Zugibe, Frederick T. 1928–

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Zugibe, Frederick T. 1928–

(Frederick Thomas Zugibe)

PERSONAL: Born May 28, 1928, in Garnerville, NY; son of Benjamin and Anna (Zarick) Zugibe; married Catherine Frances O'Leary, April 7, 1951; children: Frederick, Thomas, Cathryn Blaber, Theresa Mandrac-chia, Mary Raleigh, Matthew, Kevin. Education: Saint Francis College, B.S., 1951; University of Chicago, M.S., 1959, Ph.D., 1960; West Virginia University, M.D., 1968.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—One Angelus Dr., Garnerville, NY 10923-2022. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Lederle Laboratories, Pearl River, NY, research histologist, 1950–52, research chemist, 1953–55; Columbia University, New York, NY, research associate in ophthalmic research, 1955–56; U.S. Veterans Affairs, Pittsburgh, PA, director of cardiovascular research, 1960–65; County of Rockland, Pomona, NY, chief medical examiner, 1969–2003; Rockland County Emergency Medical Services, New York State Department of Health, Pomona, medical director, 1990–2003; National Disaster Medical Assistance, Pomona, supervising medical officer, 1992–2003. Columbia University, adjunct associate professor of pathology, 1972–2004.

MEMBER: College of American Pathologists (fellow), Council on Arteriosclerosis of the American Heart Association, National Association of Medical Examiners, American College of Cardiology, American Academy of the Forensic Sciences (fellow), Association of Scientists and Scholars International for the Shroud of Turin (founding president), New York Cardiology Society, Sigma Xi.

AWARDS, HONORS: Named among twenty-five people in Rockland County, NY, who most influenced the region in the twentieth century, 1998; Distinguished Citizens award, Association for the Visually Impaired, 1998; Presidential Tribute, 1998; Special Congressional Recognition award, 1998; named knight by the Royal House of Portugal, 2002; Dr. Frederick T. Zugibe Forensic Unit named in his honor at Rockland County Medical Examiners Office, 2003; recipient of more than seventy-five law enforcement, governmental, and medical awards, beginning 1971.


Eat, Drink, and Lower Your Cholesterol, foreword by Robert M. Wissler, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY) 1963.

Diagnostic Histochemistry (textbook), Mosby (Saint Louis, MO), 1970.

The Cross and the Shroud: A Medical Examiner Investigates the Crucifixion, Angelus Books (Garnerville and Smithtown, NY), 1982, revised edition published as The Cross and the Shroud: A Medical Inquiry into the Crucifixion, Paragon House (New York, NY) 1988, second revised edition published as The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry, M. Evans (New York, NY) 2005.

14 Days to a Healthy Heart, Macmillan (New York, NY) 1986.

(With David L. Carroll) Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner, Broadway Books (New York, NY) 2005.

Contributor of articles to professional journals.

SIDELIGHTS: Frederick T. Zugibe was the chief medical examiner of Rockland County, New York, for thirty-five years and is internationally known for his expertise on forensic pathology, diagnostic pathology, histochemistry, cardiovascular disease, and the Crucifixion. With Dr. Enid Gilbert, he was the first to describe glycoprotein storage disease, now named Zugibe-Gilbert syndrome. Among his many other accomplishments, Zugibe has also invented a cardiopulmonary resuscitator, a mask for filtering out putrefaction odors, and a process for demummifying fingers so that prints can be taken. As an author, he has published books for both medical professionals and general audiences, including two books on how to maintain a healthy heart. In an interesting area related to his scientific expertise, Zugibe has also become a leading expert on the Shroud of Turin. He is founding president of Association of Scientists and Scholars International for the Shroud of Turin, and the author of The Cross and the Shroud: A Medical Examiner Investigates the Crucifixion, which was later revised as The Cross and the Shroud: A Medical Inquiry into the Crucifixion.

Ten of Zugibe's most difficult cases are described in Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner, which he wrote with David L. Carroll. The circumstances present in these cases show the diverse challenges Zugibe faced as a medical examiner. With descriptions of grisly conditions, such as one case involving a body wrapped in twenty separate plastic bags and the analysis of maggots to determine time of death, the book provides an unvarnished look at the work dramatized in many films and television programs. Zugibe also comments on the plausibility of the film The Passion of the Christ and discusses the misuse of evidence in famous murder cases from the 1990s such as the death of JonBenet Ramsey and the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Reviewers of Dissecting Death were most impressed by the author's firsthand experiences. A Publishers Weekly critic called the book "compelling reading for fans of insider accounts of forensics." In Booklist, Kristine Huntley remarked that "Zugibe and Carroll's straightforward style makes for clear and fascinating reading, and the cases chosen are intriguing." Curled Up with a Good Book reviewer Bobby Blades concluded that "the book lives up to the age-old adage that truth is sometimes much stranger than fiction."

Zugibe told CA: "I became interested in writing following my first research paper accpted by a medical journal. My book The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry is my favorite because it enabled me to use not only my scientific-medical background but all the other experience I have gained through the years. The primary effect of the Crucifixion books was to deepen the faith of the Christian and to show how Jesus really suffered."



Booklist, July, 2005, Kristine Huntley, review of Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner, p. 1886.

Publishers Weekly, June 6, 2005, review of Dissecting Death, p. 53.


Curled Up with a Good Book, http://www.curledup.com/ (November 29, 2005), Bobby Blades, review of Dissecting Death.