Epidemiology in Tijuana: Drugs, Death, and Tracing an Epidemic

Book review: City of Omens, by Dan Werb (Amazon / Book Depository) Perhaps epidemiology could reveal the hidden structures lurking just beyond reach, like asbestos behind wallpaper. Those structures might manifest as cruel calamities – car crashes, murders, HIV infections – that at face value appear unrelated. If that were the case, these women were not victims of a textbook epidemic, driven by an infectious … Continue reading Epidemiology in Tijuana: Drugs, Death, and Tracing an Epidemic

Mark Bowden on Turning Over a Cold Case’s “Last Stone”

Book review: The Last Stone, by Mark Bowden (Amazon / Book Depository) Mark Bowden is a gem in narrative journalism. I’ve so often been sucked into reading a longread, that kind of lose-track-of-time story, and see it’s his after finally checking the byline. He’s a wonderfully compelling storyteller and a thorough, detail-oriented journalist. In The Last Stone, he revisits the recently solved disappearance of the … Continue reading Mark Bowden on Turning Over a Cold Case’s “Last Stone”

A Reporter’s Cold Case Obsession

Book review: Amy: My Search for Her Killer, by James Renner (Book Depository) How long does it take a crime to become legend? Does it vary based on circumstances, on affluence? If the Bay Village police charged someone in Amy’s death after sixteen years, would anyone really believe it? Or has so much time passed that the residents of this quiet suburb will stick to … Continue reading A Reporter’s Cold Case Obsession

Vanished in a Strange Land: Iceland’s Infamous Crime Alongside Cultural History

Book review: Out of Thin Air, by Anthony Adeane (Amazon / Book Depository) This is a nation of reading and storytelling, with a rich literary history of world renown, where it is a long-standing tradition to give books to each other as gifts on Christmas Eve, where the legends of the Sagas are writ large in public spaces, and where one in ten people see … Continue reading Vanished in a Strange Land: Iceland’s Infamous Crime Alongside Cultural History

The Ongoing Mystery of a Missing American in Iran

Book review: Missing Man, by Barry Meier (Amazon / Book Depository) FBI agents typically solve cases when criminals or terrorists make mistakes. Those missteps might involve a sloppy email, an impulsive Internet posting, repetitive travel patterns, or other fumbles. A mistake can provide the thread on which an investigator starts pulling. The more James McJunkin looked at the information in Bob’s case—the emails, the video, … Continue reading The Ongoing Mystery of a Missing American in Iran

Case Histories of an Unusual Investigative Group

Book review: No Stone Unturned, by Steve Jackson In 1988, several criminalists and other scientists sat down in a Denver-area restaurant and came up with the idea of burying pigs to study changes to environments caused by the graves and their contents. Disturbed by what they’d witnessed of outdated techniques for locating clandestine burial sites and the recovery of the remains of murder victims, their idea … Continue reading Case Histories of an Unusual Investigative Group

Our Strange Addiction

Book review: True Crime Addict, by James Renner (Amazon / Book Depository) I was so excited to read this. I’m also a true crime addict, and it’s a weird thing to be. You can’t really mention it at parties or anything. Luckily we’re in an uptick of true crime, in different mediums, thanks to popular installments like the Serial podcast and The Jinx miniseries. I’ve been fascinated by … Continue reading Our Strange Addiction