An analysis of four notable cases by famed forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht.
While the cases in Final Exams aren’t as twisty and turny or psychologically intricate as the cases that Ann Rule chooses for her books, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interesting on their own terms.
As a forensic pathologist, Cyril Wecht sees things in the human body that others don’t think to look for. In the first case in the book, he uses the particulars of some knife wounds to put a very different spin on a seemingly straightforward murder case. His mind works in such a fascinating way, and combined with Dawna Kaufmann’s instinct for storytelling, Wecht’s stories are tasty little true crime morsels.
I hadn’t heard of the Jessica Lunford case prior to reading this book, mainly because since having kids I tend to avoid these kids of stories. But here, Wecht and Kaufmann aren’t looking to milk the salacious aspects of the story. Rather, they want to reveal how forensic pathology brings depth to investigations and can reveal truths that otherwise remain hidden. I’m always amazed at the complexity of the human body, in life and in death, and appreciated how detailed the autopsy descriptions were. The four stories themselves were varied enough and avoided the “diminishing returns” aspect that sometimes plagues compendiums.
Many thanks to Planet Ann Rule and Dawna Kaufmann for the review copy.