By Colin Evans
Clinical sleuthing and slip-ups within the investigations of fifteen recognized casesRanging from the Turin Shroud and the suspicious loss of life of Napoleon Bonaparte to the homicide circumstances of Dr. Sam "The Fugitive" Sheppard and O. J. Simpson, a question of facts takes readers within one of the most vexing forensic controversies of all time. In every one case, Colin Evans lays out the conflicting scientific and clinical facts and exhibits the way it was once used or mishandled in achieving a verdict. one of the different circumstances: the assassination of JFK, the unusual background of Alfred Packer (the simply convicted American cannibal), the demise of Vatican banker Roberto Calvi, and the rigors of Lindy Chamberlain (the "dingo child" case) and Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald (the case acknowledged in deadly Vision). although the technology of forensics has helped remedy an incredible variety of crimes, it is transparent from a question of facts that many situations are extra open than shut.Colin Evans (Pembroke, united kingdom) is the writer of the preferred Casebook of Forensic Detection (Wiley: 0-471-28369-X) in addition to nice Feuds in historical past (Wiley: 0-471-38038-5).
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Extra resources for A Question of Evidence: The Casebook of Great Forensic Controversies, from Napoleon to O.J.
20 What these tests cannot do is provide unequivocal proof that the lead actually came from a bullet. At the time of writing, research in this area is continuing. Whether it will ever be possible to state indisputably that Alfred Packer really was a murderer is a question that will probably never be answered for sure, but in one respect he is unique. He remains the only cannibal to have his bust displayed in a state capitol building—so far as we know. 42 A Question of Evidence Chapter 4 Donald Merrett (1926) Freed by Forsenics to Kill Again A t the dawn of the twentieth century, forensic science finally came of age.
But what? Utterly perplexed, the general requested clarification from Washington. In the meantime, he placed Packer under arrest. As the weeks dragged by with no news from the capital, Packer’s edginess increased to the point where he decided to take matters into his own hands. On August 8 he mysteriously escaped from custody in Saguache County, leaving behind him strong rumors of jailhouse bribery, and vanished. Which was just as well, really, because two weeks later, five male bodies—one headless—were discovered by a bluff on the shores of Lake San Cristobal.
Donald Merrett (1926) 47 Doubts Begin to Emerge Someone else mulling over this very same conundrum was Harvey Littlejohn, professor of forensic medicine at the University of Edinburgh, one of Scotland’s finest pathologists. It was he who had performed the autopsy on Bertha Merrett. At the time Littlejohn had noted “a perforating wound”8 behind the victim’s right ear, made by a small-caliber bullet that had pierced the lobe and on entering the head had run along the base of the skull without damaging the brain.
A Question of Evidence: The Casebook of Great Forensic Controversies, from Napoleon to O.J. by Colin Evans