Wecht, Dr. Cyril H
Wecht, Dr. Cyril H.
As of 2005, Cyril Harrison Wecht served as the coroner for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Formerly the Chairman of the Department of Pathology at Saint Francis Central Hospital in Pittsburgh, Wecht also serves as the President of its medical staff and is actively involved as a medical-legal and forensic science consultant, author, and lecturer.
Cyril Harrison Wecht was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended high school in Pittsburgh (1943–1948, Highest Honors, Valedictorian) and studied at the University of Pittsburgh (1948–1952, B.S.) and the University of Buffalo School of Medicine (1952–1954). Wecht received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1956). He studied at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (1957–1959), received his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law (1962), and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (1962).
Wecht served as chief forensic pathologist from 1966 to 1970 and as Coroner of Allegheny County from 1970 to 1980. After 16 years away from the post, Wecht reclaimed the role of Allegheny County Coroner in 1996.
He is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology, and is also a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.
Wecht is a Clinical Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Graduate School of Public Health, and holds positions as an Adjunct Professor at the Duquesne University School of Law, School of Pharmacy, and School of Health Sciences.
He has served as President of the American College of Legal Medicine, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences , and served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Board of Legal Medicine and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation.
Wecht has lectured at numerous medical, law, and other graduate schools, as well as many colleges and universities, and numerous professional organizations and governmental agencies, including Harvard Law School, Yale Medical School, the FBI Academy, and the Medical Division of the CIA.
The author of more than 500 professional publications , Wecht is also an editorial board member of more than 20 national and international medico-legal and forensic scientific publications; editor of the five-volume set Forensic Sciences ; co-editor of the two three-volume sets Handling Soft Tissue Injury Cases as well as Preparing and Winning Medical Negligence Cases.
Wecht has organized and conducted postgraduate medico-legal seminars in more than fifty countries throughout the world in his capacity as Director of the Pittsburgh Institute of Legal Medicine. He has performed approximately 15,000 autopsies and has supervised, reviewed, or has been consulted on about 35,000 additional postmortem examinations.
Wecht has testified in more than 1,000 civil, criminal, and workers compensation cases in state and federal courts in more than 30 states and several foreign countries.
As an expert in forensic medicine, Wecht has appeared as a frequent guest on numerous national television and radio shows, discussing various medico-legal and forensic scientific issues, including medical malpractice; alcohol and drug abuse; the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Reverend Martin Luther King; the death of Elvis Presley; the Sheppard, O.J. Simpson, JonBenet Ramsey, and Diallo cases; the Chandra Levy death investigation; and Laci Peterson homicide.
His expertise has also been utilized in high profile cases involving Mary Jo Kopechne, Sunny von Bulow, Jean Harris, Dr. Jeffrey McDonald, the Waco Branch Davidian fire, and Vincent Foster. A comprehensive study of these cases are discussed from the perspective of Wecht's own professional involvement in his books.
Wecht has received numerous awards and honors from various 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, and the American Legion. He has been invited as a Distinguished Professor to lecture in several foreign countries, and is an Honorary Life Member of the National Academies of Legal Medicine of France, Spain, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil.