Month: November 2002

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by Michael Cunningham & Dave Walsh Part I: I See Dead People » Dr. John Harbison My arrival in the Burke Theatre was typically haphazard and considerably late. I missed Dr. Whittaker's talk, stumbling in during the appreciative applause, and found some floor to sit on while the bearded Dr. Harbison fumbled with his slides. Here in Ireland, John Harbison is something of a celebrity. With less than four million inhabitants in the republic, one state pathologist was, for many years, more than enough. Everyone in the country is used to news footage of the tweedy doctor, along with the words '...the State Pathologist, Dr. John Harbison, arrived at the scene to carry out a post- mortem examination...' In recent years, Harbison's workload has doubled. This may be less to do with any sudden increase in murder than an altered definition of a 'suspicious' death. However, Harbison reserved commentary on...

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by Mick Cunningham & Dave Walsh Professor David Whittaker The twentysomething American woman sitting on my right is convinced that the O.J. Simpson murder trial in the States was the main turning point. I paraphrase, but it pushed the language of criminology into the vernacular, and audiences are now primed to view forensic science in drama form, hence primetime successes such as "CSI". Or maybe it was "Quincy". The thirtysomething woman sitting to my left likes "a good Patricia Cornwell" (novel), though her theory is that Ireland caught the forensics bug after the notorious "Kerry Babies" trial. It's Halloween, it's Trinity College in Dublin, and we're in a packed lecture hall (built in the late 1970s, official attendance 500) for an evening of public lectures entitled "Over Their Dead Bodies... The Secrets That Dead Bodies Tell". And dead bodies speak volumes. The first speaker is David Whittaker, Professor of Forensic...

blather.net
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The promotional material stated that on the night of 15 October 2002, author and journalist Jon Ronson would give a reading at Belfast’s Linen Hall Library. What actually took place was nearly two-hours of free association, ping-ponging between whether David Icke really believes that the world is run by 12-foot reptiles disguised as human beings (apparently yes) or whether Ian Paisley might ever change his tune (apparently no). Ronson would periodically interrupt his riffs on bizarre cults and conspiracy theorists to peer out at the audience and ask, “Is this OK?” Yes, indeed it was. Except for the naggin of whiskey that stood beside the speaker’s standard-issue bottle of mineral water, the proceedings started off conventionally enough, with the appealingly nebbishy-looking Ronson reading a bit from his book Them: Adventures with Extremists. The chosen section detailed how the tables had been turned on him during his investigation into the shadowy...