Yahoo News has an interesting article about Hurrican Katrina's "Mysterious 21", the bodies of people who apparently died of other than natural causes.
First off, while gruesome, 21 is a surprisingly low number of suspicious deaths, based on the reports of chaos we were getting. It's a very small portion of the death toll. The death toll currently stands at 1,090 for New Orleans and the surrounding areas, although at this point over 6,000 people are simply unaccounted for (that's not a typo - over 6,000 people, simply missing).
Also, the article hints at the morbidly interesting details of the investigative process with this tidbit:
"You can take a rib and cook it down," he said. "You can deflesh it, and we do that in a Crock-Pot, and find a nick that would indicate a stab wound. There are all kinds of things you can find — scratches and nicks that don't belong there."
However, Cataldie stressed, what may look like stab wounds may very well be the marks of animals preying on the dead. "There's definitely carnavoric activity on many of the bones we're seeing," he said.
I would love to work at the ad agency that handled Crock-Pots. I would design a whole campaign around it. "I made a pot of chili last night, and today I'm defleshing a corpse... Crock-Pot - it's so much more than a cooker..."
I'm sorry if it's gruesome, but I love forensic science. I watch all of the autopsy shows on HBO, and get routinely drawn into CSI and Crossing Jordan. Call it a sick fascination, but I think the only thing that prevented me from some sort of biological science was my poor math abilities.
Link to story