took the pills.

The moral of the story is, don’t take candy from strangers, and don’t take drugs from doctors going door to door.  Do you really need to be told this?

Unintended Consequences

Filed under: Science — williamthecoroner @ 15:04

Pyrex cookware used to be made of borosilicate glass by Corning.  It could withstand greater changes in temperature than plain old glass.  The brand was taken over by World Kitchen, they changed the recepit for Pyrex to prestressed soda-lime glass, which is more resistant to chipping, but is not as resistant to thermal shock.

Now, folks who cook crack cocaine have to steal labware, instead of using cookware, as cookware will not stand up to the changes in temperature.

Story HERE.

Friday, 13, May, 2011

Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 23:04

A cat and a man got into a fight in Texas.  The man had to be airlifted to the hospital.  Unhappily, the cat was put down.

On an historical note, the Roman Republican punishment for parricide was to sew the killer into a sack with a cat and a rooster and then have people kick/push/roll it along the streets and into the Tiber, where it would sink.  Not to pleasant for either the cat or the bird, but I sure as anything wouldn’t want to be in that bag.


Filed under: Japery — williamthecoroner @ 22:58

From Robbubba.

Thursday, 12, May, 2011

Well, That’s Nice to Hear

Filed under: Boomstick,Food and Drink,NRA — williamthecoroner @ 22:12

Ohio has joined the surrounding states in eliminating the provision that CCW holders can carry in Class D liquor establishments, like bars and restaurants.  This is the law in Pennsylvania (among other places) where I was recently at a 2nd Amendment function at a restaurant, with a bunch of folks who were open carrying).  It was a very tasty dinner, with a lot of admiring of holsters.

But no-one got shot, and very few of us were actually drinking.  It seems that a bunch of adult, well-mannered armed people exercised their second amendment rights and…nothing happened.  It would be nice if that could happen in my home state, I eat in a lot of bars and taverns.  Pub grub is good food.

Chief John Hanna, USN

Filed under: Bleg,Blogania,Circle Game — williamthecoroner @ 13:39

According to Matt, Chief Hanna was well known, and kept himself to himself. More information can be found at the Ravings of A Feral Genius.   Go read it.  It made me cry. But the Feral Genius has a point, which she makes in the addendum to her post:

Thoreau at Unqualified Offerings suggests making donations to I Am My Brother’s Keeper, the homeless shelter where John spent his last months before going into the hospital.

ADDITIONAL ADDENDUM: It’s also worth considering a small donation to Joseph Norris, the funeral home operator who donated the coffin, took care of J-sub’s body and notified the reporter; without him, none of us might ever have known for certain what happened to our friend. Norris is a small business owner, and I doubt he’s rich enough for such to be mere pocket-change expenses for him.

Joseph Norris
Gates of Heaven Funeral Home
4412 Livernois Avenue
Detroit, MI 48210
(313) 894-2427

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