The student at Embalmed to the Max introduced us to Thomas Noguchi, former LA Medical Investigator, L.A. Chief Coroner, and the inspiration for the show “Quincy”. We dug a little deeper and found an interview done in 1986 and found these futuristic thoughts.
On “Psychological Autopsies”:
I hope to see the day when we do neurochemical studies of the deceased. Profiles of adrenaline, norepinephrine, serotonin may tell us much about the psychology of the dead person. We’ve been conducting “psychological” autopsies for twenty-five years — let’s add neurochemical investigation of the spinal fluid and brain tissue.
On Capturing the Last Image from the Retina:
And there is an absolutely futuristic idea — like something out of Dick Tracy This is the concept of the retina as a photographic film: I see you, my murderer, but should I die, that image would remain! This idea is scary — the “last image” as an electronic impulse that may be recaptured. In computerized tomography we can rotate the CAT machine for an image of the brain. Going further, we could key in an image from the visual center of the occipital area. This is far-out, but I don’t want to throw it away completely.
Turbo Charged Database:
I would also like to develop the software for a computer small enough to store much of the background data for evaluating possible evidence at a crime scene. I don’t want to wait days or weeks for lab reports. I want to tap into a warehouse of information based on similar cases, similar weapons, so I can make spot tests right away. One cannot, and should not have to, remember the details of all cases in the past. Say I’m looking at a head injury and it shows a specific harpoon shape, one with a bit of a tail. I’d like to know what instrument causes this wound. So I’d compare this imprint of an unknown instrument to those of many thousands of other available weapons.
On his interest in “Art Morphology” — oil painting and sketching trying to capture his experience on canvas:
I’m interested in giving artistic representation to the crime scene. Most people perceive the dead body as still and the colors of death as gray, dark green, or black. I see intense energy and use intense colors — mostly red, orange — warm colors. I’ve been asked if I believe in reincarnation. In literal terms of past lives and such, I don’t, but the concept of the separation of the spirit from the body at death is very real to me.
And Finally, “The Big D”–
And the subject of death should be continuously talked about in more honest terms. The American tradition of whitewash eulogies, of letting sleeping dogs lie, of not writing anything about death, is injurious to the living. There are lessons to be learned from death. And because these death events are repeated over and over again, we must strive to understand them.