Death Investigation: A Field Guide, Second Edition is updated and expanded to include a chronological analysis of the death scene investigative process from the first notification to the autopsy and final report. This book is written for the standpoints of a forensic pathologist and a forensic toxicologist emphasizing essential elements of the death investigation and how the results impact the final cause and manner of death. Topics discussed include how to assess the body at the scene and how to properly investigate natural and unnatural deaths.

The book discusses various means and causes of deaths, demonstrating how death manifests in various parts of the body. A section on traumatic injuries examines and illustrates with color photographs blunt force, sharp force, gunshot wounds, and a host of other injuries that the investigator is likely to confront. Natural death conditions and disease are discussed in a separate chapter devoted to the most common manner of death.

The Second Edition is fully updated with new added sections which cover forensic toxicology, statutory responsibilities, documentation and photography of the scene, DNA identification and possible contamination issues, decomposition, managing and utilizing electronic medical records, anaphylaxis and allergic reactions, infectious diseases such as Covid-19, acute peritonitis, and more. Despite including over 200 full-color photos, the book retains a succinct, handy format that is invaluable to those facing, and tasked with investigating, the reality of death on a day-to-day basis.

Death Investigation: A Field Guide, Second Edition continues to serve as an invaluable resource for crime scene investigators (CSIs), coroners, medical death investigators (MDIs), and medical examiner professionals.

chapter 1|8 pages

Philosophy and Approach to Death Investigation

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 2|10 pages

The Body and the Scene

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 3|13 pages

Assessment of the Body at the Scene

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 4|12 pages

Detailed Physical Assessment of the Body at the Scene

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 5|8 pages

Medical Records, History, and Other Investigative Records

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 6|30 pages

Natural Diseases and Death Investigation

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 7|66 pages

Traumatic Injuries and Definitions

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 8|13 pages

Identification Methods

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 9|2 pages

Signs of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Treatment

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 10|2 pages

Signs of Previous Surgeries and Procedures

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 11|79 pages

The Medical–Legal Autopsy

ByScott A. Wagner

chapter 12|11 pages

Toxicology in Death Investigation

ByAndrea R. Terrell

chapter 13|6 pages

Forensic Experts

ByScott A. Wagner