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In some murder cases the police are pretty certain who the killer is, but won’t risk taking the suspect to trial due to the lack of a dead body. Without a body, the chances of a successful conviction are greatly reduced and then, after an acquittal, the suspect would usually be protected from subsequent prosecution by the Double Jeopardy statute.
So, finding a body becomes a crucial factor in getting these dangerous individuals off the streets and into jail. This book tells the story of a group of superheroes who come to the aid of the police in searching for the hidden bodies of murder victims. They are a band of boffins; nerdy egg-head scientists in the Clark Kent mould. Each of them has their own special superpower: There is the man who can see under solid concrete with his ground-penetrating radar, the woman who can locate a grave in a vast wilderness by sifting through the plant life entangled in a lock of hair, and the master of a bloodhound pack whose dogs have a sense of smell 30,000 times stronger than humans and can sniff out a long-dead corpse 6-feet underground.
These three, and several other scientists with different but equally valuable skills, gave themselves the name ‘NecroSearch’. This name sounds more like an organisation devoted to evil than one so determined to perform good deeds, but I suppose the choice of this odd name for the group is emblematic of its members' eccentricity. Their mission is to assist law enforcement officers to find lost bodies, bringing closure to grieving loved ones and justice to malicious villains.
The book focuses on just a few of the group's cases and tells these few stories in quite some detail. The bodies they look for seem at the outset difficult or impossible to find, but by using their ingenuity and pooling their resources they are usually able to overcome these adverse odds to unearth the precious bones and scraps of clothing that have endured the ravages of time. Some of the stories are very moving; we become attached to the victims by hearing the details of their lives and how they met their desperate, tragic deaths. We become equally immersed in the painstaking but inspired quests for their lost bodies.
The book was written quite some time ago (with a recently added epilogue), but its age doesn’t spoil the compelling story of the search for these unfortunate people.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
No Stone Unturned is an updated version of an earlier book on the founding of NecroSearch International, a group of scientists from multiple disciplines which formed in the 1980's. NecroSearch International specializes in searching for clandestine burials of murder victims. It provides an in-depth look at both the people who formed it and it's growth from a loosely knit group into an internationally known non-profit organization. Both the science and the motivations of the people involved make for a fascinating and often intensely moving listening experience.
I don't often listen to non-fiction audio books, but it seemed to me that Kevin Pierce's narration was almost perfect for the subject, neither overly dramatic or too much like an entirely uninflected reading of the material. I highly recommend No Stone Unturned for anyone interested in forensics or our often labyrinthine justice system. I received a copy of No Stone Unturned in return for an honest review.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful
This book, though a little long winded in parts, is of interest to anyone following the development of forensic science in the pursuit of criminals in this modern age. It documents the story of a group of dedicated scientists who came together to search for long hidden bodies and the prosecution of their murderers who thought they had got away with their crime.
Well written and well read.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This book gives a wonderful personal perspective on the developments that helped make forensic science an indispensable tool for Police Forces searching for murder victims.
We are introduced to ‘The Pig People’, a motivated and professional group of volunteers who have decided to share their knowledge and expertise in a variety of disciplines, to assist the Police in bringing justice and closure to victims and their families through the application of science.
Case studies demonstrate the dedication, professionalism and drive demonstrated by all the parties involved in the extensive preparation, search and hopefully, successful recovery of a victim’s body.