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Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist

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  • From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a murder victim, the manner in which the person was dispatched, and, ultimately, the identity of the killer. In "Dead Men Do Tell Tales," Dr. Maples revisits his strangest, most interesting, and most horrific investigations, from the baffling cases of conquistador Francisco Pizarro and Vietnam MIAs to the mysterious deaths of President Zachary Taylor and the family of Czar Nicholas II.

    Join author Troy Taylor for the inaugural book in the "Dead Men Do Tell Tales Series," a gripping, blood-soaked look at American crime, mystery and the hauntings that show how the consequences of murder sometimes extend beyond the grave! In this book, many of Taylor's files are opened for the first time as he presents new, revised, updated and expanded stories that were often cut from some of his earlier books because they were too graphic and frightening. Journey back in time and experience first-hand some of America's strangest murder cases; ghostly tales of violence and murder; gangland ghosts and never-before-told stories America's Depression-era outlaws; unsolved deaths and mysterious disappearances; ghost-infested prisons and jails; and famous cases and accounts like the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Ed Gein, Albert Fish, H.H. Holmes and his "Murder Castle," Dillinger, the Kansas City Massacre, Alcatraz, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Mansfield Reformatory, the Villisca Ax Murder House, Lizzie Borden, the Black Dahlia, and dozens more! You don't want to miss this title with dozens of Troy's stories that are uncut and uncensored for the first time. It's not a book for the faint of heart!

  • From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a murder victim, the manner in which the person was dispatched, and, ultimately, the identity of the killer. In "Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples revisits his strangest, most interesting, and most horrific investigations, from the baffling cases of conquistador Francisco Pizarro and Vietnam MIAs to the mysterious deaths of President Zachary Taylor and the family of Czar Nicholas II.

    Using The New York Times obituaries as a cultural barometer, he analyzed 100 years of obits from 1900 -- 2000, working from the newspaper's "notable deaths" section. The results of his study, "Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Apotheosis of Celebrities in 20th-century America," appear in the summer issue of the sociological journal Sociation Today.

    Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic ...
    William R. Maples,Michael Browning
    Limited preview - 2010

  • Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic ...
    William R. Maples
    Snippet view - 1994

    William Maples was a groundbreaking criminal anthropologist. From a skeleton, a skull, or a mere fragment of bone, he could deduce the age and sex of a corpse and the manner in which the victim met its death. Numerous brutal and vicious murders were solved through his skill in reading the bones of the dead. "Dead Men Do Tell Tales" reveals the fascinating case histories behind some of his most unusual and horrific investigations. In startling and sometimes gruesome detail, but always with remarkable compassion, Dr Maples describes the steps he took in resolving each mystery - from baffling dismemberment cases to the identity of long-buried skeletons.

Dead Men Do Tell Tales | Answers in Genesis

I do think that forensic anthropologists are different than funeral directors. They are men/women of science. Their main goal is to unravel the mystery of life and death through scientific inquiry. Where there seems to be some crossover is when forensic anthropologists are working with investigative police units where the material that the anthropologist finds could potentially find a killer. In the book, Dead Men Do Tell Tales, there is a switch between when Dr. Maples talks of historical deaths that he has investigated (Zachary Taylor’s death and the deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family) to when he gets to talking about murder cases in his life time, particularly the death of children. In these cases, the human being isn’t nonspecific. He knows their names, the families are still alive, waiting for evidence and in one case the murder victims were students studying at a University in Gainesville (where he works and lives). It all is still science but it also has this justice attached to it. The truth and justice will be brought out by science. There is something to be said for his utter conviction that bones will speak out when no one else can. In fact it comforts me, oddly enough, that there is something that will still speak for me when I am gone. Forensic science when paired with current murder cases has a sentiment attached to it that they can bring peace to the victims’ families. Their main objective is to find the material evidence within the bone or DNA, etc. in whatever way they deem necessary, but they must also understand that the body they are dealing with has family that is still living who are counting on them to find the killer, that what they are dealing with is still a person, a dead person yes, but a person who had a life and was important to other people in that life: “Victims and murderers alike are people. They may have followed their paths helplessly or of their own free will, but the paths led equally to the grave. All these people demand and deserve a dispassionate and caring analysis from investigators like myself. We can never forget that what we are doing is not just for the courts or for the general public. What we see on the table will have to be related to the families of victims and to the relatives of killers. Flowers and dew may seem far away from the microscopes and autopsy saws we employ, but they are still part of the picture” (Maples 5).