Criminal Poisoning: Investigational Guide for Law Enforcement, Toxicologists, Forensic Scientists, and Attorneys / Edition 2

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In this revised and expanded edition of his critically acclaimed book, leading forensic scientist John Trestrail offers a pioneering survey of all that is known about the use of poison as a weapon in murder. Topics range from the use of poisons in history and literature to convicting the poisoner in court, and include a review of the different types of poisons, techniques for crime scene investigation, and the critical essentials of the forensic autopsy. The author updates what is currently known about poisoners in general (psychological profile, types, and statistical analyses) and their victims (who gets poisoned, investigative considerations, and classic symptoms of poisoning). The Appendix has been updated to include the more commonly used poisons, as well as the use of antifreeze as a poison, to reflect some cases that have recently come to light. Comprehensive and fully updated, this book offers forensic scientists, police and private investigators, forensic psychologists, and criminal lawyers a unique one-volume summary of the knowledge and techniques needed to solve the near-invisible crime of poisoning and convict the perpetrator.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Rachelle A Travers, B.A. Molecular Biology(Oregon State University)
Description: This book discusses the history of poisoners and details potential profile information for investigators. The author provides an update to the 2000 edition, including new information based on recent findings.
Purpose: It compiles historical and recent poisoning cases with the intent of informing investigators and law enforcement officers about potential clues for recognizing and solving poisoning cases. The author identifies both physical and toxicological clues that can be used to further investigative methods.
Audience: The intended audience is stated in the title, but it appears that the book is directed more at the lay readers than the scientific readers.
Features: This book contains a historical snapshot of poisoners and their psychological profiles through time. The author addresses victim and poisoner types and scenarios. He explores relatively few toxins and concentrates on the single endpoint of mortality, rather than chronic poisonings and their effects. The index is complete and the chapters engage readers with clear language and pictures.
Assessment: This would work well as a supplemental text for criminal law students just beginning their studies. Although very interesting in nature, this title does not go far enough into profiling or identifying or the legalities of prosecution.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588299215
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Series: Forensic Science and Medicine Series
  • Edition description: 2nd ed. 2007
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 181
  • Sales rank: 1,032,172
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Poisoners Throughout History
Chapter 2 - Types of Poisons
Chapter 3 - Poisoners
Chapter 4 - Victims
Chapter 5 - Crime Scene Investigation
Chapter 6 - The Forensic Autopsy
Chapter 7 - Proving Poisoning
Chapter 8 - Poisoners in Court
Chapter 9 - Poisoning in Fiction
Chapter 10 - Conclusion
APPENDIX: Some Common Homicidal Poisons
A. Antifreeze (Methanol, or Ethylene glycol)
B. Arsenic
C. Botulinus Toxin
D. Cyanide
E. Sodium fluoroacetate
F. Strychnine
G. Thallium
Collected Bibliographies on Homicidal Poisoning:
A. Poisoners Throughout History Bibliography
B. Poisoning in Fiction Bibliography
C. Forensic Poisoning Bibliography
D. Analytical Toxicology Bibliography

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