During Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Louis Cataldie remained in New Orleans in dangerous and often unbearable conditions to attend to the sick, the injured-and the dead. As chief coroner of Baton Rouge, tending to the dead is Cataldie's job. A little town with big-city problems, Baton Rouge means "Red Stick"-and lives up to its bloody name. Cataldie has faced unusual and disturbing cases, from tracking three serial killers on the loose simultaneously while working the scene of a Malvo/ Muhammad Beltway Sniper shooting, to helping apprehend Baton Rouge serial killer Derrick Todd Lee in a controversial case that was featured in an ABC Primetime Live special with Diane Sawyer and Patricia Cornwell.
Cataldie's maverick ways have made him a favorite target of the media, but he offers no apologies, and speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. Graphic and frank, this is his unique, up-close look at his life spent stalking death in the Deep South.
Cornwell's foreword may attract readers to this unremarkable account by the chief coroner in Baton Rouge, La. Flat writing and the occasional platitude ("How sad. This is someone's daughter") detract from what could have been an interesting professional memoir by a dedicated public servant whose duties include ordering psychological evaluations and commitments, as well as the more familiar forensic work. Instead, the scenarios, whether an autoerotic hanging or the evaluation of a psychiatric patient, are brief and lacking dramatic tension. Some readers may also be put off by the short prologue added after Hurricane Katrina, which is the "incomplete accounting" the author labels it; the value and heroism of the doctor's work are not adequately captured by his words. His perspective on a number of serial killer cases--and the mistakes made by law enforcement in investigating them--will be new to many and are indicative of the frankness and professionalism that have apparently marked his career. (Mar. 16)
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1 . Great reading! a MUST READ FOR FORENSICS FANS!
Posted February 11, 2009 by JOE HALOSZ , BRICK, NEW JERSEYVery well written with the keen insights of an empathetic compassionate man!
February 05, 2007
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