Dr Richard Shepherd was born in West London but grew up in Watford. At the local grammar school he was introduced to a medical textbook smuggled into the classroom by a friend which opened his eyes to the world of crime and murder, setting him on a lifelong quest to understand death in its many forms. He trained as a doctor at St George's Hospital medical school at Hyde Park Corner, qualifying in 1977 and then completed his postgraduate training as a forensic pathologist in 1987. He immediately joined what was then the elite forensic department at Guy's Hospital.
His career as a forensic pathologist spans over 30 years. He has been involved nationally and internationally in the forensic investigation of over 23,000 cases of deaths from unnatural causes. He worked on the mass disasters of 9/11, the Hungerford shootings, and the Bali bombings, as well as the headline-making investigations of the death of Princess Diana and the murder of Stephen Lawrence. His skills and expertise remain in demand around the world today.
He has appeared on Channel Five's Autopsy, investigating the mystery and intrigue behind the deaths of high profile celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Michael Hutchence.
His first book, the major Sunday Times bestseller Unnatural Causes (Penguin, 2018) explores Richard's remarkable career from crime scene to court room. Telling the story of not only the cases and bodies that have haunted him the most, but also how to live a life steeped in death.
His latest book, The Seven Ages of Death will be published in September 2021. It will be a powerful, moving, endlessly fascinating and above all reassuring book about death as it touches our own lives - how to understand it, how best to postpone it, and, when our time comes (as it must come), how to embrace it, as the last great adventure on our journey through life.