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Written In Blood: A History Of Forensic Detection

(Written in Blood Series)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  189 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In 44 B.C.E. a Roman doctor named Antistius performed the first autopsy recorded in history on the corpse of murder victim Julius Caesar. However, not until the nineteenth century did the systematic application of scientific knowledge to crime detection seriously begin, so that a tiny scrap of evidence might yield astonishing results like the single horsehair that betraye ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published 1990 by Grafton (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  189 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Gae-Lynn Woods
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get through this book, simply due to the quantity of material it contains. Wilson and Wilson do a great job of outlining the sometimes accidental, sometimes hard-earned way that science has come to play a role in crime detection. They include summaries of a variety of crimes, along with the procedures police used - or didn't - to try and identify the perpetrator. An enjoyable, informative read - highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the history of forensics and c ...more
Jun 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"Written in Blood" is a true crime book that covers cases throughout history (but mostly after 1800 AD) primarily from Britain and France, but also from other European countries and America. These cases were mainly murders, robbery, and/or rape. Sometimes woven into the retelling of a case was information on advances made in forensic detection or information about specific detectives (usually the one who made the advance or was well-known). Specific details were given about each new method and h ...more
Kara Thorpe
Mar 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
I found this book to be more of a case history/true crime type of book more than a history of forensics. While the cases do showcase the advances in forensics, it often seemed as if more focus was placed on the investigators and descriptions of the crime than how forensics helped. The author's bias towards his "favorite" scientists and forensic pioneers shows through quite clearly and, at times, can be off-putting.

While I appreciated the number of cases documented in the book, I would not recomm
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I was recommended this book by my teacher who also lent me his copy so for that reason I think my read was maybe more urgent and rushed than I wanted it to be, so take that into consideration. I'd like to read this again another time when I can get myself a copy to give it a better chance to settle into my head.

Overall this book was a highly engaging read and seeing crime investigation's history was something I didn't even know I was interested in.

I did find it slightly repetitive at times--espe
David Parker
In Capitalism Freewill isn’t Free

Very long and complex history. I loved that it is written in so many dimensions: philosophical, psychological, technological and historical. It’s interesting that the red flags of a potential serial killer are known and after crossing a Rubicon of civility; the criminal is like a moth drawn to a flame.
I believe that real problem is over population and 1:20 ratio. We saw this with rat over population studies. This is why the “rationale” for murder charged.
Meh. Nothing really new or groundbreaking.
Morag Gray
Interesting. Would have benefitted from a bibliography including all the books mentioned in the text.
Fascinating. A little dry at times, but it's the history of a science, so what do you expect?
renee c shaner
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating history of csi

This book looks at the entire history of criminal investigations and all its early leaders and criminals. Very well written and researched.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Colin Henry Wilson was born and raised in Leicester, England, U.K. He left school at 16, worked in factories and various occupations, and read in his spare time. When Wilson was 24, Gollancz published The Outsider (1956) which examines the role of the social 'outsider' in seminal works of various key literary and

Other books in the series

Written in Blood Series (4 books)
  • Written in Blood: Detectives and Detection
  • Written in Blood: The Trail and the Hunt (Written in Blood 2)
  • Written in Blood: The Criminal Mind and Method

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