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The O.J. Simpson trial. The Lindbergh kidnapping. The death of Marilyn Monroe. The assassination of the Romanovs. The Atlanta child murders. All controversial cases. All investigated with the latest techniques in forensic science. Nationally respected investigators Joe Nickell and John Fischer explain the science behind the criminal investigations that have captured the nation's attention. Crime Science is the only comprehensive guide to forensics. Without being overly technical or treating scientific techniques superficially, the authors introduce readers to the work of firearms experts, document examiners, fingerprint technicians, medical examiners, and forensic anthropologists. Each topic is treated in a separate chapter, in a clear and understandable style. Nickell and Fisher describe fingerprint classification and autopsies, explain how fibers link victims to their killers, and examine the science underlying DNA profiling and toxicological analysis. From weapons analysis to handwriting samples to shoe and tire impressions, Crime Science outlines the indispensable tools and techniques that investigators use to make sense of a crime scene. Each chapter closes with a study of a well-known case, revealing how the principles of forensic science work in practice.

The case studies clearly highlight the subject being discussed and bring to life the application of that particular forensic science. -- Gideon Epstein

Extremely well written and easy to read. -- Journal of Forensic Identification

An excellent basic book for the criminologist. -- Lee A. Kilty

Nickell and Fischer, both nationally-recognized forensic scientists, have collaborated on step-by-step descriptions of crime-science investigations. -- Library Journal

In this must-read for anyone in the crime-solving field, the authors examine the amazing and complicated crime scene, taking the reader on an educational journey as they explain processes ranging from how to verify a bullet came from a specific gun to how teeth determine the age of a decayed body. -- Paintsville Herald

Nickell and Fischer provide a comprehensive primer of forensic investigation for the uninitiated. -- Publishers Weekly

Beautifully organized and ingeniously supplemented by real-life criminal case-histories at the end of each chapter, the book provides a detailed—yet simplified—review of the major methods and techniques of forensic science and criminalistics. Anyone and everyone interested in either real crime or crime-fiction or both, will want to read and regularly refer to this comprehensive and informative source by experts in the field. -- Robert A. Baker

This book is well-written and should be of considerable value to those training for a career in these areas. -- Science & Justice 1999

Delivers the goods for the educated layperson. Once getting into the book, readers will be hard-pressed to put it down. -- USA Today

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Criminal investigation, Forensic sciences


Legal Studies

Crime Science: Methods of Forensic Detection
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