Just when you thought the investigation into Ferguson cop Darren Wilson's shooting of an unarmed black teen couldn't get any more fucked up, it gets even more fucked up.
Shawn Parcells became an instant media star in August after assisting in a private autopsy commissioned by the family of slain teen Michael Brown. Parcells showed up constantly on TV news as a forensic pathology expert, and claimed to have testified in court dozens of times in several states over the years. He also claims to be a professor. "But an investigation by CNN that included interviews with attorneys, law enforcement and physicians suggests Parcells isn't the expert he seems to be."
Actually, the investigation makes him out to be a “con artist,” “manipulator,” and “fraud,” according to pathology experts interviewed for the piece.
Earlier this year, Parcells' LinkedIn page said he expected to start medical school at the International University of the Health Sciences in the Caribbean starting in September 2014. Later, the date was changed to 2015.
When CNN visited Parcells in his Overland Park, Kansas, home, he presented a photo of himself onstage at what appears to be a graduation ceremony at the New York Chiropractic College.
"I got a master's degree in anatomy and physiology, with clinical correlation," he said.
Asked where his diploma was, he replied that it was on the way. "It's coming," he said. "They mail it to you."
But wait, wait, this part is the best:
Parcells doesn't claim to have any specific license or certification to do the work he does. He knows how to do autopsies from "on-the-job training," watching pathologists and assisting them at various morgues, he said. Sometimes he's been paid for this work and sometimes he wasn't, he added.
"To take out organs and to cut open a body, you don't need to be a pathologist," he said. "Come to an autopsy. I think when you see what I do, you'll realize that I'm not just making this stuff up out of blue, thin air."
Below, the CNN investigation video. Don't miss the much earlier skepticism shared by Pathology Blawg, way back in August.
It's nice that CNN is investigating him, because CNN is one of the entities that made him instantly famous and credible. Below, a clip from happier days on CNN, and MSNBC.