Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Final Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why was Leonard Barco an obvious suspect for the killing of Gail Morris?

2. What is succinylcholine typically used for?

3. Why was Jaroslawicz's body preserved so well?

4. What was the original cause of death listed on Daphne Mellon's death certificate?

5. On investigation, what did the Claus defense team find about Dr. Worthington?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe how the development of maggots helped determine time of death in the case of Gail Morris.

2. Explain the circumstances surrounding the finding of Daphne Mellon's vehicle, personal items, and body, and why those findings led to questions.

3. Describe the potassium eye fluid test.

4. Explain the situation that causes some teenagers and adults to accidentally commit suicide by hanging during sexual experimentation.

5. Describe the symptoms of a heroin overdose, and how it kills.

6. Explain the three themes of Baden's affidavit in the case of Claus von Bulow.

7. What are possible motives given for Joseph Christopher's killing spree?

8. How did Baden know the killer in the Buffalo slayings was trained, either as a hunter or medically?

9. Explain the disparity between Dr. Lee's issued cause of death and Baden's issued cause of death for Dr. Brown.

10. Describe why a body in the desert mummifies, and why a body in the Arctic stays bacteria free.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the case of Daphne Mellon, it became clear, through Baden's investigation, that Mellon had died of a drug overdose. The case was closed, without locating anyone who attended the party Baden believes she attended, and without speaking with anyone who directly had dealings with Mellon at the party. Do you believe Baden's judgment was biased, based on Mellon's known drug use and history of sexual promiscuity? Or do you believe the evidence found supports his idea of a drug and sex party gone wrong? Explain your answer, using the details from the case. Be sure to mention where she was found, events leading up to the death, her boyfriend's statements, and those of her friends, her actions prior to her death, the findings at the scene, and any other pertinent information.

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 3, Baden discusses the concept that the death of a person is indicative of the life that person led. After reading the book, and seeing Baden's examples, do you think Baden is correct? Why or why not? Do you think the lives of certain individuals lead to their demise? Why? Does this mean we can, to some extent, control our own fate? Why or why not? Does this necessarily mean some deserve their death? Why or why not? Be sure to use examples given by Baden in the book, as either support for your position or as reasons to disprove his theory. Incorporate your own examples, as well, to support your view.

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 1 of the book, Baden discusses the concept of celebrity death, and the effect of a flawed autopsy on the perception of foul play surrounding the death. Do you think conspiracy theories are derived from the life of the celebrity, or the circumstances surrounding their death, or both? Why? What aspects of life or death help frame a conspiracy theory following death? Why do some celebrities suffer such beliefs after their death and some do not? Based on this, do you think forensic science can have an effect on these ideas? Why or why not? What does this say about forensic science?

(see the answer keys)

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