Thursday, May 6, 2021

American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI By: Kate Winkler Dawson

Great book. I am a fan of true crime TV.  I watch all of the forensic shows.  This book includes Edward Oscar Heinrich's cases he worked on and how he cut his teeth. He was a multi-disciplined scientist that was one of the pioneers of what was to become CSI.   I sometimes watch cold case files and wonder how these LEO from the past were able to investigate crimes without the advent of video surveillance and DNA.  I would assume that a lot of murders from the past went on and remain open, even today due to lack of the technology we have today.  

The book goes through Heinrich's evolution and the evolution of his techniques.  I was an expert witness many times from a digital forensic perspective and can feel Heinrich's frustration when trying to explain to the jury something that is not in their wheelhouse and not easily understood.  In my case it had to do with checksum of files and the ability to manipulate meta-data on files.  I think Heinrich's challenge was much greater than mine.  I truly believe that this technology and more impactful, are the CSI type shows.  Today's juries expect to have DNA evidence every time and it be available within the hour from any material which we know is not the case.  Heinrich also felt these types of challenges as he was working with bleeding edge technology.  

I think this was a great book and I truly recommend it to anyone looking to see the beginnings of what has been adopted as SOP in many cases today. 

Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; Illustrated edition (February 11, 2020)
Language : English
Hardcover : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 0525539557
ISBN-13 : 978-0525539551
Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
Dimensions : 6.2 x 1.12 x 9.27 inches

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