1. As Chapter 1 opens, what is Scarpetta's perspective on working with other police agencies involved in VICAP?
Scarpetta is frustrated with the FBI and the VICAP team. She feels as if she is not getting all the information from the other agencies involved in the investigation of a series of murders of teen couples that have occurred over the past few years. Scarpetta is particularly upset with the VICAP team leader, FBI agent Benton Wesley. Over time, Scarpetta has noticed that she is often not called to the scene of the murders until well after the other VICAP team members. Scarpetta has asked to be called-in on the investigation of these cases right from the beginning to be privy to any information that might help her once the bodies are found.
2. Why does Scarpetta think her personal competence as the chief medical examiner is being called into question?
Scarpetta is frustrated because she has not been able to establish a cause of death in the series of murders that have been termed by the press as The Couple Killings. So far, all of the eight bodies have been almost completely skeletonized by the time they were discovered. Scarpetta has received a fair amount of pressure from the press, the parents, and investigators to ascertain how the victims died.
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