Encyclopedia of Forensic Science

Encyclopedia of Forensic Science


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If Sherlock Holmes had cracked the O. J. Simpson case, he would have done it with forensic science. Techniques and devices used to analyze crime scene evidence—and their real and fictional practitioners—have long fascinated the public. This reference covers all aspects of forensic science:

• Types of evidence

• Types of crimes or conditions

• Criminal cases

• Criminal and civil law

• The disciplines of criminal justice

• Poisons and drugs

• The evolution of forensics

• Forensic scientists and officials

• Serial killers

• Relevant literature, characters, and writers

The study focuses on the criminal and societal effects of forensic science in the United States, with attention paid to major British and French advances. The book also examines historical cases in which new techniques were first applied. Entries are arranged both alphabetically and topically, making them easily accessible to student and amateur sleuth alike.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The popularity of television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was bound to produce a general reference work on forensic science. Elementary special education teacher Conklin, science consultant Robert Gardner, and history teacher Dennis Shortelle have collaborated to write such a work. Like the three-volume Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, edited by Jay A. Siegel and others, it illustrates the various ways that evidence can be extracted from a crime scene (e.g., ballistics, toxicology), but the style is more accessible. Though events in Great Britain and France are covered, the book's 85 entries focus on 19th- and 20th-century America. Readers will recognize some of the high-profile cases cited (O.J. Simpson, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre), which each used different aspects of forensic science to help convict or exonerate the accused. Both famous and infamous people are listed, but what makes this book different and interesting is the inclusion of novelists (e.g., Patricia Cornwell, Jeffery Deaver, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and their characters, who use forensics to solve crimes. Also included are excellent bibliographic references and lists of web sites for finding more information. Despite some repetition of topics, this is a solid resource that should be in academic libraries where forensic science is popular and in large public libraries where the demand for this topic is high.-Michael Sawyer, Northwestern Regional Lib., Elkin, NC Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-This well-composed resource illuminates the multifaceted and complex world of this science, with a marked emphasis on how it has affected the landscape of contemporary criminology and society. The clear, alphabetically arranged entries provide a wealth of information about the types of forensic evidence, crimes, scientists, infamous criminals and serial killers, fiction writers of forensic science, detectives immortalized on television, and historical and current cases in which various techniques have been applied. Sample topics include "Arsenic Poisoning," Patricia Cornwell, "DNA Evidence," "Jack the Ripper," "Mass Spectrometry," "Rogues' Gallery," "Strychnine," and "Unabomber." British and French advances are also discussed. Authoritative references conclude the entries. Average-quality, black-and-white photos from laboratories across the nation, precise tables, and readable graphs amplify the narrative. The book ends with a thorough list of Web sites and a lengthy bibliography. This work will complement circulating titles such as Donna M. Jackson's The Bone Detectives (Little, Brown, 1996) and Andrea Campbell's Forensic Science (Chelsea, 1999), as it has more depth, perspective, and sophistication. Encyclopedia will be of great interest to students and armchair detectives.-Hillary Jan Donitz-Goldstein, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.


From mystery writer Anthony Abbott to the Yule Bomb Killer who was identified in a 1922 bombing using forensic analysis of his handwriting reconstructed from bits of the bomb, entries look at cases, individuals, and even television shows thought to be important to the development of forensic science in the United States. Presented alphabetically, the entries are also listed under categories related to types of forensic evidence, relevant science and technology, poisons and drugs, forensic scientists or officials, types of crimes or conditions, criminal cases, criminals, serial killers, fiction writers, and fictional character and television shows. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781573561709
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/30/2002
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews