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About the book
  • Published: 2 August 2010
  • ISBN: 9780143203322
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 276
  • RRP: $24.99

Forensic Investigator: True Stories from the Life of a Country Crime Scene Cop


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An account of a rural cop's life as a forensic investigator

FORENSIC INVESTIGATOR Geoff Bernasconi had always been passionate about his job as a policeman in rural New South Wales and, from the earliest days of his career, went the extra mile, both for victims of crime and for their families.  But one night in 1984, he was called to investigate the scene of an horrific car accident in which an entire family had been wiped out – and which it was impossible for him to forget.  Geoff's day-to-day working life became a catalogue of tragedies, some of which involved people close to him, and he found himself spiralling downwards in the grip of post-traumatic stress disorder.

When Esther Mckay, fellow forensic investigator and author of the best-selling Crime Scene, heard that Geoff has been awarded maximum compensation for his suffering, she knew immediately this was a story that needed to be told.

This is a harrowing account of what it is like to work on the front-line of crime and tragedy as a forensic investigator.  But it is also the inspiring story of someone who has been exposed to sights and experiences many of us can hardly even imagine, yet has emerged from the darkness to begin his journey to recovery.

  • Pub date: 2 August 2010
  • ISBN: 9780143203322
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 276
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Esther McKay

Esther Mckay served seventeen years in the New South Wales Police Force, attaining the rank of Detective (technical) Senior Constable. She worked in the area of Forensic Services for fifteen years, attaining expert status in crime-scene examination and vehicle identification. She also worked in Training and Research, as well as Document Examination. She has a Diploma of Applied Science in Forensic Investigation (NSW Police), and was awarded the National Medal for service in 2001 and the Ethical and Diligent Police Service medal with fifteen-year clasp in 2008.

She was discharged from the force in 2001 with post-traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of her forensic work. Her best-selling autobiography, Crime Scene: True Stories from the Life of a Forensic Investigator, was published by Penguin in 2005.

She works actively in supporting traumatised serving and former police and is the President of the Police Post Trauma Support Group. She was awarded the Pride of Australia Medal in 2007 for Community Spirit for her work with traumatised police, and regularly speaks to various groups and schools about her life experience, writing and former forensic work. Esther is patron of the Australian Missing Persons Register and has been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2007. She lives in the Southern Highlands with her husband and two children.

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