Dr Shirley Vasu
How is it like to dissect one dead body after another, day after day, year after year? Dr Shirley Vasu can answer that one. The first women forensic pathologist in Kerala, she has handled over 1,000 cases, many of which were associated with suspicious deaths, including murders, firearm-related deaths and fire and explosions. Her autopsy reports often find mention in the media either for their precision or for significance of the person associated with it. Dr Vasu’s astute observation and in-depth knowledge of forensic medicine has often been decisive in many cases in Kerala. Forensic surgeon, known for her shrewd application of science to various criminal and civil cases and has helped the police solve many cases, including the sensational Soumya murder case. She joined the Forensic Medicine Department at Medical College, Kozhikode in 1981 as a post-graduate student. In her career spanning over 32 years, she has served at Kozhikode and Thrissur Medical Colleges. She received further training in ‘Crimes against women’ from the UK. Dr Vasu, who also serves as the expert witness for court, is also a UPSC subject expert in selection committee and a faculty trainer in educational programmes for doctors, police, lawyers and judicial officers. Her book Postmortem Table in 2008 that was well-received by all factions of society and was also the recipient of WHO fellowship in 1995.