ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cyril Wecht - Biography of a Celebrity Pathologist

Updated on September 11, 2013

Dr Cyril Wecht

Speaking at Waynesburg University
Speaking at Waynesburg University | Source

Dr Cyril Wecht

Source

Dr Cyril Wecht on the Casey Anthony Trial

Celebrity Deaths

The extremely outspoken Dr Cyril Wecht has personally performed over 18,000 autopsies. He has also consulted on over 38,000 autopsies. Dr Wecht has given expert evidence into (to name just a few) the deaths of:

  • John F. Kennedy - 1963
  • Robert F. Kennedy - 1968
  • Brian Jones - 1969
  • Sharon Tate - 1969
  • Elvis Presley - 1977
  • Herman Tarnower - 1980
  • JonBenét Ramsey - 1990
  • Danielle van Dam - 2002
  • Sunny von Bülow - 2008
  • Vincent Foster - 1993
  • Laci Peterson - 2002 and
  • Anna Nicole Smith - 2007

America's most controversial forensic pathologist

Dr Wecht is America's most controversial forensic pathologist. He was himself the subject of a prosecution by the federal government in 2008. It was alleged he misused the resources of the Allegheny County Coroner's officer for personal gain. The charges were discontinued in 2009.

Even as a relatively young man he was controversial and never afraid to voice his views. Dr Wecht went up against the Warren Commission into the death of President John F Kennedy. His was the lone voice against the single gun theory.

Dr Wecht speaks about the Warren Commission

Original Testimony by Cyril Wecht about JFK

'Cause of Death' by Cyril Wecht - the JFK Assassination

The Assassination of President John F Kennedy

In 1972, nine years after the assassination, Dr Wecht became the first non-government pathologist to look at the pathology report on President Kennedy. Dr Wecht, as we know, is not shy. He has always held a belief that there was more than one assassin.

Dr. Wecht served on a House committee's investigation into the assassination of JFK in 1978. Dr.Wecht concluded that one of the greatest failures of the Warren Commission was that they accepted a poorly performed autopsy of JFK. Dr Wecht scathingly said the autopsy was deficient, inept and incompetent. And further, the autopsy of President Kennedy was done by two navy pathologists, neither of whom had ever previously done an autopsy involving a gunshot.

In 1993 Dr Wecht published, "Cause of Death," in which he described the Warren Report as "absolute nonsense" and the single-bullet assertion "an asinine, pseudoscientific sham at best."

The video's show just how passionately Dr Wecht speaks about the bungled autopsy with regard to the assassination of JFK, then and now.

From Crime Scene to Courtroom

From Crime Scene to Courtroom: Examining the Mysteries Behind Famous Cases
From Crime Scene to Courtroom: Examining the Mysteries Behind Famous Cases

Dr Wecht reveals details about the deaths of Casey Anthony and Michael Jackson.

 

More About Cyril Wecht

Cyril Harrison Wecht was born to a Lithuanian father and Ukranian mother in a tiny mining town (Dunkard Township) in Pennsylvanian on 21 May 1931.

His parents moved to Pittsburgh where they ran a grocer's store.

As a young boy living in Pittsburgh he and his friends used to sneak into the local morgue which was near their neighborhood to satisfy their childish curiosity. On occasions they even got into some rooms where bodies had already been autopsied. Cyril's association with death came young.

Young Cyril Wecht

Young Cyril Wecht had an interest in music. He played the violin. As an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh he was concertmaster of the Orchestra.

His first degree was a Bachelor of Science in 1952. The he went on to get a degree in Medicine from the same university in 1956. He obtained his law degree, also at the University of Pittsburgh in 1962, and finally his Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Dr Wecht served in the military (the US Air Force) during peacetime for two years.

Dr Wecht in Action

Former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht rails against politically motivated prosecutors at the Netroots Nation at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht rails against politically motivated prosecutors at the Netroots Nation at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. | Source

Medical and Legal Career of Cyril Wecht

After his military service, Dr Cyril Wecht became a forensic pathologist, serving at St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh before becoming the Deputy Coroner of Allegheny County in 1965.

In 1969 he was elected coroner and served in that role until 1980, and again from 1996 to 2006.

He has pursued his career as a pathologist, educator and author throughout his life.

Dr Wecht, a vibrant speaker, has lectured in over 50 countries. He has published more than 530 professional publications.

His positions have included:

  • Clinical Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Medicine Dental Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health
  • Adjunct Professor at the Duquesne University School of Law, School of Pharmacy and School of Health Sciences
  • President of the American College of Legal Medicine, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences
  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Board of Legal Medicine and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation

Dr Wecht has received many awards and honors from diverse educational, professional, community, and governmental organizations, including:

  • County Detectives' Association of Pennsylvania
  • Deputy Sheriffs' Association of Pennsylvania
  • Vectors
  • New York Society of Forensic Sciences
  • American College of Legal Medicine
  • National Junior Chamber of Commerce
  • The American Legion.

Dr Wecht is an Honorary Life Member of the National Academies of Legal Medicine of France, Spain, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil.

He has written or co-authored more than 44 books and is an editorial member of more than 16 legal and medical publications.

In short he is among the top 10 most distinguished forensic pathologists of all time. It is difficult to imagine a more productive and active career.

Dr Wecht today

Cyril Wecht is currently 82 and still practicing as a forensic expert with no intention of stopping any time soon. He and his wife Sybil have four children and eleven grandchildren.

Dr Wecht and wife Sybil after his charges were dismissed

Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, seated by his wife Sigrid Wecht, speaks at a news conference about the dismissal of all charges against him.
Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, seated by his wife Sigrid Wecht, speaks at a news conference about the dismissal of all charges against him. | Source

Cyril Wecht Poll

Is Cyril Wecht too outspoken?

See results

The Prosecution of Dr Cyril Wecht

The federal government began investigating Dr Wecht in 2005.

In 2008 he went to trial, pleading not guilty on 84 charges including theft of wire and mail services and theft of honest services. The prosecution alleged that Dr Wecht had misused the resources of his coronial office and staff in order to promote his private pathology business. If he had pled guilty to even one charge Dr Wecht would have lost his professional licenses to practice medicine and law. He is quoted as saying, "Some may have considered me to have been stupidly obstinate, but there was no alternative".

His trial ended on 8 April 2008 when the jury became deadlocked, unable to reach a verdict. Then Federal Court Judge McLaughlin made a suppression order over much of the evidence against Dr Wecht. This made a re-trial fruitless and the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the charges in 2009.

Dr Wecht hired former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and the law firm K&L Gates as his legal representatives. The cost of his representation was so high that he and his wife lost a lifetime of assets, "All that I built up, and all that my wife and I saved, is gone, and I am very much in debt".

However, with his usual top gear energy, Dr Wecht released a new book during the trial.

Sources

  • Wikipedia
  • Cyril H Wecht: http://www.cyrilwecht.com/about.php
  • Cyril Wecht, Forensic Pathologist: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/forensics/cyril_wecht/index.html
  • The Prosecution of Cyril H. Wecht: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/uncategorized/the-prosecution-of-cyril-h-wecht-377785/
  • Charges against Cyril H. Wecht to be dismissed: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/breaking/charges-against-cyril-h-wecht-to-be-dismissed-344186/
  • Wecht deep in debt but delighted: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/wecht-deep-in-debt-but-delighted-344338/
  • Dr Cyril Wecht Bio: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2010/05/01/dr-cyril-wecht-bio/

© 2013 Mel Jay

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)