Beating the Devil's Game: A History of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation
by Katherine M. Ramsland
Today, the basic scientific precepts of criminal investigation-fingerprinting, DNA, ballistics, and more-are widely known among professionals and lay people alike. But behind each of these now-commonplace concepts is a compelling story of the evolution of science and law, spearheaded by innovative thinkers, many of whom risked their careers and reputations for the sake of justice. Dr. Katherine Ramsland traces that development from thirteenth-century Chinese studies of decomposition rates through the flowering of science during the Renaissance, up to the marvels of the present day and beyond.
Blood Secrets: Chronicles of a Crime Scene Reconstructionist
by Rod Englert
This book reveals how forensic experts read the story of a murder told in the traces of blood left behind, providing crucial evidence that has helped convict criminals who might have otherwise walked free. When the author began his career in law enforcement, virtually no police force in the world knew how to correctly examine blood spatter. He spent years studying and testing how blood behaves, pioneering a vital new tool that is now a part of any criminal investigation. In this work he demonstrates how detectives and forensic experts use blood-spatter analysis to solve real cases. How can the police tell what type of murder weapon was used when the body is missing and all that's left is a trace of gore? How can they tell if a victim was moved, or which person in a room fired the fatal shot? The author lays out what he's learned on a variety of intriguing cases, from puzzling murders in tiny, remote towns to the highest-profile celebrity trials, including O. J. Simpson, Robert Blake, and many others. Filled with fascinating details of forensic science and real-life CSI stories, this book shows the techniques and tools used to decipher blood spatter's code.
Bodies of Evidence: Forensic Science and Crime
by Scott Christianson
From the crime scene to the courtroom, forensic science has revolutionized detective investigation over the past seventy years. Today, forensic science is an essential part of the prosecution process, with many convictions being secured solely on forensic evidence. Bodies of Evidence looks in detail at the development and evolution of forensic science and discusses it in relation to real CSIs (crime scene investigations), forensic laboratories, and the court of law.Author Scott Christianson reviews the emergence of forensic science in the 1930s and shows how forensic scientists investigate the crime scene today, including analysis of murder weapons, bloodstain patterns, and the position of the body, allowing police to form a picture of what really happened. He describes the methods used to collect this evidence and how strict procedures are followed to avoid any dispute in court. He also focuses on forensic pathology, detailing how technology allows detectives to pinpoint the time and cause of death and how unknown victims can be identified.Bodies of Evidence follows forensic science to the courtroom, describing how it is called upon in trials. Each section of the book features famous case studies in which forensic science was used in a criminal prosecution or defense, such as the trials of O. J. Simpson and Timothy McVeigh.
Every Contact Leaves a Trace: Crime Scene Experts Talk About Their Work From Discovery Through Verdict
by Connie Fletcher
Real crime scene investigation is vastly more complicated, arduous, bizarre, and fascinating than TV's streamlined versions. Most people who work actual investigations will tell you that the science never lies -- but people can. They may also contaminate evidence, or not know what to look for in crime scenes that typically are far more chaotic and confusing, whether inside or outside, than on TV. Forensic experts will tell you that the most important person entering a scene is the very first responding officer - the chain of evidence starts with this officer and holds or breaks according to what gets stepped on, or over, collected or contaminated, looked past, or looked over, from every person who enters or interprets the scene, all the way through the crime lab and trial. Let the experts take you into their world. This is their book - their words, their knowledge, their stories. Through it all, one Sherlock Holmesian premise unites what they do and what it does to them: Every contact leaves a trace.
Forensic Science: An Encyclopedia of History, Methods, and Techniques
by William J. Tilstone
From dandruff to DNA, from ammunition to infrared spectrophotometry, forensic scientists employ the commonplace and the esoteric to get their man or woman. Forensic Science is the only comprehensive reference work accessible to nonexperts on 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 clues and amass the evidence to bring America's most notorious criminals to justice.From famous firsts in forensics to possible future developments in the science, the expert team of contributors put together by William Tilstone, executive director of the National Forensic Science Technology Center, examines techniques and technologies, key cases, critical controversies, and ethical and legal issues.
by Richard Platt
Explore the crime lab with Forensics and discover how detectives use science to solve crimes. From the scene of the crime to a criminal's conviction, discover how the marks of blood, footprints, and fingerprints can lead the police to criminals. Find out how specialists can match trace evidence, such as a single hair found on a victim, to the murderer. Learn how famous crimes were solved and, like a true detective, find out whether it was arson, poison, or murder.
Forensics: Crime Scene Investigations From Murder to Global Terrorism
by Zakaria Erzinçliolu
The development of forensic science has fundamentally changed the way that crimes are solved and criminals caught. Starting from the principle that "every contact leaves a trace," Dr. Erzinçlioglu explains investigative techniques that until now have remained mysteries to the outsider. Chapters on poisons, alcohol and drugs, blood and body fluids, trace and contact evidence, ballistics, terrorism and forensic science, and more reveal the workings of a science that would cause even Sherlock Holmes to marvel.
Irrefutable Evidence: Adventures in the History of Forensic Science
by Michael Kurland
The rise of scientific thinking in finding, catching, and convicting criminals--and, just as important, freeing the innocent--has transformed society's assault on crime. Before scientific detective work, early attempts to maintain public safety relied on the severity of punishment rather than any probability of apprehension. But with the rapid development of the sciences in the nineteenth century, some techniques began to spill over into more effective police work. Michael Kurland's engrossing history of forensic science recounts this remarkable progress, which continues to the present. He traces the history of the major techniques of criminal detection and many of the minor ones. Here are Bertillon's physical measurements used to recognize habitual criminals; the study of fingerprints identifying criminals long after they have left the scene of the crime; Gravelle's comparison microscope comparing bullets to determine if they have been fired from the same gun; the development of bloodstain identification and, ultimately, the blood type involved. Mr. Kurland explains how once–accepted techniques have fallen by the wayside--handwriting analysis, for example--and how methods such as lie detectors, voice spectrum analysis, bite mark evidence, and other methods have proven unworthy. Finally Irrefutable Evidence explores the rise of modern DNA typing techniques, which have proven the innocence of many persons convicted of major crimes and resulted in the exoneration of more than two hundred on death row. With 12 black–and–white illustrations.
The Real World of a Forensic Scientist: Renowned Experts Reveal What It Takes to Solve Crimes
by Henry C. Lee
With the skyrocketing popularity of TV crime shows like CSI and CSI-Miami, interest in forensic science has reached unprecedented levels. However compelling these programs are as dramas, they spread many misconceptions about the real world of the forensic scientist. Students who wish to pursue a career in this field are often unaware of the many diverse career choices available or have superficial notions of the rigors involved.In this in-depth insider's guide to this crucial area of criminal investigation, renowned forensic scientist Henry C. Lee, along with veteran forensic experts Elaine M. Pagliaro and Katherine Ramsland, provides a realistic picture of the education, skills, challenges, and rewards involved in the many specialties that encompass forensic science. All are used to unravel seemingly baffling crimes.
The Scientific Sherlock Holmes: Cracking the Case with Science and Forensics
by James F. O'Brien
One of the most popular and widely known characters in all of fiction, Sherlock Holmes has an enduring appeal based largely on his uncanny ability to make the most remarkable deductions from the most mundane facts. O'Brien provides an in-depth look at Holmes's use of science in his investigations. He reveals that Holmes was a pioneer of forensic science, making use of fingerprinting well before Scotland Yard itself had adopted the method, and discusses mathematics, physics, biology, astronomy, meteorology, and geology, always in the context of Holmes's exploits.