"The body doesn't lie, it can't lie, but the evidence can be confusing and interpreted in different ways, based on the context or circumstances surrounding the death."
Dr Judy Melinek is a San Francisco-based forensic pathologist and contract pathologist at the Alemeida County Coroners Office.
She provides an insight into the world of forensic pathology in her book Working Stiff : Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner, co-written with her husband T.J Mitchell (published by Allen and Unwin).
A Harvard graduate, Dr Judy Melinek began her training as a forensic pathologist in New York City. She was a relative rookie when 9/11 happened and ended up performing autopsies in the aftermath of the Twin Towers collapse, and working to identify victims.
Her memoir explores the harrowing days after the terrorist attacks, and it touches on her gratitude that her job meant she could play a useful part in the huge recovery effort on the ground.
US Forensic Pathologist Dr Judy Melinek talks to Kathryn Ryan.