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Case Number 13242: Small Claims Court

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Autopsy: Postmortem With Dr. Michael Baden

HBO // 2008 // 57 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dylan Charles (Retired) // March 19th, 2008

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All Rise...

Too many cases spoils the reality show, Judge Dylan Charles always says.

The Charge

Sid Vicious. The Romanovs. O.J. What do they have in common? Dr. Michael Baden.

The Case

Autopsy is HBO's answer to Forensic Files or New Detectives. Each hour-long installment covers five separate cases and forensic pathologists get their chance to shine.

Autopsy: Postmortem with Dr. Michael Baden focuses on the doctor who has worked on numerous high-profile cases, including the Kennedy assassination, the Romanovs, O.J. Simpson, and The Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious. I was all aflutter, expecting a fairly in-depth look at some high-profile cases.

However, because it focuses on five different cases per episode, there's not really a lot of time to get in-depth about any one case. Instead, there are bits, pieces, and snippets of each one before they hurry on to the next one.

Kennedy was by far the most interesting, with Baden giving a detailed account of how the pathologists who examined Kennedy botched the autopsy. However, for Sid Vicious, far more time is given to talking about The Sex Pistols and the life of Mr. Vicious rather than the actual forensic process involved in determining what killed him. This sounds a bit morbid, but really, if you're the kind of person who watches Autopsy, you don't want to see Behind the Music instead.

The other cases are similarly sparse. They hardly spend any time on the Romanov investigation or how Dr. Baden was involved with the O.J. Simpson trial. It wasn't until the very end of the Simpson segment that I figured out that Dr. Baden had been a witness for the defense. Far too much time is spent on the build-up of each case without a lot of effort put into examining the forensic processes. Considering that's the whole point of the show, I would think that there'd be considerable amounts of time spent on forensics.

The disc is clean and clear and the show itself has good production values, but dammit, I expect a show called Autopsy to have some autopsies in it.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile

Studio: HBO
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
• None
Running Time: 57 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• Official Site

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