Silent witnesses : a history of forensic science

Silent witnesses : a history of forensic science 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 Than , 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 Murder That Demonstrated The Usefulness Of The Microscope In Examining Trace Evidence, The Murder Of A Wealthy Boston Businessman That Demonstrated How Difficult It Is To Successfully Dispose Of A Corpse, And Many Others

Nigel Colin McCrery is an English screenwriter and ex police officer.

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  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • Silent witnesses : a history of forensic science
  • Nigel McCrery
  • 11 April 2017
  • 9781613730027

10 thoughts on “Silent witnesses : a history of forensic science

  1. says:

    I really enjoyed this because if you havent noticed by now I love books about the history of fields or history in general The book is really general and so I wouldn t read it if you want to learn details and specifics about how forensics work but if you want a quick read that ll give you an idea of the time line in which forensics started to be used then you should totally read this Also if you re looking for an introductory book into forensics science this is a good read as well.

  2. says:

    Not to be confused with the British 1990 s TV series Silent Witness, which also featured forensic scientists This book looks at the deep history behind forensics, but also how forensic experts are viewed in society and culture and how much things have changed between early days and our modern methods of investigation at the present time As Silent Witnesses effectively proves, there s a lot behind the scenes we don t see and a lot that is often portrayed wrongly in pop culture and rumors The book can get a bit repetitive at times and can be overzealous to the point where it comes off as rather morbid, but it s definitely well written, taking apart inaccuracies and stereotypes by showing readers the science and detail behind this important job, including some of the many procedures involved The book also contains photographs, and luckily they re not of the very gory or inappropriate variety Unfortunately though, the photographs included don t really aid in explaining what goes on in forensics aside from very basic stuff Still some of it was very interesting, as was the included case history.

  3. says:

    Murder has a magic all of its own So said William Roughhead, a 19th century criminologist, and so opens Silent Witnesses The Often Gruesome but Always Fascinating History of Forensic Science.McCrery sets out to demonstrate the wizardry and science of forensic identification, which, as he notes, is a history of uniqueness The book is divided into chapters, with each section discussing the technological progression of one particular form of forensic evidence fingerprints and physical identifiers, ballistics, blood, trace evidence, the body, poisons, and DNA The writing is casual and conversational, with each technological advance accompanied by an anecdote that demonstrates the efficacy of the new technology I was especially entertained by the unexpected details for example, the first time fingerprints were used to solve a murder was in Argentina and some of the archaic anecdotes Did you know that in ancient China, handprints and fingerprints were used in evidence, and in Babylon, handprints were considered sufficiently individual to be used to seal legal contracts McCrery provides entertaining biographies of some of the most influential figures in the forensic sciences, such as Dr Joseph Bell, Doyle s main inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, as well as Alphonse Bertillon, the Holmes of Paris and man who introduced the idea of photo fit pictures In fact, in Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes is described as second only to Bertillon McCrery also discusses a few crimes that I think may have been inspirations for other mystery writers.Whilst I rather enjoy the lurid stories of the long distant past, recent atrocities, especially ones in which McCrery acted as an investigator, felt far ghoulish to me Other than my distaste for these recent true crime cases, the main place in which I think the book could be improved is the photographs that pepper the book Even though photographs would be incredibly useful in illustrating some of the details such as differences in rifling or the equipment used in isolating poisons, most are of buildings or generic forensic ish pictures that add little to no enlightenment.Unlike the photographs, the stories themselves are varied and entertaining They include tales of crooked expert witnesses, the struggles of pioneering scientists and detectives, and murders so outlandish that they belong in an Agatha Christie novel Amongst a multitude of amusing anecdotes and sensational stories, here are a few of my favourites Several entrepreneurial ladies have run profitable businesses in the industry of husband removal For example, the lady Toffana di Adomo was so successful in marketing her Acqua Toffana, supposedly a benign ladies cosmetic, that she helped almost 600 women to become quite merry widows Samuel Colt s famous 6 shot was known as the equalizer because of a popular poem that was written about it Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size.When danger threatens, call on me and I will equalize The freakiest poisoning case in the book is that of Georgi Markov He was out walking one day when he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his leg He thought it was due to the umbrella point of a passerby In fact, the umbrella had been used as a weapon to shoot a tiny spherical metal pellet into his leg The pellet, which contained a lethal dose of ricin, was sealed with a material that melted precisely at the temperature of the human body I kept waiting for someone in the story to show up with a mini rocket cigarette or perhaps a shoe phone From explanations of Locard s Exchange Principle Every contact leaves a trace to the details of the science behind bullet fingerprinting to pure hearsay like the story of the man who outsmarted a highwayman he tricked him into taking a shot, and because early guns took so long to reload, was able to get his sword out before the gun was read again , Silent Witnesses is both entertaining and informative If you re an inveterate mystery reader and interested in a casual, informal look at the history of forensics, this book is definitely worth a peek.Excerpted from my review on Booklikes I received this ebook through NetGalley from the publisher, Chicago Review Press, in exchange for my honest review

  4. says:

    Police programmes with a focus on forensics are hugely popular, the CSI franchise getting some 30 million viewers at the height of its popularity The realists of course know that actual real life forensics isn t like that, it s often laborious and very time consuming The instantaneous results obtained by Horatio Caine and Mac Taylor don t reflect real life And certainly not back a few hundred years ago when forensic science was just starting out This book took me a while to read because it s one I picked up and read a few chapters of and put down again It s not something I wanted to read continuously not because it wasn t good just because I don t want to take in large amounts of detail all at once The book is very informative, and would be perfect for somebody studying this field or someone looking to study the field I remember my 6th form offering forensic science as a subject but it was a very tame version of the field and extremely amateurish I didn t take it From the conception of forensic science through to present day we read about how the field has evolved There are some really fantastic tales about early forensic science A head being put on a pole in the hope a passerby would recognise it is one example It s crazy to imagine things like that even happened Moving on to the advanced stuff and it really does blow my mind how many ways there are to solve a crime these days You would think it would put off even the hardcore of criminals Everything from a hair, a bullet casing, a single drop of blood. all of these things can identify a perpetrator What I especially liked is this book can be picked up, read and enjoyed by someone with even just a passing interest in this subject Often I ve picked up a book written about something I am vaguely interested in but I can never get past the jargon or superiority of the author in what they are writing about This book is written in a very accessible way but at the same time even considered experts in this field could probably learn something from the book With each aspect of forensic science separated into different chapters it s easy to just pick a chapter you like the look of rather than read the book in the traditional cover to cover fashion With illustrations, anecdotes and a plethora of brilliant research this was a very enjoyable book and one I have no trouble recommending.

  5. says:

    Continuing my odd streak of reading nonfiction books, I finished Nigel McCrery s Silent Witnesses A History of Forensic Science this evening As I read it, mostly while waiting at the mechanic s garage waiting, I paused to contemplate my fingerprints to see if I have arch, whorl, or loop prints or looked at the mechanics hands to wonder what chemicals and substances they might transfer I got than a few weird looks of my own Silent Witnesses is a solid introduction to forensics, with many interesting nuggets of criminal history It is not a guide to committing the perfect crime Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type I received a free copy of this book for review consideration from NetGalley.

  6. says:

    Very interesting look at the history of forensic science The book covers identity, ballistics, blood, trace evidence, the body, poisons, and DNA It uses a variety of case studies throughout history and modern day to illustrate the advances in technology and technique Read if you are interested in true crime or forensics.

  7. says:

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  8. says:

    Started slow but once the author got to the chapter on DNA it was fascinating.

  9. says:

    ok be endim Polisiye romanlar her zaman ok seven, Bones ve CSI gibi dizilerin m ptelas olan benim i in adli t p tarihini ger ek olaylarla okumak ger ekten m thi ti.

  10. says:

    I guess I ve read too many books on forensic science as it pertains to solving crimes, because this book was mostly a rehash of cases I was already familiar with, and not written in a terribly gripping way It might not be bad for a starter book for someone unfamiliar with the history of forensics, though.

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