Death, Decomposition, and Detection Dogs: From Science to SceneBy Susan M. Stejskal, LVT, PhD. Published by CRC Press, Second Edition, 2023, $54.95, 259 pgs.
I love this book. It is very well written; the quality of the cover and pages are excellent. It has informative diagrams and color photos. The book thoroughly researched and covers the topic extremely well. Because the author explains in easy-to-understand terms all of the technical aspects of body decomposition, this book is easy to read. There are nine chapters covering a variety of topics which include forensic tools, a dog’s nose, how a body decomposes, the role that bugs play in forensics, how the environment impacts decomposition, electronic detection devices and what is very interesting, actual case studies.
This book is a must have for canine search and rescue handlers, police, fire fighters, those who study forensics, and authors who write murder mysteries or include a death in their stories.
K9 Teams: Beyond the Basics of Search and Rescue and Recovery
By Vi Hummel Shaffer, ISBN:978-1-55059-762-2, Brush Education, 386 pgs.
This book was years in the making. Ms. Shaffer has compiled notes, interviews and her personal experience spanning over 26 years. Ms. Shaffer is a SAR/R dog trainer and handler specializing in forensic human remains detection. Her resume is too extensive to list here, trust me she has tons of experience.
The material in her book is well documented with notes, bibliography and additional sources. She also includes a list of suggested reading.
There are six major sections with multiple chapters in each section. All in all there are 38 sections.
The major headings are:
The Making of a TEAM: Building a Strong Foundation
Canine Abilities and Scent Detection
Instructors, Training and Certifications
Cadaver and Human Remains Detection
Disasters and Disaster Teams
Ms. Shaffer has been part of a number of high-profile cases such as the Madalyn Murray O’Hair murder and the Pentagon bombing.
K9 Teams: Beyond the Basics of Search and Rescue and Recovery is a must have for anyone who is interested in K9 SAR and forensic detective work using dogs.