Silent Witnesses

Silent Witnesses

The Often Gruesome but Always Fascinating History of Forensic Science

Book - 2014
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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.

Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : Chicago Review Press, 2014.
ISBN: 9781613730027
Branch Call Number: 363.2509 MCC
363.2509 MCC
Characteristics: xxiii, 264 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.


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Jun 28, 2017

Silent Witnesses does an excellent job of illustrating the evolution of forensic science. The writer of this book, Nigel McCrery (former police officer), has displayed the history of forensic science in the form of criminal investigations dated from more than a century back to a few decades ago. I feel that McCrery has compiled and linked the different cases together in a very effective manner. According to its name, Silent Witnesses is about the visible and microscopic pieces of evidence that act as witnesses of crimes. These include blood, bones, DNA, fingerprints and other telltale marks. The book features many cases that have shown how a small proof may reveal an entirely new story, pin-point the criminal, and free the innocent. Moreover, the book provides fascinating facts on how forensic science has changed and developed due to new findings and advancement in technologies. Overall, Silent Witnesses is full of gruesome details, but may be suitable for those that have an interest in forensics.
Rating 5/5
- @VirtueofReading of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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