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Publisher's Summary

From a skeleton, a skull, or a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, prominent forensic anthropologist Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a murder victim, the manner in which the person was dispatched, and, ultimately, the identity of the killer. In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples revisits his strangest, most interesting, and most horrific investigations, from the baffling cases of conquistador Francisco Pizarro and Vietnam MIAs to the mysterious deaths of President Zachary Taylor and the family of Czar Nicholas II.

©1994 William R. Maples (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"When he's not shattering myths about maggots, Dr. Maples is delightfully unraveling true murder mysteries, ancient and modern. He's not just another clever forensic detective - he's a poet, a philosopher, and a sly commentator on the fractured human condition, pre- and post-mortem." (Carl Hiaasen, author of Strip Tease)

What listeners say about Dead Men Do Tell Tales

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  • Overall
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Recommended book

The book was written and performed well
Very interesting stories if you enjoy forensics and understanding the science behind it.

5 people found this helpful

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awesome

I thought it was a great informative book and I am looking forward to hearing another one

3 people found this helpful

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New Cases, very old attitude

I listen to a lot of true crime biographies, but I don't think I've ever rolled my eyes quite so hard at one.

The stories are interesting, and his description of methods and the evolution of those methods is illuminating, but there is an arrogance in the telling that is almost unbearable. I cannot say for sure whether it is the author's phrasing or the narrator's reading that gives it that attitude -- ultimately, it does not matter. Some of it, I'm sure, is a product of the author's age and long experience. In general though, I don't enjoy having someone look down their nose at me through an audiobook.

That said -- there were a lot of cases in this book that were fascinating and new to me. If you can get past the overweening arrogance, it is an interesting read.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating!

I NEVER tire of learning knowledge and hearing the stories on forensic science. I’m convinced Dr. Maples may be a Psychopath though! Wouldn’t you have to be to endure this professional? DR. Maples is very boastful of his accomplishments and went on long rants about his own greatnesses. It was annoying in the beginning, but the information was so interesting, I’d just roll my eyes and keep listening. 🤷🏼‍♀️😂 He has experienced some pretty intense and unusual cases. I’d probably be proud too. Great listen! Not for the queasy!

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent book!

Highly recommend if you are interested in forensic anthropology and some of the great history behind it.

1 person found this helpful

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Outdated and plodding

I found that the years between when this book was written and this current year take a lot of the "fascinating"out of this book. I bailed out just before the end because I found each successive chapter to be more redundant. The author was not lacking in self-esteem which also became tiresome.Those interested in forensic anthropology have a plethora of more recent books to read on this topic.

1 person found this helpful

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Dr. Maples is the realist

The book was just ok, Dr. Maples wants you to know he’s the Jay-Z of the Forensic Anthropology world, which he is. So there’s a lot of “I did this, I did that, I held the bones of this famous person, etc.” It’s not a bad thing but he only touches on some very fascinating cases that you wish he would go deeper into. I fell in love with forensics as a young girl watching Dr. Baden’s show Autopsy on HBO in the 90s. So I listen to every forensics book I can get my ears on. If you’re a hardcore fan of the subject you will enjoy this book regardless, Dr. Maples had lived an extraordinary life.

The narrator did very well, no complaints there.

2 people found this helpful

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Theee are far better books on the subject

The author is arrogant and the performer amplifies that fact. The writing style makes it a difficult listen.

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Too much talking about nothing

Really struggled to finish this one, almost returned it. The Author likes to just talk, each chapter only spent a few minutes reviewing a case, except maybe 2.

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Amazing stories

The stories presented by the author provided an in depth view of the real forensic anthropology. They were presented with detail but did not become boring. I also appreciated the acknowledgment of the importance of this field and the barriers facing those pursuing it. My only complaint is the voice of the narrator would come off as haute at times which clashed with my view of an author from Texas and Florida although it is my personal view. Overall great listen and would recommend!