Creepiness of Research Part 3

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Creepy smiling doll with unblinking eyes

Caring is Creepy by brainware3000 CC 3.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/brainware3000/

This is the third time I’ve written about this (and the last time you’ll have to look at that doll in the photo, I promise). You’re probably starting to wonder about me…I am.

When I bought the medical textbook, I also got a forensics textbook. I haven’t cracked the spine on it yet because I’ve since discovered forensics4fiction. This blog is written by a criminologist with 15 years’ experience for crime writers. It’s fascinating!

During a recent morning commute, I was intrigued by skeletanization – blood drops dry from the outside in, so if something is dragged across an old drop, you can tell approximately when and in which direction. I managed to restrain myself from leaning over to my seatmate, and complete stranger, and sharing the interesting tidbits I was learning. Looking back, I might have gotten my own seat that way.

Forensics4fiction isn’t all gruesome. What happens when a lawyer asks a blind question? How does a stolen car take on the thief’s personality? F4F tells all. None of this information will be useful in Julia, but I’m just curious.

It’s this curiosity that lead me to The Poisoner’s Handbook: The Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York. Again, fascinating! However, I would warn against reading it in, say, your office’s lunch room. I did.

I took a late lunch one day and was happily reading about the Radium Girls when a co-worker came in and asked if what I was reading was any good. “Yes,” I replied at the exact moment I realized that I was reading about poisons in a lunch room. Of course, my co-worker wanted to know what I was reading. I tried to hedge and just said it was about the birth of forensic medicine, but I’m pretty sure the cover was visible. My co-worker’s eyes got large and she backed away slowly before booking it out of there. Ever since, her smile hasn’t been quite as big when she sees me in the halls.

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4 thoughts on “Creepiness of Research Part 3

  1. bethfinke

    Be careful. Next thing you know, I’ll be reading a non-fiction book detailing how a young up-and-coming novelist was wrongly accused of a murder after being detected reading books about poison in the work lunchroom.

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