One of the Midwest's most accomplished homicide detectives reveals the secrets behind his most notorious cases. Part memoir, part police procedural, and part true crime anthology, Death as a Living reveals the inside world of homicide and death investigation-the triumph, tragedy, humor, and truly bizarre situations one finds when working that beat.
For more than thirty years, involving more than one thousand cases, Burke has worked as a death investigator-first with the Dayton, Ohio police department, then with a county coroner's office. In Death as a Living, he shares his tricks of the trade: how detectives solve cases, what they look for, the importance of forensic science, and the irreplaceable value of instinct.
Along the way, Burke offers humorous trial anecdotes, thoughts on race and policing, stories about the fatal toll stress took on fellow officers, and, perhaps most movingly, details about the three fatal shootings of police officers-one of them one of his first friends at the department, another the son of his sergeant-that shaped his career.