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Murderous Methods Using Forensic Science to Solve Lethal Crimes

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ISBN-10: 0231131194

ISBN-13: 9780231131193

Edition: 2009

Authors: Mark Benecke, Rachel Demeny

List price: $24.95
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How did a piece of wood lead investigators in the Lindbergh kidnapping case to Bruno Hauptmann? Who, besides O. J. Simpson, knows something about the death of his ex-wife? And just who was the "Vampire of Dsseldorf"? These are just some of the questions Mark Benecke explores in this compelling and surprising history of criminal investigative methods and techniques. Benecke, a leading forensic scientist who is frequently called upon to help solve crimes throughout the world, takes the reader through some of the most infamous and intriguing murder investigations in the United States, Germany, and Canada. In discussions of the cases against O. J. Simpson, and others, Benecke carefully explains the ways in which police and forensic scientists gather and analyze evidence. Going beyond the media frenzy that surrounded many of these investigations, Benecke considers how science, intuition, and an occasional lucky break can lead police to the guilty party. He describes the history of forensic technology as well as forensic scientists' tricks of the trade, including DNA fingerprinting, soil analysis, and the use of facial reconstruction and pollen analysis to learn more about unidentified corpses. Murderous Methodsis peppered with other fascinating stories that bring the reader closer into the minds of criminals and the ways in which criminal investigators work. Benecke introduces readers to bizarre and horrifying criminals such as Peter Krten, "The Vampire of Dsseldorf"; Karl Denke, a cannibal and one of the earliest known serial killers in modern history; and Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, a Canadian couple who committed a series of brutal rapes. Benecke shows that even as scientific scrutiny helps investigators to understand more about crimes and the criminals who commit them, whenever humans are involved events may go in unpredictable directions. In particular, he looks at how unreliable eyewitness accounts and public fears and prejudices have led investigators down the wrong path.
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 1/13/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.330
Language: English

Mark Benecke is a forensic scientist with a focus on forensic biology. His extensive international experience includes teaching at universities in Southeastern Asia, South America, North America, and Europe.

Mark Benecke is an internationally known forensic scientist and the author of Medical Detectives and The Dream of Eternal Life: Biomedicine, Aging, and Immortality, as well as numerous other books published in China, Korea, Germany, Denmark, and the Ukraine. His prolific papers on DNA, forensic entomology, and blood splatter analysis have been published in a variety of scientific journals, and he has hosted shows on forensic science for the National Geographic Channel. A complete guide to Benecke's life and work can be found at