Donna Jo Atwood's Reviews > The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science

The Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas Starr
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's review
Jan 17, 12

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bookshelves: true-crime, france-fiction
Read in January, 2012

This book serves to remind us of how far crime fighting has come in the last 150 years. The scientific tools and methods used by police now were being developed in the late 1800's and early 1900's against criminals who could be just as wily as their counterparts are now.
In this case the multiple murderer Joseph Vacher managed to elude authorities for years by being constantly on the move. During a time when the various policing departents did little to coordinate their efforts, he moved through a large area of rural France, leaving perhaps as many as twenty-five bodies behind. (It is estimated he killed many more than Jack the Ripper.)
This book is just as much about the prosecutor and the criminologist in the case. They refused to jump to conclusions and just dug deeper to capture and try the right man.
A detailed, but not gruesome account.


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