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 and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Sklar do following Paul's murder?

2. How does Baden discover time of death in the Hendricks case?

3. Who led the state police in the raid?

4. What did Jaroslawicz die from?

5. For what was Michael Privitiera killed?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The case of Carl Cappolono is listed as being an almost perfect crime. However, this case had several holes in it that eventually led to Carl's demise. Based on the book, what kinds of mistakes do killers make that eventually come back to haunt them? What do killers assume about poison, and why is this assumption incorrect? How can an ME detect poisons long after they have been administered, according to the tests done in the book? What does this say about the idea that poison killings are killings without a trace?

Essay Topic 2

There are several cases in the book where individuals take part in the death of another person, but are determined to be innocent of wrongdoing. These cases include the case of Daphne Mellon, the doctor and nurse in Chapter 10, and the Sutton Place banker, Robert. Choose one of these cases, and discuss the following:

1.) What was the cause of death for the victim?

2.) What were the circumstances surrounding their death?

3.) Why was no one convicted of their murder?

4.) Do you think that the person(s) involved in the victim's death should have been brought to trial? Why or why not? What is the difference between your chosen case, and the case of Cathy Smith, who served time for giving John Belushi his last drug injection? Why was she brought to justice, but the people in your chosen case were not? What does this say about the current system?

Be sure to go into specific detail about why these deaths were considered accidents, even though someone else was present, or contributed to the death.

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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