“Brilliant and persistent scientific work that brought murderers like John List, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey MacDonald to justice.”—Publishers Weekly
“Landmarks of forensic science [that] are representative of the evolution of the discipline and its increasingly prominent role in crime solving.”—Library Journal
Modern ballistics and the infamous Sacco and Vanzetti case. DNA analysis and the 20th century’s most wanted criminal—the hunt for Josef Mengele. “The Iceman”—a contract killer and one-man murder machine. Scientific analysis and history’s greatest publishing fraud—the Hitler Diaries. How the “perfect crime” can land you in prison.
In a world so lawless that crimes must be prioritized, some cases still stand out—not only for their depravity but as landmarks of criminal detection. Updated with new material, this collection of 100 groundbreaking cases vividly depicts the horrendous crimes, colorful detectives, and grueling investigations that shaped the science of forensics. In concise, fascinating detail, Colin Evans shows how far we’ve come from Sherlock Holmes’s magnifying glass. Although no crime in this book is ordinary, many of the perpetrators are notorious: Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, John List, Bruno Hauptmann, Jeffrey Macdonald, Wayne Williams. Along with the cases solved, fifteen forensic techniques are covered—including fingerprinting, ballistics, toxicology, DNA analysis, and psychological profiling. Many of these are crime fighting “firsts” that have increased the odds that today’s techno sleuths will get the bad guys, clear the innocent—and bring justice to the victims and their families.