From fingerprinting to DNA, how the onward march of forensic science has revolutionised the art of detectionThe title comes from the BBC TV drama series Silent Witness; and before that from a book by the American forensic chemist Paul L Kirk, which stated: “Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously” – “he” being the criminal – “will serve as a silent witness against him.”The book is a spin-off from the TV series, which Nigel McCrery also devised. He is not a scientist himself, but became interested in the subject as a young man during a spell working as a police officer in Nottinghamshire, before going on to read modern history at Cambridge, and then to the BBC. Being a layman carries the advantage that he is able to explain the subject well to other laypeople. It is a fascinating story, and makes for a thoroughly good read.There can be no doubt as to the enormous contribution that forensic scientists have made to the detection of crimes over the last 150 years. Early ideas of how to incriminate murderers included the superstition that if a suspect touched the victim’s body and it bled it proved his or …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books