The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist by Radley Balko

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist

After two three-year-old girls were raped and murdered in rural Mississippi, law enforcement pursued and convicted two innocent men: Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks. Together they spent a combined thirty years in prison before finally being exonerated in 2008. Meanwhile, the real killer remained free.The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist chronicles how the courts and Mississippi's death investigation system--a relic of the Jim Crow era--failed...

Details The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist

TitleThe Cadaver King and the Country Dentist
Release DateFeb 27th, 2018
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, History, Mystery

Reviews The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist

  • Debra
    It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have. - James Baldwin, No name in the StreetThis is a very sobering book about how racism, bad forensics, institutionalization and a faulty criminal justice system in Mississippi put hundreds of innocent people behind bars. Two three-year-old girls were taken from their homes, sexually assaulted and murdered in rural Mississippi. Of course, this...
  • Liz
    One of the key necessities in determining the facts of a crime is in making the story fit the evidence, not the evidence fit the story. This book shows how a complex system of corrupt or stupid attorneys, judges, policemen, a coroner and a dentist managed to convict a number of innocent people In Mississippi over several decades. It boggles the mind that this was allowed to go on for so long. Mississippi has consistently ranked near the bottom of...
  • Valerity *
    This was a sad and tragic retelling of the story about a pair of so-called doctors in Mississippi who got involved in the court system as professional testifiers. The first one is the prolific Dr. Steven Hayne. He had lined himself up to be in a position to be doing an incredible 80% of the state's autopsies when he already had 2 full-time jobs to do. Plus lab work, testifying, private autopsies, and other duties. Not to mention that when the rec...
  • Darcia Helle
    This book is a comprehensive, incredibly well researched exploration of the intertwining of politics, law, justice/injustice, and racism in the deep south. I read a lot of true crime and sociology, but I've never read a book that explores corruption within our legal system in regards to our coroners and medical examiners. I'm embarrassed to admit that I never considered this angle. The science, we like to think, should be the trustworthy aspect o...
  • Janet
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher - After two three-year-old girls were raped and murdered in rural Mississippi, law enforcement pursued and convicted two innocent men: Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks. Together they spent a combined thirty years in prison before finally being exonerated in 2008. Meanwhile, the real killer remained free.The Cadaver King and th...
  • Ozy Frantz
    I'm a huge fan of Radley Balko, and this gripping true story of injustice in Mississippi is him at his best. He doesn't simply report on a single state's dysfunctional justice system, but uses it to explore why the American justice system relied so long on junk forensic science and imprisoned so many innocent people. I particularly appreciate his clear-eyed moral vision; when something is wrong, by God, Radley Balko will say it is wrong. I don't ...
  • Amanda
    This book left me devastated and hopeless but also full of fire. It is absolutely insane that there is a state in our country that has allowed greed and corruption to rule the criminal justice system for decades. This book is not just a true crime narrative - it is a novel length work of incredible investigative journalism and a treatise on the sad history of the death investigation system, Jim Crow and the troubled history of the law not knowing...
  • Kristin
    Review coming soon....
  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington is a highly recommended account of the corrupt criminal justice system in Mississippi in the 1970s into the 1990s.This book tells the story of a doctor and a dentist, two of the most audacious and arrogant experts ever allowed in a courtroom. The focus is on collusion of the medical experts with the legal system in Missi...
  • Keith Lytton
    ok...can I give it 6 stars? I have been reading for a lot of years...and very seldom have gushed about a book..."It" by Stephen King..."Time to Kill" by John Grisham...but a true crime book...even though true crime is one of my favorite genres to read...I can't say I ever gushed about one...but this one I am...there may be spoilers be warned... but since we know this is true crime...we all know where most of this goes...ok...I have been rea...
  • Colby
    The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington is a disturbing and disheartening look at glaring flaws in the U.S. justice system and how two men in Mississippi exploited those flaws with devastating consequences.The book focuses on the careers of Steven Hayne, a former forensic pathologist, and Michael West, a former forensic odontologist, who were involved in thousands of death investigations, mostly in Mississip...
  • Joey Rushing
    “The Cadaver King and The Country Dentist” is a very well researched look inside the world of forensic pathology and bite mark analysis within the criminal justice system of Mississippi. The book focuses on forensic pathologist Steven Hayne and bite mark examiner Michael West who provided highly suspect testimony for years that led to the conviction of multiple innocent people in Mississippi. The authors’ focus is on two cases in which the ...
  • Laura
    Washington Post opinion reporter Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington, director of the University of Mississippi Law School Innocence Project, have written an exceptional history and indictment of the "death investigation" system of the state of Mississippi. Framed around the detailed reporting of two erroneous rape/murder convictions, Balko and Carrington trace the impact of two men -- medical examiner Dr. Steven Hayne and forensic dentist Dr. Mic...
  • Kyle
    I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The stories in this book would be rejected for a procedural crime show for being too absurd and over the top. Yet, these stories happened, and lives were ruined by incompetence, ignorance, and hatred. It is heart wrenching to know how long these two individuals were allowed to practice their shoddy methods, making a mockery of the criminal justice system in Mississippi...
  • Vnunez-Ms_luv2read
    This is a great book that took me through a variety of emotions. We all have heard stories of injustices and that is what this book highlights Injustice in any form is bad, but when it happens with the help of so called professionals,that makes it even more apalling. This book takes up the cause of two men who were wrongly convicted due to the testiomony of 2 inadequate people whom happen to be a dentist and a doctor. How these men were able to c...
  • Alli
    This book reminds me of Judge Jed Rakoff's remarkable, if short-lived decision in US v. Quinones (2002). He held that capital punishment is unconstitutional because it "not only deprives innocent people of a significant opportunity to prove their innocence, and thereby violates procedural due process, but also creates an undue risk of executing innocent people, and thereby violates substantive due process." How is a victim of a miscarriage of jus...
  • Andrew
    A thoroughly research expose into the fundamentally broken death investigation system is Mississippi (worse, though indicative, of America's in general). Steven Hayne and Michael West are pilloried, and rightly so, but for everybody who doesn't care, or didn't know, how bad this system is contributes to it, by not holding our leaders accountable. Hopefully this book goes a way to help change that. The book itself can be meaty, and some themes rep...
  • Kristine
    The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late February.Oof, a really bulky book - among other topics, it offers information on wrongful convictions and exoneration of those imprisoned due to the mishandling of DNA evidence, the hit-or-miss qualities of bitemark analysis, inaccurate witness statements, the oversensationalized use of forensics, and Mississippi's history ...
  • Mindy
    This is "indeed and without a doubt" one of the most troubling stories I have ever read. As Americans, we are taught that we live in the land of the free and that there is "justice for all". The authors here pull back the curtain on some disturbing truths about how flawed our justice system is. Sadly, because of incompetence, fraud, rampant biases and the willingness of those in power to look the other way, lives are ended, ruined, and changed fo...
  • Janday
    Balko and Carrington's comprehensive expose of the racist system that allows for the tragic exploitation and incarceration of black people in Mississippi. They reveal that the root of police misconduct lies in corrupt political maneuvering and the justice system's reliance on "expert" testimony--the intersection of "junk" science and our legal system. This is a wake-up call to anyone who thinks police militarization and brutality isn't a "politic...
  • Karen
    I'm still reading this book.... but it is a must read! The criminal justice system is badly in need of reform! It's almost unbelievable the injustices that happened for decades in the South. Also recommend Radley Balko's first book "Rise of the Warrior Cop."
  • Karen
    Incredible story/content, but I think I would have preferred to hear this story as a podcast.
  • Karen
  • Kate
    This should be required. A shocking and well researched book.