Dead Men Do Tell Tales Author:William R. Maples, Michael Browning William Maples is blessed with an eerie but powerful gift. From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, he can deduce the age, gender and ethnicity of a corpse, and the manner in which the victim was dispatched; his gift has sealed the doom of many a killer. His skill is to read the tales of death written on the bone... more »s of the dead, and in this fascinating book he revisits his strangest, most interesting and most horrific investigations, from gruesome and baffling dismemberment cases to the revelation of the identity of long-buried skeletons.
In his work at the C. A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory at the University of Florida, Dr. Maples has borne witness to every act of cruelty and brutality of which the criminal mind is capable. Yet he never forgets that the remains spread before him were once human beings, and that compassion is as powerful a tool in solving the riddle of bones as is scientific knowledge. Maples gained an international reputation for his work on skeletons ranging from the family of Czar Nicholas II to Vietnam MIAs to conquistador Francisco Pizarro, but, as he writes in these memoirs, his most satisfying moments come when his investigations lead to "the heavy clang and click of a prison door slamming shut" on the guilty.
Dead Men Do Tell Tales is a completely engrossing journey into the world of forensic anthropology, the science of bones, a form of detection with equal parts of knowledge and empathy.« less
This book reminded me of The Cases That Haunt Us by Douglas and Olshaker; in this book, Maples applies his science, forensic anthropology, to historically significant cases such as the deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family and of Zachary Taylor, once President of the United States. In The Cases That Haunt Us, Douglas applied his science, criminal profiling, to historically significant cases such as Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden. In both books, the stories told were fascinating.
If you've ever wondered about what a forensic anthropologist is and does, this is THE book to have. Mr. Maples shares his experiences dealing with the discarded remains from such high-profile murder cases as the Gainesville murders all the way to the brutal annihilation of the Romankovs in 1918.