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HEALTH- MEDICINE - SCIENCE > FORENSIC SCIENCE




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message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 29431 comments Thank you Francie


message 46: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice | 468 comments FBI Handbook of Crime Scene Forensics: The Authoritative Guide to Navigating Crime Scenes

FBI Handbook of Crime Scene Forensics  The Authoritative Guide to Navigating Crime Scenes by Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation (no photo)

Synopsis:

Guidance and procedures for safe and efficient methods from the FBI’s Laboratory Division and Operational Technology Division.

The FBI Handbook of Crime Scene Forensics is the official procedural guide for law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and tribunals who wish to submit evidence to the FBI’s Laboratory and Investigative Technology Divisions.

This book outlines the proper methods for investigating crime scenes, examining evidence, packing and shipping evidence to the FBI, and observing safety protocol at crime scenes. Types of evidence discussed include:

Bullet jacket alloys
Computers
Hairs
Inks
Lubricants
Ropes
Safe insulations
Shoe prints
Tire treads
Weapons of mass destruction

Particular attention is paid to recording the appearance of crime scenes through narratives, photographs, videos, audiotapes, or sketches.

A guide for professional forensics experts and an introduction for laymen, the FBI Handbook of Crime Scene Forensics makes fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in investigative police work and the criminal justice system.


message 45: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime

Forensics  What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid by Val McDermidVal McDermid

Synopsis:

Val McDermid is one of the finest crime writers we have, whose novels have captivated millions of readers worldwide with their riveting narratives of characters who solve complex crimes and confront unimaginable evil. In the course of researching her bestselling novels McDermid has become familiar with every branch of forensics, and now she uncovers the history of this science, real-world murders and the people who must solve them.

The dead talk—to the right listener. They can tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died, and, of course, who killed them. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help serve justice using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene, or the faintest of human traces. Forensics draws on interviews with some of these top-level professionals, ground-breaking research, and McDermid’s own original interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientists.

Along the way, McDermid discovers how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine one’s time of death; how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer; and how a team of young Argentine scientists led by a maverick American anthropologist were able to uncover the victims of a genocide. It’s a journey that will take McDermid to war zones, fire scenes, and autopsy suites, and bring her into contact with both extraordinary bravery and wickedness, as she traces the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.


message 44: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice | 468 comments Fixed. Thanks for catching that.


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 17, 2015 09:52AM) (new)

Bentley | 29431 comments France - you need to place one blank line between the third and fourth paragraphs. Also between the sixth and seventh paragraphs.


message 42: by Francie (last edited Mar 17, 2015 01:54PM) (new)

Francie Grice | 468 comments How to Commit the Perfect Murder: Forensic Science Analyzed

How to Commit the Perfect Murder  Forensic Science Analyzed by David Malocco by David Malocco (no photo)

Synopsis:

Today, most murder crimes can be detected through DNA analysis and the assistance of forensic scientists like pathologists, toxicologists and ballistic experts. So, the question must be asked, can a criminal, using the knowledge of forensic science to their own advantage, reduce their percentage of detection, in order to commit the perfect murder?

If a criminal knew exactly what investigators were looking for at a crime scene could they use that to avoid detection? Crime Scene Analysis is a documented and forensic process. Fortunately, most murderers do not approach their crimes in a scientific manner.

But, if you thought like a forensic scientist, is it possible to commit the perfect murder? The idea of committing the perfect murder, by which I mean, committing a murder and not being apprehended, is the ultimate intellectual challenge. A select few have endeavoured to put theory into practice. Some have succeeded.

A few experts will reluctantly admit that there might be a way to get away with murder. They say it would require an undetectable weapon, a perfect location to commit the crime and an ingenious way to dispose of the body.

There are many pitfalls a criminal can avoid by studying forensic science, just as there are many ways a poisoner can evade capture by studying toxicology. For example, did you know that the greatest source of evidence in a murder case is extracted from the victim’s body? Forensic science will use an autopsy to determine the time of death; the victim’s last meal; the manner of death; the weapon used; maybe even the actual weapon itself. Marks on the body will assist the pathologist in this regard. All of this information, pieced together, will bring them closer to catching the culprit. But there are ways to avoid this.

There are ways of killing a person without leaving any marks on the body. There are ways to avoid leaving your DNA at the crime scene. There are ways to dispose of the body so that it will never be recovered, at least not in your lifetime.

Even as you read this book, someone, somewhere is committing the perfect murder. They will never be caught and forensic science, although it has greatly enhanced detection rates, is not yet fool proof. Despite what you may have read elsewhere that the perfect murder exists only in Crime Fiction novels the fact is, that thousands of perfect murders are committed every year.

Dr. Harold Shipman is the world’s most prolific serial killer who killed over one thousand of his patients before making some some basic mistakes which resulted in his capture. It was only when his motive became one of greed that he was caught. Up to that point he had committed a thousand perfect murders.

So yes, it is possible to commit the perfect murder. How? Well, let’s say it’s complicated.


message 41: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Forensic Science: An Encyclopedia of History, Methods, and Techniques

Forensic Science  An Encyclopedia of History, Methods, and Techniques by William Tilstone by William Tilstone (no photo)

Synopsis:

The work of forensic scientists both fascinates and repels us. Now, everything you wanted to know - and maybe a bit more - about this little understood field is available in this accessible and comprehensive reference book.From dandruff to DNA, from ammunition to infrared spectrophotometry, forensic scientists employ the commonplace and the esoteric to get their man or woman. This reference work is accessible to non-experts in this fast-changing and ever-fascinating field of criminological study. Readers will learn how the latest scientific breakthroughs and the well-honed instincts of forensics experts come together to provide the clue and amass the evidence to bring America's most notorious criminals to justice.From famous firsts in forensics to accessible future developments in science, the expert team of contributors examines techniques and technologies, key cases and critical controversies, ethics and legal issues.


message 40: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3088 comments Silent Witnesses: The Often Gruesome but Always Fascinating History of Forensic Science

Silent Witnesses  The Often Gruesome but Always Fascinating History of Forensic Science by Nigel McCrery by Nigel McCreryNigel McCrery

Synopsis:

Crime novelist and former police officer Nigel McCrery provides an account of all the major areas of forensic science from around the world over the past two centuries. The book weaves dramatic narrative and scientific principles together in a way that allows readers to figure out crimes along with the experts.

Readers are introduced to such fascinating figures as Dr. Edmond Locard, the “French Sherlock Holmes”; Edward Heinrich, “Wizard of Berkeley,” who is credited with having solved more than 2,000 crimes; and Alphonse Bertillon, the French scientist whose guiding principle, “no two individuals share the same characteristics,” became the core of criminal identification. Landmark crime investigations examined in depth include a notorious murder involving blood evidence and defended by F. Lee Bailey, the seminal 1936 murder that demonstrated the usefulness of the microscope in examining trace evidence, the 1849 murder of a wealthy Boston businessman that demonstrated how difficult it is to successfully dispose of a corpse, and many others.


message 39: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) The Inheritor's Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science

The Inheritor's Powder  A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science by Sandra Hempel by Sandra Hempel (no photo)

Synopsis:

In the first half of the nineteenth century, an epidemic swept Europe: arsenic poisoning. Available at any corner shop for a few pence, arsenic was so frequently used by potential beneficiaries of wills that it was nicknamed “the inheritor’s powder.” But it was difficult to prove that a victim had been poisoned, let alone to identify the contaminated food or drink since arsenic was tasteless.
Then came a riveting case. On the morning of Saturday, November 2, 1833, the Bodle household sat down to their morning breakfast. That evening, the local doctor John Butler received an urgent summons: the family and their servants had collapsed and were seriously ill. Three days later, after lingering in agony, wealthy George Bodle died in his bed at his farmhouse in Plumstead, leaving behind several heirs, including a son and grandson—both of whom were not on the best of terms with the family patriarch.

The investigation, which gained international attention, brought together a colorful cast of characters: bickering relatives; a drunken, bumbling policeman; and James Marsh, an unknown but brilliant chemist who, assigned the Bodle case, attempted to create a test that could accurately pinpoint the presence of arsenic. In doing so, however, he would cause as many problems as he solved. Were innocent men and women now going to the gallows? And would George Bodle’s killer be found?

Incisive and wryly entertaining, science writer Sandra Hempel brings to life a gripping story of domestic infighting, wayward police behavior, a slice of Victorian history, stories of poisonings, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.


message 38: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Slaughter on a Snowy Morn: A Tale of Murder, Corruption and the Death Penalty Case that Shocked America

Slaughter On A Snowy Morn  A Tale Of Murder, Corruption And The Death Penalty Case That Revolutionised The American Courtroom by Colin Evans by Colin EvansColin Evans

Synopsis:

The dramatic tale of the illiterate New York farmhand condemned to death in 1916 who became first convicted murderer ever to be freed by forensic science.

"With a cast of characters brought to life in superb style by Evans, Slaughter on a Snowy Morn cannot fail to keep you gripped until the very last page."—History Books Review

This is the true story about a murder back in 1915, and the ensuing tale of corruption, injustice, and forensic sleuthing that revolutionized the American courtroom. Charles Stielow was born in Germany and moved with his parents to the US and settled in New York. But he had a very low IQ, never learned to read and write, and even his speech was heavily accented. He worked menial jobs as a farmhand. He had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and ended up being arrested and charged with the murder of the wealthy landowner on whose farm he was working at the time. Stielow was found guilty of the murder and sent to Death Row. This gripping story, expertly presented by Colin Evans, tells of the various aspects of the case, from witness statements, forced confessions, courtroom lies, seemingly endless legal appeals, and finally --- miraculously --- justice.

One very intriguing aspect to this relatively obscure case was how it revolutionized the use of forensic evidence in courtrooms, not only in the US, but worldwide. Here is one passage from the book that explains:

"Those four gunshots fired on a snowy night in Western New York changed forever the face of forensic science and gave law enforcement agencies around the globe access to a system of accurate firearms analysis. That in itself is a fine achievement, but the greater and more lasting legacy of the Stielow case goes deeper than mere scientific accomplishment, right to the core of what it means to be human."

And that last part is what makes this books so moving and memorable -- Amazon Review


message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 29431 comments Interesting Kathy


message 36: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Beating the Devil's Game: A History of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation

Beating the Devil's Game  A History of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation by Katherine Ramsland by Katherine RamslandKatherine Ramsland

Synopsis:

Katherine Ramsland, a renowned expert in criminology, traces the story of the evolution of forensic science??from thirteenth-century Chinese studies of decomposition through the flowering of science during the Renaissance and its veritable explosion during the era of Newtonian physics, to the marvels of the present day and beyond. Along the way, she introduces readers to such forensic pioneers as the father of toxicology; the criminalturned- detective who founded the Parisian Sureté; and trailblazers like William Bass whose integrated program in entomology, anthropology, and pathology at the Forensic Anthropology Center has galvanized the field.


message 35: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner

Working Stiff  Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek by Judy Melinek (no photo)

Synopsis:

The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist’s “rookie season” as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases—hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex—that shaped her as both a physician and a mother.

Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation—performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy’s two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587.

Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America’s most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies—and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law & Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.


message 34: by Darcywillow (new)

Darcywillow  (Darcywillow) | 2 comments Ok I'll let you know


message 33: by Kathy (last edited Nov 14, 2014 08:23AM) (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Let us know here what you think when you have finished it. We have several books listed in this post, but very few reviews on them from members. Hope to see your review soon :)

Be sure to cite the book and author when you mention them.

The Science of Sherlock Holmes  From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases by E.J. Wagner by E.J. Wagner (no photo)


message 32: by Darcywillow (new)

Darcywillow  (Darcywillow) | 2 comments I've just started the science of Sherlock Holmes looks very promising and well researched


message 31: by Kathy (last edited Aug 18, 2014 10:39AM) (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases

The Science of Sherlock Holmes  From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases by E.J. Wagner by E.J. Wagner (no photo)

Synopsis:

Praise for "The Science of Sherlock Holmes"""Holmes is, first, a great detective, but he has also proven to be a great scientist, whether dabbling with poisons, tobacco ash, or tire marks. Wagner explores this fascinating aspect of his career by showing how his investigations were grounded in the cutting-edge science of his day, especially the emerging field of forensics.... Utterly compelling.""
--Otto Penzler, member of the Baker Street Irregulars and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop

""E. J. Wagner demonstrates that without the work of Sherlock Holmes and his contemporaries, the CSI teams would be twiddling their collective thumbs. Her accounts of Victorian crimes make Watson's tales pale! Highly recommended for students of the Master Detective.""
--Leslie S. Klinger, Editor

""In this thrilling book, E. J. Wagner has combined her considerable strengths in three disciplines to produce a work as compelling and blood-curdling as the best commercial fiction. This is CSI in foggy old London Town. Chilling, grim fun.""
--John Westermann

""I am recommending this delightful work to all of my fellow forensic scientists.... Bravo, Ms. Wagner!""
--John Houde

""A fabulously interesting read. The book traces the birth of the forensic sciences to the ingenuity of Sherlock Holmes. A wonderful blend of history, mystery, and whodunit.""
--Andre Moenssens, Douglas Stripp Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Missouri at Kansas City


message 30: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America's Coldest Cases

The Skeleton Crew  How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases by Deborah Halber by Deborah HalberDeborah Halber

Synopsis:

Solving cold cases from the comfort of your living room…

The Skeleton Crew provides an entree into the gritty and tumultuous world of Sherlock Holmes–wannabes who race to beat out law enforcement—and one another—at matching missing persons with unidentified remains.

In America today, upwards of forty thousand people are dead and unaccounted for. These murder, suicide, and accident victims, separated from their names, are being adopted by the bizarre online world of amateur sleuths.

It’s DIY CSI.

The web sleuths pore over facial reconstructions (a sort of Facebook for the dead) and other online clues as they vie to solve cold cases and tally up personal scorecards of dead bodies. The Skeleton Crew delves into the macabre underside of the Internet, the fleeting nature of identity, and how even the most ordinary citizen with a laptop and a knack for puzzles can reinvent herself as a web sleuth.


message 29: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Crime Scene: From Fingerprints to DNA Testing - An Astonishing Inside Look at the Real World of C.S.I.

Crime Scene by Larry Ragle by Larry Ragle (no photo)

Synopsis:

One of the nation's top forensic scientists, Larry Ragle has investigated countless brutal and baffling crimes during his forty-year career. Now he takes us behind the yellow police tape and into the medical examiner's laboratory for a fascinating look at his most sensational cases, revealing how cutting-edge science and medical technology were used to shed brilliant light on the criminals and their transgressions. Here is the real world of C.S.I. -- where astonishingly detailed portraits of malefactors are painted with a single drop of blood, and a microscopic fiber can direct the police to even the most careful and elusive of murderers.


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 03, 2014 06:17PM) (new)

Bentley | 29431 comments Hi S - I know it takes some time to get the hang of the citations. And we are here to help you.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (no photo)

We do not allow any self promotion however. Good trivia question:

Trivia question: what was Sherlock Holmes' alias, when he faked his own death?


message 27: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

The Murder of the Century  The Gilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars by Paul  Collins by Paul  CollinsPaul Collins

Synopsis:

On Long Island, a farmer finds a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discover a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumble upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime are turning up all over New York, but the police are baffled: There are no witnesses, no motives, no suspects.

The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives
headlong into the era's most baffling murder mystery. Seized upon by battling media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the case became a publicity circus. Reenactments of the murder were staged in Times Square, armed reporters lurked in the streets of Hell's Kitchen in pursuit of suspects, and an unlikely trio--a hard-luck cop, a cub reporter, and an eccentric professor--all raced to solve the crime.

What emerged was a sensational love triangle and an even more sensational trial: an unprecedented capital case hinging on circumstantial evidence around a victim whom the police couldn't identify with certainty, and who the defense claimed wasn't even dead. The Murder of the Century is a rollicking tale--a rich evocation of America during the Gilded Age and a colorful re-creation of the tabloid wars that have dominated media to this day.


message 26: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) The Science of Sherlock Holmes

The Science of Sherlock Holmes  From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases by E.J. Wagner by E.J. Wagner (no photo)

Synopsis:

Forensic expert Wagner has crafted a volume that stands out from the plethora of recent memoirs of contemporary scientific detectives. By using the immortal and well-known Sherlock Holmes stories as her starting point, Wagner blends familiar examples from Doyle's accounts into a history of the growth of forensic science, pointing out where fiction strayed from fact. The author avoids the technical details that mar so many other efforts in this genre, injecting life into her narrative by weaving in true crime cases that either influenced Holmes's creator or may have been influenced by a published story from the Baker Street sleuth. Particularly memorable is a creepy 1945 murder of a man who, as a youth, had had an encounter with a spectral dog reminiscent of the hound of the Baskervilles. While some of the speculations are thin (including a passing suggestion about a new Ripper suspect), Wagner presents a balanced view of the history of forensic science that should appeal to a wide audience.

"Holmes is, first, a great detective, but he has also proven to be a great scientist, whether dabbling with poisons, tobacco ash, or tire marks. Wagner explores this fascinating aspect of his career by showing how his investigations were grounded in the cutting-edge science of his day, especially the emerging field of forensics.... Utterly compelling."
—Otto Penzler, member of the Baker Street Irregulars and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop

"E. J. Wagner demonstrates that without the work of Sherlock Holmes and his contemporaries, the CSI teams would be twiddling their collective thumbs. Her accounts of Victorian crimes make Watson's tales pale! Highly recommended for students of the Master Detective."
—Leslie S. Klinger, Editor, The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes

"In this thrilling book, E. J. Wagner has combined her considerable strengths in three disciplines to produce a work as compelling and blood-curdling as the best commercial fiction. This is CSI in foggy old London Town. Chilling, grim fun."
—John Westermann, author of Exit Wounds and Sweet Deal

"I am recommending this delightful work to all of my fellow forensic scientists.... Bravo, Ms. Wagner!"
—John Houde, author of Crime Lab: A Guide for Nonscientists

"A fabulously interesting read. The book traces the birth of the forensic sciences to the ingenuity of Sherlock Holmes. A wonderful blend of history, mystery, and whodunit."
—Andre Moenssens, Douglas Stripp Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Missouri at Kansas City, and coauthor of Scientific Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases


message 25: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales

Death's Acre  Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales by Bill Bass by Bill Bass (no photo)

Synopsis:

Dr. Bill Bass, one of the world's leading forensic anthropologists, gained international attention when he built a forensic lab like no other: The Body Farm. Now, this master scientist unlocks the gates of his lab to reveal his most intriguing cases-and to revisit the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, fifty years after the fact.


message 24: by Kathy (last edited Sep 22, 2013 02:51PM) (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) The Devil's Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century

The Devil's Gentleman  Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century by Harold Schechter by Harold SchechterHarold Schechter

Synopsis:

From renowned true-crime historian Harold Schechter comes the riveting exploration of a notorious New York City murder in the 1890s, the fascinating forensic science of an earlier time, and the grisly court case that became a tabloid spectacle.

The wayward son of a revered Civil War general, Roland Molineux enjoyed good looks, status, and fortune–hardly the qualities of a prime suspect in a series of shocking, merciless cyanide killings. Molineux’s subsequent indictment for murder led to two explosive trials and a sex-infused scandal that shocked the nation. Bringing to life Manhattan’s Gilded Age, Schechter captures all the colors of the tumultuous legal proceedings, gathering his own evidence and tackling subjects no one dared address at the time–all in hopes of answering a tantalizing question: What powerfully dark motives could drive the wealthy scion of an eminent New York family to murder?


message 23: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Forensic Science in Court: Challenges in the Twenty First Century

Forensic Science in Court  Challenges in the Twenty First Century by Donald Shelton by Donald Shelton (no photo)

Synopsis:

Forensic Science in Court explores the legal implications of forensic science--an increasingly important and complex part of the justice system. Judge Donald Shelton provides an accessible overview of the legal issues, from the history of evidence in court, to 'gatekeeper' judges determining what evidence can be allowed, to the 'CSI effect' in juries. The book describes and evaluates various kinds of evidence, including DNA, fingerprints, handwriting, hair, bite marks, tool marks, firearms and bullets, fire and arson investigation, and bloodstain evidence. Assessing the strengths and limitations of each kind of evidence, the author also discusses how they can contribute to identifying the 'who,' 'how,' and 'whether' questions that arise in criminal prosecutions. Author Donald Shelton draws on the depth of his experiences as courtroom prosecutor, professor, and judge, to provide a well-rounded look at these increasingly critical issues. Case studies throughout help bring the issues to life and show how forensic science has been used, both successfully and not, in real-world situations.


message 22: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation

The Forensic Casebook  The Science of Crime Scene Investigation by Ngaire E. Genge by Ngaire E. Genge (no photo)

Synopsis:

THE ULTIMATE READERS’ GUIDE TO THE ART OF FORENSICS!

An intrepid investigator crawls through miles of air conditioning ducts to capture the implicating fibers of a suspect’s wool jacket . . . A forensic entomologist discovers insects in the grill of a car and nails down a drug dealer’s precise geographical path . . . A gluttonous criminal’s fingerprints are lifted from a chocolate truffle. . . .

Filled with these and many other intriguing true stories, and packed with black and white illustrations and photographs, The Forensic Casebook draws on interviews with police personnel and forensic scientists—including animal examiners, botanists, zoologists, firearms specialists, and autoposists—to uncover the vast and detailed underworkings of criminal investigation. Encyclopedic in scope, this riveting, authoritative book leaves no aspect of forensic science untouched, covering such fascinating topics as:

• Securing a crime scene
• Identifying blood splatter patterns
• Collecting fingerprints—and feet, lip, and ear prints
• Interpreting the stages of a body’s decay
• Examining hair and fiber evidence
• Trace evidence from firearms and explosives
• “Lifting” DNA prints
• Computer crime and forensic photography
• Career paths in criminal science

Lucidly written and spiked with real crime stories, The Forensic Casebook exposes the nitty gritty that other books only touch upon. Here is a reference book as addictive as a page-turning novel of suspense.


message 21: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Wow. Thanks, Jill & Alisa! Both of these look like great books.


message 20: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5421 comments TO be released later this year:

The Inheritor's Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science

The Inheritor's Powder  A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science by Sandra Hempel by Sandra Hempel (no photo)

Synopsis:
The Inheritor’s Powder brings together a gripping story, a fascinating slice of history, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.

In the first half of the nineteenth century, an epidemic swept Europe: arsenic poisoning. Available at any corner shop, arsenic was so frequently used by potential beneficiaries of wills that it was nicknamed “the inheritor’s powder.” But it was difficult to prove that a victim had been poisoned, let alone to identify the food or drink that had been contaminated. Then came a riveting case. In 1833, George Bodle, a wealthy landowner from outside London, died after drinking his morning coffee. The investigation, which gained international attention, brought together a colorful cast of characters: a doctor who turned detective; a drunken, bumbling policeman; and James Marsh, an unknown but brilliant chemist who, assigned the Bodle case, attempted to create a test that could pinpoint the presence of arsenic.


message 19: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (last edited Jun 05, 2013 12:08PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 9724 comments The Devil's Dozen: How Cutting-Edge Forensics Took Down 12 Notorious Serial Killers

The Devil's Dozen  How Cutting-Edge Forensics Took Down 12 Notorious Serial Killers by Katherine Ramsland by Katherine RamslandKatherine Ramsland

Synopsis

Katherine Ramsland has brilliantly captured the insights and drama of some fascinating cases in her previous bestselling books. Now she examines the case histories of twelve of the most notorious serial killers of the last one hundred years, and answers the questions: What clues did they leave behind? How were they eventually caught? How was each twist and turn of their crimes matched by the equally compelling weapons of science and logic?

From exploring the nineteenth century's earliest investigative tools to remarkable twenty-first century CSI advances, The Devil's Dozen provides a fascinating window into the world of those who kill-and those who dedicate their lives to bringing them to justice.


message 18: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) Thanks, Peter. I'll check those out.


message 17: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom | 943 comments Aaron Elkins (no photo) has written a series of mysteries featuring forensic anthropologist (the skeleton detective) Gideon Oliver.


message 16: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom | 943 comments Jefferson Bass Jefferson Bass is the "pen name" of two authors who have teamed up to write a series of mysteries that depend on their knowledge of forensics.


message 15: by Kathy (last edited Jun 25, 2013 11:09AM) (new)

Kathy (Kathy_H) The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation

The Forensic Casebook  The Science of Crime Scene Investigation by Ngaire E. Genge by Ngaire E. Genge (no photo)

Synopsis:

THE ULTIMATE READERS’ GUIDE TO THE ART OF FORENSICS!

An intrepid investigator crawls through miles of air conditioning ducts to capture the implicating fibers of a suspect’s wool jacket . . . A forensic entomologist discovers insects in the grill of a car and nails down a drug dealer’s precise geographical path . . . A gluttonous criminal’s fingerprints are lifted from a chocolate truffle. . . .

Filled with these and many other intriguing true stories, and packed with black and white illustrations and photographs, The Forensic Casebook draws on interviews with police personnel and forensic scientists—including animal examiners, botanists, zoologists, firearms specialists, and autoposists—to uncover the vast and detailed underworkings of criminal investigation. Encyclopedic in scope, this riveting, authoritative book leaves no aspect of forensic science untouched, covering such fascinating topics as:

• Securing a crime scene
• Identifying blood splatter patterns
• Collecting fingerprints—and feet, lip, and ear prints
• Interpreting the stages of a body’s decay
• Examining hair and fiber evidence
• Trace evidence from firearms and explosives
• “Lifting” DNA prints
• Computer crime and forensic photography
• Career paths in criminal science

Lucidly written and spiked with real crime stories, The Forensic Casebook exposes the nitty gritty that other books only touch upon. Here is a reference book as addictive as a page-turning novel of suspense.


message 14: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 9724 comments Suburbanrockdoll wrote: "Jill wrote: "Thanks, Suburbanrockdoll......Another great add to an interesting list of forensic science books.

Good job with the book citation but it isn't necessary to put a link to the book sinc..."


You are doing fine....it just takes a while to get used to it.


message 13: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 9724 comments Becky wrote: " The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great VIctorian Detective by Kate Summerscale
(Non-fiction)

[bookcover:The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and..."


I read that book earlier this year, Becky, and really enjoyed it. Good recommendation.


message 12: by Suburbanrockdoll (new)

Suburbanrockdoll | 99 comments Jill wrote: "Thanks, Suburbanrockdoll......Another great add to an interesting list of forensic science books.

Good job with the book citation but it isn't necessary to put a link to the book since you have a ..."


Thank you, Jill. I am still learning.

If anyone is interested in a book that teaches how forensic anthropologists make discoveries, here is a book that will help. I was able to understand some of the terminology and information in other books by reading this one. I read it from cover to cover and found it very informative.


Introduction to Forensic Anthropology by Steven N. Byers by Steven N. Byers

Goodreads Synopsis
Comprehensive and engaging, Byers's "Introduction to Forensic Anthropology," uses thoughtful pedagogy to lead students step-by-step through the most current and detailed forensic anthropology material available today.This one-of-a-kind text offers comprehensive coverage of all of the major topics in the field of forensics with accuracy, intensity, and clarity. Extensive illustrations and photos ensure that the text is accessible for students. As one reviewer says, "There is no other source available that is so comprehensive in its coverage of the methods and issues in the current practice of forensic anthropology." Another raves, "The first edition has been a big hit with my students, and I have been very pleased with the ease with which this text has corresponded to my class lecture structure . . . I am anxiously awaiting the next edition "


message 11: by Becky (last edited Jun 01, 2012 06:23AM) (new)

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1219 comments The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great VIctorian Detective by Kate Summerscale
(Non-fiction)

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher  A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale by Kate SummerscaleKate Summerscale

Goodreads Synopsis
The dramatic story of the real-life murder that inspired the birth of modern detective fiction.

In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection, ironically destroying, in the process, the career of perhaps the greatest detective in the land.

At the time, the detective was a relatively new invention; there were only eight detectives in all of England and rarely were they called out of London, but this crime was so shocking, as Kate Summerscale relates in her scintillating new book, that Scotland Yard sent its best man to investigate, Inspector Jonathan Whicher.

Whicher quickly believed the unbelievable—that someone within the family was responsible for the murder of young Saville Kent. Without sufficient evidence or a confession, though, his case was circumstantial and he returned to London a broken man. Though he would be vindicated five years later, the real legacy of Jonathan Whicher lives on in fiction: the tough, quirky, knowing, and all-seeing detective that we know and love today…from the cryptic Sgt. Cuff in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone to Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher is a provocative work of nonfiction that reads like a Victorian thriller, and in it Kate Summerscale has fashioned a brilliant, multilayered narrative that is as cleverly constructed as it is beautifully written.

Review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/boo...
"... the spirit of scientific enlightenment was also flourishing in this industrialized period. People were already infatuated with police detectives (“a secular substitute for a prophet or a priest”) and morbidly curious about the advances in criminal psychology and forensic procedures. For a nation of armchair detectives, the prolonged and very public Scotland Yard investigation was like a teaching manual in the new forensic sciences. As Summerscale puts it, “The Road Hill case turned everyone detective.”

I read this several years ago but it still lingers in my mind - such a good book! The writing is a bit Victorian to add to the ambiance, but it was wonderfully well researched and the source notes are abundant.


message 10: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 9724 comments Thanks, Suburbanrockdoll......Another great add to an interesting list of forensic science books.

Good job with the book citation but it isn't necessary to put a link to the book since you have a cover available. If the cover is not in the data base, the link is used instead.


Suburbanrockdoll | 99 comments I took courses on the human skeleton and forensic anthropology. My instructor worked for Dr. Douglas Ubelaker at the Smithsonian who is a good friend of Bill Bass. All the books you posted are very good. Here is another I read earlier this year called Bones: A Forensic Detective's Casebook Bones  A Forensic Detective's Casebook by Douglas H. UbelakerDouglas H. Ubelaker

Book Description:
A look at the state-of-the-art techniques that enable forensic experts to read the details of a life from a single bone presents a collection of cases that take readers from archaeological digs to courtrooms.

Ubelaker, a forensic anthropologist with the Smithsonian Institution, has aided the FBI for years. Here he shows how traditional methods of physical anthropology and state-of-the-art chemical and computer analysis of victims' remains, no matter how worn or disarticulated, can be used to paint portraits of both the deceased and the circumstances of their deaths with an accuracy that should be discouraging to anyone with murderous intent.


message 8: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 9724 comments Most of us have heard of the Body Farm but this book takes us a little further in the career of Dr. Bill Bass, one of the modern icons in the area of forensic science.

Beyond The Body Farm

Beyond the Body Farm  A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murders, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic Science by Bill Bass by Bill Bass

Synopsis

There is no scientist in the world like Dr. Bill Bass. A pioneer in forensic anthropology, Bass created the world's first laboratory dedicated to the study of human decomposition--three acres of land on a hillside in Tennessee where human bodies are left to the elements. His research at "the Body Farm" has revolutionized forensic science, helping police crack cold cases and pinpoint time of death. But during a forensics career that spans half a century, Bass and his work have ranged far beyond the gates of the Body Farm. In this riveting book, the bone sleuth explores the rise of modern forensic science, using fascinating cases from his career to take readers into the real world of C.S.I.

Some of Bill Bass's cases rely on the simplest of tools and techniques, such as reassembling--from battered torsos and a stack of severed limbs--eleven people hurled skyward by an explosion at an illegal fireworks factory. Other cases hinge on sophisticated techniques Bass could not have imagined when he began his career: harnessing scanning electron microscopy to detect trace elements in knife wounds; and extracting DNA from a long-buried corpse, only to find that the female murder victim may have been mistakenly identified a quarter-century before.

In "Beyond the Body Farm," readers will follow Bass as he explores the depths of an East Tennessee lake with a twenty-first-century sonar system, in a quest for an airplane that disappeared with two people on board thirty-five years ago; see Bass exhume fifties pop star "the Big Bopper" to determine what injuries he suffered in the plane crash that killed three rock and roll legends on "the day the music died"; and join Bass as he works to decipher an ancient Persian death scene nearly three thousand years old. Witty and engaging, Bass dissects the methods used by homicide investigators every day, leading readers on an extraordinary journey into the high-tech science that it takes to crack a case.


message 7: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1836 comments This sounds like a tough but rewarding read.

The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo

Goodreads blurb:


In the spring of 1994, Rwanda was the scene of the first acts since World War II to be legally defined as genocide. Two years later, Clea Koff, a twenty-three-year-old forensic anthropologist analyzing prehistoric skeletons in the safe confines of Berkeley, California, was one of sixteen scientists chosen by the UN International Criminal Tribunal to go to Rwanda to unearth the physical evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity. The Bone Woman is Koff’s riveting, deeply personal account of that mission and the six subsequent missions she undertook—to Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo—on behalf of the UN.

In order to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity, the UN needs to know the answer to one question: Are the bodies those of noncombatants? To answer this, one must learn who the victims were, and how they were killed. Only one group of specialists in the world can make both those determinations: forensic anthropologists, trained to identify otherwise unidentifiable human remains by analyzing their skeletons. Forensic anthropologists unlock the stories of people’s lives, as well as of their last moments.

Koff’s unflinching account of her years with the UN—what she saw, how it affected her, who was prosecuted based on evidence she found, what she learned about the world—is alternately gripping, frightening, and miraculously hopeful. Readers join Koff as she comes face-to-face with the realities of genocide: nearly five hundred bodies exhumed from a single grave in Kibuye, Rwanda; the wire-bound wrists of Srebrenica massacre victims uncovered in Bosnia; the disinterment of the body of a young man in southwestern Kosovo as his grandfather looks on in silence.

Yet even as she recounts the hellish working conditions, the tangled bureaucracy of the UN, and the heartbreak of survivors, Koff imbues her story with purpose, humanity, and an unfailing sense of justice. This is a book only Clea Koff could have written, charting her journey from wide-eyed innocent to soul-weary veteran across geography synonymous with some of the worst crimes of the twentieth century. A tale of science in the service of human rights, The Bone Woman is, even more profoundly, a story of hope and enduring moral principles.


The Bone Woman  A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo by Clea KoffClea Koff (no photo)


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 29431 comments Thanks for the post Aussie Rick and the recommendation.


message 5: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) "Stiff" by Mary Roach is a very interesting book and offers a touch of humour on a subject rarely spoken about in society, well worth reading.



Stiff  The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach by Mary Roach


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 20, 2011 05:19PM) (new)

Bentley | 29431 comments Here is one:

Stiff  The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach Mary RoachMary Roach

Goodreads Synopsis:

"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year....Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting."—Entertainment Weekly

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries—from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

Awards:

ALA Alex Award (2004)


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 29431 comments Here is another:

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum

The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum by Deborah Blum

Publisher's Synopsis:

The Poisoner's Handbook
By DEBORAH BLUM
Reviewed by Sarah Weinman
Murder provides the crux for a good many of the stories which fascinate us, whether the tale comes from the tabloids or a novelist's imagination. But the act itself often eludes narrative. A cloud of rage, a moment of opportunity, and a weapon in hand leads to death in minutes, even seconds, barely enough time to register that the victim has moved out of the land of the living. Add a dash of poison, however, rationed out in small doses over a long period of time, and murder leaves the realm of second-degree impulse for first-degree pre-meditation. Randomize the efforts and, in recent cases like the 1982 Tylenol murders and the 2001 anthrax attacks, the result is domestic terror, the lack of resolution lingering in the air like the bitter almond smell of cyanide.

Contemporary crime fiction's emphasis on verisimilitude and character favors more easily discernible death mechanisms like gunshots, stab wounds and ligatures, in large part because there are more such murders in real life. But the genre's Golden Age, from the turn of the 20th Century to World War II, ran amok with poisoners, whose crimes could be couched as debilitating sickness or the natural run of aging. Once unmasked by the likes of Agatha Christie -- who knew a thing or two about insidious chemicals thanks to an earlier job dispensing pharmaceuticals -- the handiwork of these villains were a testament to elegantly complex plotting and fiendish misdirection of the reader.

These parlor tricks of fiction also reflected what Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Deborah Blum describes, in her new book The Poisoner's Handbook as "a deadly cat and mouse game, [with] scientists and poisoners as intellectual adversaries." Although poison is as old as human culture (think of the death of Socrates) its operation couldn't be understood until the advent of modern chemistry. By the early 1800s it was possible to detect the presence of poison, and by the early 20th Century European toxicologists were staying in step with drug-happy murderers who thought they could get away with their crimes, only to be foiled by post-mortem chemical tests.

In America, these advances ran into somewhat greater obstacles. Forensic science practices were nowhere close to their counterparts across the Atlantic -- American states and towns were riddled with incompetent coroners, underfunded laboratories and indifferent politicians who could not keep pace with the "wealth of modern poisons" created by the innovations of industry. The clever poisoner, however, was about to meet his match in the two heroes of Blum's fascinating account of the dawn of modern American forensic toxicology; The Poisoner's Handbook offers a synthesis of societal forces and chemical advances with barely detectable seams.

On January 31, 1918, years after a scathing report indicted New York City's coroners for falling down on the job and despite endless delays by Tammany Hall-controlled state legislature, Charles Norris, Bellevue Hospital's chief pathologist, was appointed the city's first Chief Medical Examiner. The appointment was a watershed:
It would be imprecise to say that [Norris] loved the job...he lived and breathed it. He spent his own money on it. He gave it power and prominence and wore himself into exhaustion and illness over it. Under [his] direction, the New York City medical examiner's office would become a department that set forensic standards for the rest of the country.
Norris courted the public, which latched on to his "buoyant laugh and quick wit," and had a keen sense of the absurd ("We call this the Country Club," he would tell visitors) but never forgot his objective to overcome, as he described in an essay, "a system which fosters ignorance, prejudice and graft."

His partner in pathological crime, at least on the toxicology front, was Alexander Gettler. Unlike his boss, he didn't care for the media (reporters would grow frustrated at Gettler's tight-lipped answers, one memorably setting him down as "a personality as colorless as the sodium chloride that he works with" but shared a passion for medical research, extremely long hours and, most importantly, for devising new ways to catch previously undetectable culprits. Gettler, in essence, would have to invent the wheel, since New York's toxicology lab was America's first: "If a test didn't exist, he would invent it. If research methods didn't exist, he would develop them himself. If a new poison or drug came on the market, he went off to a butcher shop...and bought three pounds of liver."

Compared to modern machines that detect traces of substances down to parts per billion, Gettler's resources and methods come across as shockingly brute and quaint. But fields must begin somewhere, and Gettler's determination to beat poisoners at their own game forms the emotional core of The Poisoner's Handbook, which is otherwise a marvel of structural and narrative trickery. Each chapter is named for a particular chemical substance with the power to kill, the order carefully chosen to reflect the many balls Blum must juggle throughout: chloroform (CHCl3) and its oh-so-sweet smell kicks things off because it was used by a serial murderer unknown to the collapsing coroner system, while the two chapters bearing the same chemical formula of CH3OH comment on the inexorable but separate rise of cheap, deadly wood alcohol and its twin, synthetic methyl alcohol -- both boosted first by the onset of Prohibition, the set of booze-banning laws that helped define the Jazz Age's penchant for excess, and second by and the national despair brought on by the Great Depression. Not all poisons are elegant, and Blum's necessary emphasis on alcohol poisoning (which zoomed up 600% between 1920 and 1930) acts as a subtle reminder that Wars on Substances of any stripe prove to be more costly, inefficient, and damaging than the drug itself.

Other poisons get their moment as the m.o. of cases famous or forgotten. Cyanide's "murderously precise" action, binding tightly to haemoglobin molecules at the expense of oxygen, spurred Gettler and his liver meat-grinding to prove that an older couple's death in Brooklyn's Hotel Margaret was an accident, not murder. The "chemical thug" carbon monoxide's rise to prominence owed its thanks to the parallel rise in automobile usage, and its detection both fingered murderers and saved innocent men from execution. And the detection of arsenic reverses the fortunes of a poisoned-minded woman named Mary Frances Creighton, who twelve years earlier was acquitted when Gettler's painstaking techniques were mocked in court. It was, for Gettler and Norris, a triumph that "had, indeed, changed the poison game" and commanded respect for forensic toxicology.

Blum's extraordinary narrative alchemy fuses Gettler and Norris's painstaking, laborious undertakings with the birth of safety measures (the Food and Drug Administration wasn't much of one until the 1930s), the scandal surrounding workers' exposure to radium, and many other measures that bring home how volatile the transformation from prosperity to struggle really was. A few things get lost, like what debt both Norris and Gettler owed to colleagues in other cities and countries (Blum, to her credit, makes a note of this in supplementary material) or what clashes they had with law enforcement (though the ones with government are well-documented.) But these flaws don't diminish The Poisoner's Handbook's glorious depictions of the "coming-of-age party for forensic toxicology." The book is an unexpected yet appropriate open-sesame into a world that was planting seeds for the world -- with lethal toxins and cutting-edge tools -- that would later, darkly bloom.


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 29431 comments Here is an interesting book:

The Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas Starr

The Killer of Little Shepherds  A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr by Douglas Starr

Publisher's Synopsis:

A riveting true crime story that vividly recounts the birth of modern forensics.

At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known and feared as “The Killer of Shepherds,” terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years—until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era’s most renowned criminologist. The two men—intelligent, bold, and full of the spirit of the age—typified the Belle Epoque, a period of scientific achievement and fascination with its promise to reveal the secrets of the human condition.

With high drama and stunning detail, Douglas Starr recounts Vacher’s infamous crime wave, interweaving the story of how Lacassagne and his colleagues were developing forensics as we know it. We see one of the earliest uses of criminal profiling, as Fourquet painstakingly collects eyewitness accounts and constructs a map of Vacher’s crimes. We follow the chilling and horrific events leading to the murderer’s arrest. And we witness the twists and turns of the crucial trial, celebrated in its day. In an attempt to disprove Vacher’s defense by reason of insanity, Fourquet recruits Lacassagne, who in the decades previous had revolutionized criminal science by refining the use of blood spatter evidence, systematizing the autopsy and doing ground-breaking research in psychology. Lacassagne’s efforts lead to a gripping courtroom denouement.

The Killer of Little Shepherds is an important contribution to the history of science and criminal justice, impressively researched and thrillingly told.


message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 29431 comments For those of you interested in forensic science, this is a thread dedicated to this subject matter.

Members may discuss non fiction books and/or historical fiction dedicated to this topic.

Please identify which books are non fiction and which ones are historical fiction.


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