Cracking More Cases: The Forensic Science of Solving Crimes / Edition 1

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Truly a legend in his own time, Dr. Henry C. Lee is considered by many to be the greatest forensic criminalist in the world. He has gained widespread public recognition through his involvement in many high-profile cases. Now, as a follow-up to his highly acclaimed Cracking Cases, Dr. Lee describes in intimate detail his work in personally investigating five notorious murder cases, while demonstrating the fascinating scientific techniques of forensic science. Taking the reader through the entire investigative process, Dr. Lee shares his thoughts on two high profile cases:

The Skakel-Moxley Murder. This case, which had remained unsolved for three decades, seized the headlines since it involved the nephews of Ethyl Kennedy and the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. In the fall of 1975, the partially clad body of fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley was found by a neighbor near the home of Rushton Skakel, the older brother of Ethyl Kennedy. The night before, Martha had visited Skakel’s teenage sons at their house while the father was away on a hunting trip. At 10 p.m., Martha reportedly left the Skakel residence to return to her own house, a few doors away. She never made it home.

For twenty-four years no one was prosecuted. Finally, in 1999, Dr. Lee and two other professionals were appointed to a special task force charged with reviewing all of the evidence and reinvestigating the case. In May of 2002, the case finally came to trial and Dr. Lee testified before the jury. Dr. Lee's testimony focused on a reconstruction of the crime scene and "indirect forensic evidence." The ultimate verdict surprised many experienced courtroom observers.

The JonBenet Ramsey Case. The murder of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey has created a frenzy of media speculation, partly because local Colorado authorities bungled the initial handling of the evidence. Two months after discovery of the little girl’s body, Dr. Lee was asked to help with the inquiry. Dr. Lee knows as much about the forensic evidence in this case as anyone alive — except for the murderer. He provides a particularly extensive discussion of the complexities of this provocative case.

Dr. Lee also describes his investigations of the Serra, Barrett, and Deng murder cases, which took place in California, Florida, and Connecticut. Each of these cases have taken dramatic twists and turns. Dr. Lee presents in scientific detail how he investigated the murders, analyzed the evidence, and used techniques that have played a critical role in bringing many criminals to justice. He discusses how the criminalist examines blood spatter evidence and uses blood identification, DNA analysis, and other forensic technologies developed in the world’s best laboratories. Dr. Lee also makes the point that forensics continues to advance. With every new scientific development, the prospect of solving seemingly baffling "cold cases" becomes greater.

This page-turner by a world-renowned expert offers an intriguing insider's look into the pursuit of justice in some of the most notorious and troubling criminal cases of recent times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this solid sequel to 2002's Cracking Cases, legendary forensics expert Lee, best known for his role in the O.J. Simpson case, focuses on the brutal slayings of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey and teenager Martha Moxley. Lee spells out the many miscues made by the Boulder police that contributed to the Ramsey case remaining unsolved. He clearly suspects the little girl's family of being involved in her death ("there was enough evidence to establish the probable cause level of proof needed to indict John and Patsy Ramsey of [sic], at least, obstruction of justice"). Lee speculates that JonBenet may have been killed by accident, and that family members then staged an elaborate crime scene and concocted the bizarre ransom note to cover up the mishap. He is firmer in his belief that Michael Skakel was justly convicted of his neighbor Martha Moxley's murder, though his examinations found no physical evidence linking Skakel to Moxley, and his dismissal of suspicions of the Skakel family tutor is less than compelling. The absence of new revelations may disappoint some, but the growing audience for criminal forensics, coupled with the author's distinguished reputation and the insatiable public appetite concerning the Ramsey and Moxley murders, should attract a wide readership. B&w photos throughout. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591021995
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1
  • Sales rank: 1,458,871
  • Product dimensions: 8.96 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Henry C. Lee (Branford, CT), professor of forensic science at the University of New Haven and chief emeritus in the Department of Public Safety in Meriden, CT, is a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He is the author (with Jerry Labriola, M.D.) of Dr. Henry Lee’s Forensic Files and the novel, The Budapest Connection, as well as Cracking More Cases (with Thomas W. O’Neil), among other works. Dr. Lee was formerly on Court TV’s Trace Evidence (now TruTV). He has also been a special news analyst on TruTV and a frequent guest on Larry King Live, Fox TV shows, and numerous other national television programs.

Thomas W. O'Neil (Guilford, CT) is a professional writer and instructor of journalism at Gateway Community College.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The Concetta "Penney" Serra case : a father's quest 15
Ch. 2 The Skakel-Moxley case : a murder on mischief night 65
Ch. 3 The JonBenet Ramsey case : a cry in the night 121
Ch. 4 The Lisa Peng case : adultery and death 245
Ch. 5 The Suzan Barratt case : blood will tell the tale 267
App JonBenet Ramsey Ransom note
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