Saturday, 03 April 2010

The Father of Forensics

I do like my crime books. This is one I picked up at some museum in Washington (we went to so many that I can't remember which one. I'd like to say natural history, but I'm not sure. It's equally likely to have been science and technology. There are a lot of museums in Washington. Anyway, this book is essentially about the origins of modern crime scene investigation (the CSI tv programmes are insufferable when you can't suspend disbelief properly. If you can, they're fun. If you can't they do horrific things to science and procedure). Sir Bernard Spilsbury investigated a lot of cases and this is the story of his life and how he made immense advances in the field. It's also an account of his personality, by all accounts a formidable one. It details the mistakes he occasionally made and the consequences of that (at least, I think that's in this book. I have a few and that's in one of them, but I can't actually tell which one off the top of my head).

It's an interesting account of both the advances in forensics and getting the science and the evidence accepted legally as well as the personality behind that.

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