Blood, bullets, and bones The story of forensic science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA

Bridget Heos

Book - 2016

"A history of modern forensic science from the first test for arsenic poisoning in the 1700s to criminal profiling, fingerprinting, blood splatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the milestones in between"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Balzer + Bray 2016.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
264 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 227-250) and index.
ISBN
9780062387622
0062387626
Main Author
Bridget Heos (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Ever heard of the Styrian defense? How about Bertillonage? Heos' latest covers these and more, examining forensic science from its debatable conception (a 221 BCE ancient Chinese "crime-scene handbook") to "the dawn of DNA evidence." Through arsenic poisoning, autopsies, fingerprint evidence, and criminal profiling, Heos sheds light not only on forensic innovations but also forensic imperfections, often embedding research with court cases that are as historically crucial as they are ambiguous. The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, for example, relied heavily upon two decidedly unreliable elements: eyewitness testimonies and incomplete firearm analysis. Investigators in the Samuel Sheppard case, on the other hand—where blood spatter tests were prominently employed for the first time—were scrutinized for their preferential treatment of a wealthy, white defendant. Punctuated by fascinating photos, a smattering of educational asides, and astute pop-culture references (Dexter, Les Misérables, The Silence of the Lambs), and followed by a glossary of key terms, this is sure to appeal to wannabe FBI agents, budding history buffs, armchair detectives, and everyone in between. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8 Up—The use of DNA evidence by forensic scientists to help solve crimes is a relatively new innovation. It was only in 1994 that the FBI created a database of DNA samples from convicted and suspected criminals called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). However, the field of forensic science has been around for centuries. In fact, as early as 270 CE there was Zhang Ju, a Chinese coroner who wrote about the crimes he solved by examining the bodies of the victims. Using numerous real-life cases, Heos presents a riveting history of the evolution of modern forensic science. One of the first scientific tests ever developed in relation to murder was one for determining the presence of poison, in particular arsenic. This 18th-century breakthrough laid the groundwork for countless other developments in the quest to solve crimes. Heos deftly incorporates the stories behind many murders to illuminate advancements in areas such as fingerprint evidence, firearm and blood pattern analysis, and forensic anthropology (how bodies decompose). Also covered are the rise of the medical examiner, the advent of criminal profilers, and the development of DNA evidence. The text, with photographs sprinkled throughout, is gripping and easy to read but not for the faint of heart. VERDICT Sherlock Holmes lovers, CSI: Miami aficionados, and forensic science students will all be drawn to this rather gruesome yet highly entertaining and fact-packed history.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn. Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An engaging introduction to the world of forensic science illuminates its role in the criminal justice system in myriad cultures throughout history, demonstrating the cutting-edge technologies of the modern world and how they help solve crimes. Simultaneous eBook. 40,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A history of modern forensic science from the first test for arsenic poisoning in the 1700s to criminal profiling, fingerprinting, blood splatter analysis, and DNA evidence.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"A history of modern forensic science from the first test for arsenic poisoning in the 1700s to criminal profiling, fingerprinting, blood splatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the milestones in between"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"Blood, Bullets, and Bones provides young readers with a fresh and fascinating look at the ever-evolving science of forensics. Since the introduction of DNA testing, forensic science has been in the forefront of the public's imagination, thanks especially to popular television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But forensic analysis has been practiced for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese detectives studied dead bodies for signs of foul play, and in Victorian England, officials used crime scenephotography and criminal profiling to investigate the Jack the Ripper murders. In the intervening decades, forensic science has evolved to use the most cutting-edge, innovative techniques and technologies. In this book, acclaimed author Bridget Heos usesreal-life cases to tell the history of modern forensic science, from the first test for arsenic poisoning to fingerprinting, firearm and blood spatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the important milestones in between. By turns captivating and shocking,Blood, Bullets, and Bones demonstrates the essential role forensic science has played in our criminal justice system"--

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Blood, Bullets, and Bones provides young readers with a fresh and fascinating look at the ever-evolving science of forensics. This nonfiction book is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.Since the introduction of DNA testing, forensic science has been in the forefront of the public's imagination, thanks especially to popular television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But forensic analysis has been practiced for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese detectives studied dead bodies for signs of foul play, and in Victorian England, officials used crime scene photography and criminal profiling to investigate the Jack the Ripper murders. In the intervening decades, forensic science has evolved to use the most cutting-edge, innovative techniques and technologies.In this book, acclaimed author Bridget Heos uses real-life cases to tell the history of modern forensic science, from the first test for arsenic poisoning to fingerprinting, firearm and blood spatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the important milestones in between. By turns captivating and shocking, Blood, Bullets, and Bones demonstrates the essential role forensic science has played in our criminal justice system.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

Blood, Bullets, and Bones provides young readers with a fresh and fascinating look at the ever-evolving science of forensics. Since the introduction of DNA testing, forensic science has been in the forefront of the public’s imagination, thanks especially to popular television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But forensic analysis has been practiced for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese detectives studied dead bodies for signs of foul play, and in Victorian England, officials used crime scene photography and criminal profiling to investigate the Jack the Ripper murders. In the intervening decades, forensic science has evolved to use the most cutting-edge, innovative techniques and technologies.In this book, acclaimed author Bridget Heos uses real-life cases to tell the history of modern forensic science, from the first test for arsenic poisoning to fingerprinting, firearm and blood spatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the important milestones in between. By turns captivating and shocking, Blood, Bullets, and Bones demonstrates the essential role forensic science has played in our criminal justice system.