MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You might think the life of a medical examiner is macabre, but that’s not the case for Dr. Lindsay Thomas of Hennepin County.

Thomas says last year the county did about 1,100 autopsies, including about 77 homicides.

“It’s really the minority in a peaceful state like Minnesota,” Thomas said.

She goes into each case with a presumption based on the evidence.

“Probably the majority of the time I’m right because I’ve had a lot of experience. But the cases I like best are when I’m wrong, and you have to keep an open mind,” she said. “You never know going into a case what you are going to find.”

Often, Thomas says, what starts out to be a natural death turns into something more.

“The scene appears clean, because there aren’t drugs or a suicide note. But when the autopsy is done, it turns out there were drugs,” she said.

Thomas went to medical school and was going to be an OB/GYN doctor, but then started her rotation and found it wasn’t for her.

“I just found I had the wrong personality,” Thomas said. “I didn’t like getting sworn at and bitten.”

Thomas was a guest on WCCO Radio’s “Open Court” with attorney Bruce Rivers.


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