Buffalo, NY, attorney Joseph J. Marusak writes:
This tribute is written to acknowledge the debt Western New York owes to Erie County’s former chief medical examiner. I first met Uku as a homicide prosecutor in the late 1980s…You soon learned that if Uku did the autopsy, there would be no reasonable doubt as to the cause of death. Defense counsel’s skills were irrelevant. Cross-examination only enhanced Uku’s credibility, for he always carried himself with an impeccable medley of modesty, candor and dignity….
His integrity was unmatched. It was not surprising to learn that O.J. Simpson’s lawyers reached across the country to solicit Uku to testify as their expert witness. Yet it was even less surprising to learn that Uku politely declined the offer, which would have given him the opportunity to close out his career on the national stage, testifying in perhaps this nation’s most celebrated murder trial. His testimony would have opened the proverbial doors of fame and fortune to him. Yet Uku simply said ‘no.’
Based on his logical understanding of the facts, Uku had no reasonable doubt as to Simpson’s guilt. That was reason enough to remain in Buffalo, away from the prestige.