On Death's Bloody Trail: Murder and the Art of Forensic Science (St. Martin's True Crime Library)

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9780312951702: On Death's Bloody Trail: Murder and the Art of Forensic Science (St. Martin's True Crime Library)

Traces the development of forensic science from the late 1800s to today and details the latest techniques used by scientists to trap pathological killers, from fingerprinting to ballistics to sophisticated computer profiles.

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From Library Journal:

British true crime writer Marriner breezily summarizes the history of forensic science--the techniques of applying scientific principles to the solving of crimes, most frequently murders. Beginning with England's early attempts to identify the guilty using torture to extract confessions, he progresses through the rudiments of detection used by the Bow Street Runners in the 18th century , which consisted primarily of running down a recognized criminal, through the identification of human blood, the detection of poison, the reading of identifying marks on bullets, the unique signature of fingerprints, and the modern use of DNA and psychological profiling. Marriner makes the discoveries and applications of new techniques come alive by painting vivid portraits of such luminaries in the field of detection as William Herschel and Sir Francis Galton (who developed the use of fingerprinting), Robert Churchill (who pioneered the science of ballistics), and Bernard Spilsbury, one of Britain's most famous forensic scientists. Along the way, he serves up synopses of famous and lesser-known murder cases. Sometimes, the pace is a little rushed and the telling of the cases suffers from compression, but, on the whole, this is an entertaining introduction to forensic science.
- Ben Harrison, East Orange
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

British crime writer Marriner here provides an engaging study of crime-solving methods. He opens with background material on techniques developed by sleuths such as Allan Pinkerton, who founded the famed Pinkerton detective agency in the U.S. in 1850, and Frederick Punter Wesley, who joined Scotland Yard in 1888 and became its "first great detective." Then he examines cases solved through forensic techniques: blood tracing, ballistics, fingerprint analysis, the identification of mutilated or decomposed corpses, and DNA sampling. Marriner also recalls notorious cases, such as the murders committed by Jack the Ripper and Ted Bundy, and devotes a chapter to sex killers. In his introduction, Colin Wilson suggests that this volume is "a definitive text in forsenic medicine." But crime-solving techniques advance so rapidly that the book is more likely to intrigue the general reader than the crime specialist.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Marriner, Brian
Published by St Martins Mass Market Paper (1994)
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Brian Marriner
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ISBN 10: 0312951701 ISBN 13: 9780312951702
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