Regalo Press

The Bomb Doctor: A Scientist’s Story of Bombers, Beakers, and Bloodhounds

By ,

A rare peek behind the curtain into boots-on-the-ground, in-the-lab scientific bomb forensics—told with humanity, heart, and even a bit of humor.

This is not CSI. What you encounter as a true bomb detective—or “Bomb Doctor,” as some in the FBI call me—are fields of twisted metal containing soot-covered fragments intermingled with human remains. You have carnage and chaos. As you wade into that sea of wailing sirens and screaming survivors awash with the stench of diesel fuel and decaying bodies, your job is to ferret out forensic clues in a type of macabre scavenger hunt to ultimately reconstruct the scene and the explosive device and determine what happened and what the bomb looked like before it was torn asunder.
None of this happens overnight. Nor does it happen in a timeframe that can be neatly packaged in an hour-long made-for-TV drama. The scavenger hunt can take months—or, in the case of the infamous Collar Bomber, seven painstaking years. The work is worth every second and every horrific image that etches itself into your brain because it helps prevent new horrors. Not all, obviously. We are not superheroes. But unlike shooters, who often just “snap” or seem to act out in random ways, bombers almost always have a story—one that follows an arc.

In The Bomb Doctor, my goal is to explain that arc, explode myths, reconstruct reality, and build an understanding of the reason and means behind the mayhem, as well as pull back the curtain on the investigative process that brings bombers to justice.