CYRIL H. WECHT, M.D., J.D.
Cyril H. Wecht received his M.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and his J.D. degree from the University of Maryland. He is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology, and is a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, and the National Association of Medical Examiners. Dr. Wecht was formerly the Chairman of the Department of Pathology and President of the Medical Staff at St. Francis Central Hospital in Pittsburgh, and is actively involved as a forensic pathologist, medical-legal and forensic science consultant, author and lecturer. He served as the elected Coroner of Allegheny County for a total of 19 years, and the building in which he worked is now named for him.
Dr. Wecht is a Clinical Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health; an Adjunct Professor at Duquesne University Schools of Law, Pharmacy, and Health Sciences; Distinguished Professor at Carlow University; and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University School of Law. He has served as President of the American College of Legal Medicine and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and also as Chairman of both the Board of Trustees of the American Board of Legal Medicine and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation. Dr. Wecht is a Charter Diplomate and has served as Vice Chairman of the American Board of Disaster Medicine.
He is the author or co-author of 550 professional publications; an editorial board member of 16 national and international medical-legal and forensic scientific publications; and editor or co-editor of 44 books, including a five-volume set, Forensic Sciences (Matthew Bender Publishing), and two three-volume sets, Handling Soft Tissue Injury Cases and Preparing and Winning Medical Negligence Cases (both published by Michie). He also co-authored the police training textbook, Investigation and Prevention of Officer-Involved Deaths (CRC Press).
Dr. Wecht has organized and conducted Postgraduate Medical-Legal Seminars in more than 50 countries throughout the world in his capacity as Director of the Pittsburgh Institute of Legal Medicine. He has personally performed approximately 18,000 autopsies, and has supervised, reviewed or been consulted on more than 38,000 post-mortem examinations, including cases in several foreign countries. Dr. Wecht has testified in more than 1,000 civil, criminal, and workers' compensation cases in state and federal courts in more than 30 states and several foreign countries.
Dr. Wecht has appeared as a frequent guest on numerous national TV and radio shows, discussing various medico legal and forensic scientific subjects, including medical malpractice; alcohol and drug abuse; assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Reverend Martin Luther King; death of Elvis Presley; Sam Sheppard case; O.J. Simpson murder trials; JonBenét Ramsey case; Amador Diallo case; Chandra Levy death investigation; and Laci and Conner Peterson homicides. These cases, as well as those involving Mary Jo Kopechne, Sunny von Bulow, Jean Harris, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, the Waco Branch Davidian fire, Vincent Foster, O.J. Simpson, Scott Peterson, Anna Nicole and Daniel Smith, and many others are discussed from the perspective of Dr. Wecht's own professional involvement in his books, Cause of Death, Grave Secrets, Who Killed JonBenét Ramsey?, Mortal Evidence, and Tales from the Morgue. Most recently, he co-authored with Dawna Kaufmann A Question of Murder and From Crime Scene to Courtroom, and now Ann Rule Presents---Final Exams: True Crime Cases from Cyril Wecht.
Kaufmann and Wecht are currently finishing a book about the assassination of President Kennedy that will also be released by Planet Ann Rule. Dr. Wecht's unique involvement in this historic case changed his life and put him in the forefront of the critics of the Warren Commission, the investigative panel that officially claimed Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing JFK. Wecht continues to be outspoken about the case, and this book will tear off the lid of the U.S. government's lies and cover-ups since 1963.
Dr. Wecht and his wife, Sigrid, have four children and eleven grandchildren, all of whom reside in Allegheny County. He has received numerous awards and honors from various professional, community and governmental organizations, including County Detectives' Association of Pennsylvania, Deputy Sheriffs' Association of Pennsylvania, Vectors, New York Society of Forensic Sciences, American College of Legal Medicine, National Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the American Legion. He has been invited as a Distinguished Professor to lecture in several foreign countries, and is an Honorary Life Member of the National Academies of Legal Medicine of France, Spain, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. Wecht has lectured at numerous medical, law and other graduate schools, as well as many colleges and universities, and numerous professional organizations and governmental agencies, including Harvard Law School, Yale Medical School, the FBI Academy, and the Medical Division of the CIA.
FINAL EXAMS CO-AUTHOR:
Dawna Kaufmann is an accomplished true crime journalist whose work has been heralded by law enforcement and the media. She's covered many hundreds of high-profile homicide and missing person cases for national publications, usually from the first hint of a crime through the trial and sentencing phase, and her understanding of forensics and law is striking. Among the in-depth cases she's covered are Casey Anthony, JonBenét Ramsey, O.J. Simpson, Natalee Holloway, Laci and Conner Peterson, Jodi Arias, Phil Spector, and Danielle van Dam. Based in Los Angeles, Dawna's a leading expert on autopsies of the rich and famous, covering the sudden deaths of celebrities including Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, Whitney Houston, Brittany Murphy, and Phil Hartman, among others. She likely has the world’s premier private collection of celebrity autopsy reports, reading them as if they were novels. A victims' advocate, she helps grief-stricken families navigate the media when they are thrown into an unexpected whirlwind of public attention.
Dawna's professional success as the co-author with Dr. Cyril H. Wecht of Prometheus Books' A Question of Murder and From Crime Scene to Courtroom came to the fore when members of national and local law enforcement read the chapters on the drug deaths of Anna Nicole Smith and her son Daniel before filing criminal charges against Anna's two doctors and lawyer for maliciously overprescribing medication to the star. Separately and together, Wecht and Kaufmann are adamant in warning the public about the pernicious dangers of prescription drug abuse. On her own, Dawna provided prosecutors on the van Dam case with a key piece of information they used to secure a conviction that sent a child killer to death row. Additionally, the Kaufmann-Wecht chapter on Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans, post-Hurricane Katrina, was cited as an important source for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism awarded to the New York Times Magazine.
Kaufmann is also an award-winning producer and writer, with a multitude of credits in stage and television. A member of the Writers Guild of America, she's had staff writing jobs on Saturday Night Live, MADtv and The Arsenio Hall Show, and for late-night comics, including Jay Leno, David Letterman, Kevin Nealon, and others. She has contributed comedic material for three of C-SPAN's annual White House Correspondents' Association dinners, where show business and presidential politics come together for a night of high-end frivolity. Dawna has also produced numerous prime-time network variety specials and is experienced with scripted and nonscripted material; budgeting and licensing film and video clips; working with talent and heading a staff; and directing, editing and composing music for the small screen. Her cable TV documentary, FLICKERS: The History of Adult Animation, which she wrote, produced, and directed, won plaudits for its artistic scope and humor. As a joke writer, she continues to craft topical content for well-known performing artists. The two styles of writing---comedy and crime---are perfectly compatible to Kaufmann whose business card reads: "Crime Fighting, Joke Writing." It's all based on intense research and her unrelenting mandate to tell the truth.
In 1994, Dawna had finished writing one comedy series and was about to go onto another when she turned on the television and saw double murder suspect O.J. Simpson's slow-speed Bronco chase through the streets of southern California. Like many Americans, she became transfixed, and days later, realizing how many fascinating angles there were to the case, decided to add crime reporting to her résumé. She contributed to dozens of articles for the National Enquirer, which was leading the media coverage of the case. In the years since, Dawna has broken countless true crime stories and written for other magazines in the American Media empire, including Globe and Star, because their aggressive coverage always manages to get the story first and best. What Delta Force is to the U.S. Army, the tabloids are to mainstream journalism, she says. Her writing has also appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Foreword magazine, and other publications, and she contributed a chapter about the DNA evidence in the JonBenét Ramsey investigation to Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, the country's foremost textbook on the subject for high schools and universities.
Dawna also takes special pride that months of research led to her getting a 2002 admission from W. Mark Felt Sr. that he was, indeed, the infamous Watergate character known as "Deep Throat," which was perhaps the greatest scoop of the last century and earned her encomiums from Vanity Fair magazine, among others.
Dawna Kaufmann has appeared as a live guest or phone interviewee on numerous cable TV news shows -- and even when she's not a guest, her print stories have been shown on camera and discussed by panel members. She has given Power-Point lectures to law enforcement and university audiences, and has also hosted her own talk radio programs and appeared on other popular radio shows, both national and local, with her quick quips and solid information.
For more information, please contact:
Dawna Kaufmann - DawnaKaufmann@aol.com
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