Discover the twisted 19th century tale of a respected St. Louis doctor who was also a body snatcher and suspected murderer in this true crime biography.
Though he was never caught in the act, it was widely known among St. Louis locals that Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell routinely stole corpses for strange and illegal experiments. McDowell was so loathed for this practice that he wore body armor in public. Meanwhile, he was so idolized by his anatomy students that they often dug up the bodies for him.
The ghoulish Dr. McDowell—who later served as a Confederate Army surgeon—left a host of fiendish rumors and mysteries behind. Did he ever resort to murder for the sake of a fresh specimen? Did his mother's ghost actually help him escape an angry mob? Did he really hang the corpse of his daughter in the Mark Twain Cave of Hannibal, Missouri? What very real horrors remained in his medical college after Union soldiers took it over? In this grimly fascinating biography, Victoria Cosner dissects a life surrounded by speculation and a legend littered with ghosts.