The science of forensics has evolved into a well-established, indispensable crime-solving tool-and yet there have been times when forensic techniques have failed to completely resolve certain trials. Whether shoddy lab work or faulty evidence collection is to blame, these perplexing and fascinating cases have long been the subjects of heated discussion and no small amount of disagreement.
From the still-contested death of Napoleon Bonaparte to the never-ending speculation that surrounds John F. Kennedy's assassination, A Question of Evidence takes a probing look at fifteen of the most contentious cases in history-cases that are still being fought over today. Popular science author Colin Evans demonstrates how everything from misgivings and bitter feuds to strongly held passions can sometimes vanquish the best that science has to offer. Each case is packed with controversy, from botched experiments and blatant evidence tampering to hubris and just plain stubbornness. Even the greatest experts are far from infallible-and even the most impressive testimony may owe more to personal gain than it does to impartial analysis. Evans examines the scientific sleuthing and slip-ups in the investigations of such defendants as:
- Alfred Packer-a self confessed cannibal who nevertheless may have been the tragic victim of a flawed justice system
- Donald Merrett-an eighteen-year-old who defrauded his mother-but was he her killer?
- Lindy Chamberlain-mother of the infamous "Dingo Baby"
- Jeffery MacDonald-the man accused of slaughtering his family in the astonishing case recounted in Fatal Vision
- Sam "The Fugitive" Sheppard-the only person in American legal history to have been convicted, acquitted, and then convicted again for the same murder
A Question of Evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the truth can be as elusive in death as it is in life.
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