Murder is My Business: Medical Investigations into Crime

Have you ever wondered how does forensic science help in criminal investigations? If you have, this is a book not to be missed!

Written by the late renowned forensic medicine expert – Professor Chao Tzee Cheng, with Audrey Perera, Murder is My Business: Medical Investigations into Crime makes for an intriguing read. The book provides glimpses of the meaningful, yet challenging work done by Professor Chao, as well as his passion and contributions to society, in seeking the truth for the “unsaid” or “unrepresented”. Prof Chao was in-charge of all medico-legal matters in Singapore, of the Forensic Medicine course in National University of Singapore (NUS), and of Coroner’s cases heard in Singapore.

As the authors have indicated in the preface of the book, a total of eleven cases were presented in a factual style without sensationalism, as the purpose is for the readers to gain an insight into the vital role of the forensic pathologist in solving crimes, as well as a rare view of the “fine print” – at a crime scene or on a corpse – that only a forensic pathologist is trained to decipher. A brief summary of 5 cases selected from the book could be found at https://v1.lawgazette.com.sg/2000-6/focus2.htm. The Appendix “The doctor as detective” also provided details on the work of the forensic pathologist through investigative means to correctly identify the deceased, conduct the autopsy, and determine the possible causes of death. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart, as the cases described could shock readers with the gruesomeness of the crimes that had been committed.

Professor Chao also served with great distinction in various capacities, including as the Master of the Academy of Medicine (1992–1995) and President of the Singapore Society of Pathology (1987–1990). He founded the Medico-Legal Society which was and continues to remain a unique forum, unifying the medical and legal professions and serving as its president from 1985 until his unexpected death, on 21 February 2000. Professor Chao was the father of the late Dr Alexandre Chao, who succumbed to SARS in 2003, while on duty. 

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