By Colin Evans
Medical sleuthing and slip-ups within the investigations of fifteen recognized casesRanging from the Turin Shroud and the suspicious loss of life of Napoleon Bonaparte to the homicide instances of Dr. Sam "The Fugitive" Sheppard and O. J. Simpson, a query of facts takes readers inside of probably the most vexing forensic controversies of all time. In every one case, Colin Evans lays out the conflicting scientific and clinical proof and exhibits the way it used to be used or mishandled in achieving a verdict. one of the different instances: the assassination of JFK, the unusual heritage of Alfred Packer (the merely convicted American cannibal), the demise of Vatican banker Roberto Calvi, and the pains of Lindy Chamberlain (the "dingo child" case) and Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald (the case stated in deadly Vision). notwithstanding the technological know-how of forensics has helped clear up an enormous variety of crimes, it truly is transparent from a query of facts that many circumstances are extra open than shut.Colin Evans (Pembroke, united kingdom) is the writer of the preferred Casebook of Forensic Detection (Wiley: 0-471-28369-X) in addition to nice Feuds in historical past (Wiley: 0-471-38038-5).
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Additional info for A Question of Evidence: The Casebook of Great Forensic Controversies, from Napoleon to O.J.
In Glasgow, Smith weighed the lone hair strand and sealed it in a polyethylene container. Then the hair strand and a standard arsenic solution were both irradiated for twenty-four hours. 8 ppm. Excited though he was by this discovery, Forshufvud kept his feet on the ground. Just because the hair showed traces of arsenic, that didn’t amount to proof of deliberate poisoning. Because arsenic also can bind itself to the hair through external contact, such as the earth in which a coffin has lain, Forshufvud wondered if there was any way to prove that the arsenic had been taken internally.
The six-man party had become marooned in the San Juan Mountains, he admitted, snowbound and driven half mad by hunger, reduced to living on roots and snails, even chewing their moccasins for sustenance. Realizing that the group faced certain extinction if they stayed put, Packer Alfred Packer, the “Colorado cannibal,” as he looked in 1883, when jailed for forty years. (Courtesy of Colorado State Archives) Alfred Packer (1874) 33 volunteered to search for a safe route off the mountains. For days he battled the blinding snow.
Unsurprisingly, the architects of this progress often achieved a near-mythic status, and nobody—certainly no one in Britain—benefited more from this newfound public awe than a lofty, rather austere doctor named Bernard Spilsbury. Spilsbury was the first and greatest forensic superhero. At this distance of time it is difficult to comprehend just how famous he was, but in his heyday this sober-sided pathologist with his wire-framed spectacles and his stern, unyielding expression enjoyed a recognizability factor that put him on a par with politicians, movie stars, and top sports figures.