Autopsies, serial killers, ‘freak accidents’ and ‘perfect murders’ - all in a day’s work for top forensic pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd, our guest speaker on Monday 20 May. The session, held at the Boys’ School library, was well attended by students and members of staff from both the Boys’ and Girls’ schools.
Dr Shepherd engaged the audience with recollections from his long and prolific career, starting with his early days in Guys Hospital and more recently his involvement with the Stephen Lawrence case describing how recent developments in forensic science have led to the perpetrators finally being convicted. Moving on to 2001, Dr Shepherd recounted his experience assisting with the post-mortems after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
For Dr Shepherd, the role of the forensic pathologist is like filling in the missing parts of a jigsaw puzzle, finding an explanation as to how and why a person died and in the pursuit of justice, providing courts with facts upon which legal cases are based.
Dr Shepherd confided that the life of a forensic pathologist is not without stress, however, he also expressed a sense of deep job satisfaction. With an explanation of how a person died, he provides a sense of closure to loved ones.
Many thanks to Dr Shepherd for an intriguing and thought-provoking talk, which inspired many questions from students.