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

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint edition (February 16, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0525539565
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0525539568
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.44 x 0.71 x 8.2 inches

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.

About the Author

Kate Winkler Dawson is a seasoned documentary producer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, WCBS News, ABC News Radio, PBS NewsHour, and Nightline. She is the host of "Tenfold More Wicked," a historical true crime podcast on the Exactly Right network. Her first book was Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City. She teaches journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.

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