The secrets of the real-life silent witnesses are being revealed.
Richard Shepherd, a forensic pathologist, has studied hundreds of deaths, from Diana’s automobile accident to 9/11. But there was one pain he overlooked: his own…
He has studied over 23,000 deaths as one of the country’s leading forensic pathologists, including those of Princess Diana, Stephen Lawrence, and victims of other tragedies, including 9/11, the Bali bombings, and the Hungerford Massacre. Any of these would keep most people up at night. So now that Dr. Richard Shepherd is retired, no one can blame him for putting his work in the back of his mind and moving on.
But, thanks to our fascination with death and forensic medicine, he’s still in high demand, albeit without his scalpel.
He’s going on a statewide theatre tour to talk about the cases and bodies that have influenced his career, following the popularity of his biography, Unnatural Causes. And he’s just released a second book, The Seven Ages of Death, in which he shares even more amazing stories from his 40 years as a real-life “SilentWitness” investigator.
“Death has always attracted people,” he adds bluntly. “Death used to be an inevitable part of life. Death was a common occurrence in my parents’ generation. People are more interested now that it is less common. At the same time, they rarely discuss death. People nowadays discuss death. It’s deflecting and concealing the true meaning of the phraseology. ‘He’s gone,’ they say. No, he’s passed away. I’ve worked in this field for a long time, so maybe I’m a little tougher.”
But Richard’s matter-of-fact demeanor, which stems from a daily encounter with human mortality, betrays the price he’s paid for his demanding work. Although he earlier stated that he was “better at managing overwhelming emotion than experiencing it,” he now admits that “breaking up 23,000 dead bodies is not natural.”
After a flashback of working in Bali after the 2002 nightclub bombings by Islamic militants killed 202 people, he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2016.
He says, “It was quite strange.” “I was making a gin and tonic for my wife, and the trigger was grabbing ice cubes from the freezer in a plastic bag. When I reached into the bag, it immediately transported me to Bali and the bombing. There were facilities available. ”Brinkwire Summary News,” as it is known.