Author(s): Kerry Breen
Vernon D Plueckhahn was for many years Australia's most prominent forensic pathologist. His expertise was central in correcting some of Australia's worst miscarriages of justice, most notably the wrongful 1982 conviction of Lindy Chamberlain for murder. This book traces his life, of first serving on a hospital ship for four years in World War II, then becoming a doctor, and then from a small base as the first pathologist at Geelong Hospital becoming known nationally and internationally. He led the way in forensic pathology - in research, for example, to validate autopsy measurement of blood alcohol and then linking alcohol misuse and drowning. He was instrumental in transforming the small regional hospital of Geelong into a leading academic centre. He steered the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia through turbulent times in the 1970s. His achievements were quite remarkable, with the greatest being the formation of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, which is now a world leading institution.