Cops and Writers Podcast

128 What The Dead Know: New York City Death Investigator And Author Barbara Butcher (Part Two)

July 23, 2023 Patrick O'Donnell / Barbara Butcher Episode 128
Cops and Writers Podcast
128 What The Dead Know: New York City Death Investigator And Author Barbara Butcher (Part Two)
Show Notes

Welcome back to the conclusion of our special two-part interview with retired Death Investigator and author, Barbara Butcher of the New York City Medical Examiner's Office. 

Barbara Butcher spent 23 years at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner as a death investigator, director of the Forensic Sciences Training Program, and chief of staff. There she investigated more than 5500 deaths, 680 of them homicides. She worked mass disasters, including 9/11, the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, the London Underground bombing, and the crash of Flight 587.

During this interview, Barbara opens up and lets us into the life of a death investigator being confronted with death and profound sadness on a daily basis and the toll it took on her physical and mental health. 

We also have a candid talk about alcoholism and her “rock bottom.” Barbara also shares her recovery from this deadly disease and the good that came from it.
 I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

In today’s episode we discuss:

·      Tools of her trade as a death investigator. 

·      The relationship she had with the cops and how they worked together to solve the crime.

·      How the time of death gets determined in real life. Spoiler alert, not like what you see on T.V. or the movies.

·      Advise for rookie death investigators or someone thinking about this job as a future career.

·      Testifying in court. 

·      What she misses the most about the job. 

·      Faith in a higher power after being subjected to so much death and profound sadness.

·      Why she wrote her book, “What the Dead Know” and why it is so popular.

·      Her writing process.

·      “You don’t have that much time. Be kind.”

Visit Barbara at her
Purchase her book,
What the Dead Know: Learning About Life as a New York City Death Investigator
Check out
Weekends at Bellevue: Nine Years on the Night Shift at the Psych ER and When Breath Becomes Air

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Field Training (Brew City Blues Book 1)!!
Enjoy the Cops and Writers book series.
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