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You Decide with Errol Louis

Aug 10, 2023

In the early 1990s, Barbara Butcher was hired as a death investigator at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Manhattan.

She would be the second woman ever to hold the position, and she held the role for more than two decades. During that time, she investigated more than 55,000 death scenes — 680 of which were homicides. She was also part of the team that identified victims of the September 11th terror attacks.

Butcher joined Errol to share her accounts of investigating everything from accidental deaths to gruesome murders. Her memoir, titled “What the Dead Know: Learning About Life as a New York City Death Investigator,” was recently published by Simon & Schuster. She discussed her experiences with Errol, including the life events that led her to choose her career and the incredible toll of the job.

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