Download The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South Audiobook

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South Audiobook, by Radley Balko Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Radley Balko, Tucker Carrington Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2018 ISBN: 9781478947295
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This is an account of two tragedies.

At the heart of the first is Dr. Steven Hayne, a doctor the State of Mississippi employed as its de facto medical examiner for two decades. Beginning in the late 1980s, he performed anywhere from 1,200 to 1,800 autopsies a year, five times more than is recommended, performed at night in the basement of a local funeral home. Autopsy reports claimed organs had been observed and weighed when, in reality, they had been surgically removed from the body years before. Hayne, the only game in town, also often brought in local dentist and self-styled “bite-mark specialist” Dr. Michael West, who would discover marks on victim’s bodies, at times invisible to the naked eye, and then match those marks—“indeed and without doubt”—to law enforcement’s lead suspect.

This leads to the second tragic tale: that of Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks, two black men each convicted in separate cases of the brutal rape and murder of young girls. Dr. Hayne’s autopsy and Dr. West’s bite-mark matching formed the bases for their convictions. Combined, the two men served over thirty years in Parchman Farm, Mississippi’s notorious penitentiary, before being exonerated in 2008. Brooks’ and Brewer’s wrongful convictions lie at the intersection of both the most pressing problem facing this country’s criminal justice system—structural injustice built on the historic foundation of race and class—as well as with the much more contemporary but equally egregious problem of invalid forensic science. The old problem is inextricably bound up with and exacerbates the new.

In The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist, Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington write a true story of Southern gothic horror—of two innocent men wrongly convicted of vicious crimes and the legally condoned failures that allowed it to happen. Balko and Carrington will shine a light on the institutional and professional failures that allowed this tragic, astonishing story to happen, identify where it may have happened elsewhere, and show how to prevent it from happening again.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A powerful and instructive story, masterfully told by Balko and Carrington.”

    Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author

  • “A blistering exposé of Mississippi’s bungle-prone process of investigating deaths.”

    Garden & Gun magazine

  • “A clear and shocking portrait…This eminently readable book builds a hard-to-ignore case for comprehensive criminal justice reform.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Those inside the criminal justice system were more interested in closing cases than in identifying the actual perpetrators…A horrifying exposé of how a few individuals can infect an entire state’s criminal justice system.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Notable for its depth and geographic focus…this [is a] stinging exposé of faulty forensics.”

    Library Journal

  • “The authors uncover an unholy alliance of racist cops and prosecutors with questionable death investigations and misapplied forensics. This work should spark both admiration and outrage—and, one hopes, reform.”

    Booklist

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About the Author

Radley Balko is an investigative journalist and reporter at the Washington Post. He currently writes and edits “The Watch,” a reported opinion blog that covers civil liberties and the criminal justice system. He is the author of the 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces, which has won widespread acclaim, including from the Economist, New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and was named one of the best investigative journalism books of the year by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. His January 2013 investigation, “Solving Kathy Mabry’s Murder: Brutal 15-Year-Old Crime Highlights Decades-Long Mississippi Scandal,” was one of the most widely read Huffington Post articles of 2013. In 2015, he was awarded the Innocence Project’s Journalism Award, in part for his coverage in Mississippi.

About the Narrator

Robert Fass is a veteran actor and twice winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has earned mulltiple Earphones Awards, including one for his narration of Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name, which was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2011. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, as well as to nonfiction works in history, memoir, health, journalism, and business.