American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI

American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI

From the acclaimed author of Death in the Air ("Not since Devil in the White City has a book told such a harrowing tale"--Douglas Preston) comes the riveting story of the birth of criminal investigation in the twentieth century.

Berkeley, California, 1933. In a lab filled with curiosities--beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners, and hundreds upon hundreds of books--sat an investigator who would go on to crack at least two thousand cases in his forty-year career. Known as the "American Sherlock Holmes," Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of America's greatest--and first--forensic scientists, with an uncanny knack for finding clues, establishing evidence, and deducing answers with a skill that seemed almost supernatural.

Heinrich was one of the nation's first expert witnesses, working in a time when the turmoil of Prohibition led to sensationalized crime reporting and only a small, systematic study of evidence. However with his brilliance, and commanding presence in both the courtroom and at crime scenes, Heinrich spearheaded the invention of a myriad of new forensic tools that police still use today, including blood spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests, and the use of fingerprints as courtroom evidence. His work, though not without its serious--some would say fatal--flaws, changed the course of American criminal investigation.

Based on years of research and thousands of never-before-published primary source materials, American Sherlock captures the life of the man who pioneered the science our legal system now relies upon--as well as the limits of those techniques and the very human experts who wield them.

Title:American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI
ISBN:null
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    American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI Reviews

  • Diane S ?

    2.5 i had a very difficult time deciding how I felt about this book. It was a very uneven, mixed read, or so I felt.What I liked:Oscar Heinrich, his professional accomplishments are admirable. The fir...

  • Lori Lamothe

    This is an engrossing read that chronicles the life of Edward Oscar Heinrich, a brilliant man who pioneered many techniques that shaped American forensics. Nicknamed the American Sherlock during his t...

  • Chris

    Edward Oscar Heinrich, nicknamed American Sherlock, was a pioneer of many crime scene investigation techniques, some are still used today in modernized forms. Heinrich was involved in investigating ar...

  • Jeanette

    Outstanding individual and the life story and career determination is interesting.But the way this was told after about page 90 became a total slog drag. It's not sequential or a logical organization ...

  • ? Sandi ?

    4.5 starsThis book covers the life of Edward Oscar Heinrich - known as the American Sherlock Holmes. Almost single handedly this man pioneered and perfected our forensic history - with many methods st...

  • Jeremy

    There's a good book in the story of Oscar Heinrich, aka "America's Sherlock Holmes." This, however, is not it. The author constantly teases the reader with click-bait lines like "But soon their loyalt...

  • Emg

    Interesting subject but annoying writing style - too many "as he would soon find out" teasers which turn out to be rather ho-hum incidents....

  • KC

    A couple decades or so after the turn-of-the-century in Berkley, California, Edward Oscar Heinrich was becoming a household name, evolving as the first American expert in forensic science, working on ...

  • Katie/Doing Dewey

    Summary: An engaging story looking at some of the earliest use of scientific crime scene analysis in the United States.When author Kate Winkler Dawson read an article that mentioned a man known as th...

  • Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)

    "𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐟𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬" -- 𝐄𝐝𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐎𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐡Whe...