For those of you who know me (and those who will get to know me through my book, blog, and website) you know that my beautiful wife, Karen, plays an integral role in my life and work. She holds a unique and interesting perspective of what goes on in the life of a forensic scientist. So I thought I would hand the reigns of the blog over to her this week to share what it’s like to be married to a forensic scientist. I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments below! -MT
In the 14 years that Mike and I have been married, I can’t say that it has ever been boring! While many can’t imagine being surrounded by death, murder, and unimaginable situations that a forensic scientist has to deal with, Mike and I share a similar view: he is helping victims’ families have a sense of closure. Even though we rarely meet these families or individuals, we know that the work Mike is doing is important.
To be honest, Mike’s work fascinates me. When I first met him and found out about his avocation, I became fascinated in the field. I had always been interested in true crime books and television shows. To be able to see it applied in real life situations made me even more interested. To this day, every week when he returns home from his latest case, I always am curious to ask him about any details he might share about the storyline behind his current case.
But in this line of work, there are really two different elements that we have to keep in mind: the forensics of the case and the fact that, just a few hours before, this person ate breakfast, went to work, and did all the things that I do every day. It makes life seem even more valuable.
When we watch true crime shows on TV - like 48 Hours, Dateline, 60 Minutes and 20/20, they are even more fascinating to me as I see some hauntingly similar scenarios portrayed in other real life cases. Sometimes his cases are so similar to others on TV, it almost looks like history is repeating itself right before my very eyes.
While Mike has been in forensic science for many years, his experiences with September 11th will forever remain at the top of the list of the most memorable events. After he returned from his first trip, I knew I wanted to go back with him to experience this for myself, if he was asked to return. Within a month, his second trip allowed me to go with him and experience some of the most overwhelming memories that I will never forget.
I would say that the most memorable event I have ever experienced with Mike was my opportunity to work as an assistant in the food service department of the Salvation Army. This allowed an ‘up close and personal’ experience that I will always treasure. The second most memorable event of his career would be the solving of a decade long cold case murder it was the first time in Tennessee history where a murder hearing occurred and no one in the courtroom knew who it was that got killed! This prompted the writing of ‘Walk of Death’, which may turn out to be an unexpected door to the literary field that we are so excited about!
Being a part of Mike’s line of work gives me more appreciation of the value of forensic science, especially the identification portion of the puzzle. I am amazed at how well the local governments work together on cases. It seems that the American public has an insatiable appetite for the details of crime solving. Most do not realize all the many facets of forensic science and how the many disciplines work together to solve the mystery. It is fascinating to me how they can all come together for a common cause. I have gained insight into the many different disciplines after attending many annual forensic science meetings on a national level.
So even after 14 years later, I still his work fascinating. I hope you will find it equally fascinating as well through his books!
If you have any particular questions for me (or Mike!) please leave them below in the comment section. We would love to hear from you!