Various television shows like “CSI”, “Forensic Files,” and others like them made people want to know more about forensic sciences. Your Abilene Public Library has quite a few books to help you learn more in this new year!
Dr. Henry Lee’s Forensic Files by Lee and Jerry Labriola, M.D. profiles five famous cases that Dr. Lee investigated, including those of Scott Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, and others. Lee and Labriola present, in addition to an engrossing account of each story, the scientific details of how law enforcement investigated the crime. They also dramatize the changing nature of crime solving and the most recent advances on modern forensic tools.
Forensic investigator Emily Craig has helped to seek justice for thousands of murder victims, and in her book Teasing Secrets from the Dead she tells of how she helped uncover evidence from such crimes as the Branch Davidian massacre in Waco, the terrorist attack on the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, and the horrific events at the World Trade Center on 9/11 (where she helped collect and identify remains of the victims).
Of all the facts that forensics investigators seek, one of the most important is this: when did the victim die? Outside the fictional world of murder mysteries, time of death determinations have remained infamously elusive. In the book Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death, Jessica Snyder Sachs observes that plants, chemicals, and insects found near the body are becoming the fiercest weapons in our crime-fighting arsenal. Sachs finds that traditional forensic science is coming under fire and the new art of forensic ecology is beginning to establish its credibility.
If kids are ready to take it to the next level, Crime Scene: Science Fair Projects by Elizabeth Snoke Harris might be just what they’re looking for. Using the same techniques as real crime scene investigators, but with materials found in the home, they can learn about lifting fingerprints using tape and cocoa powder, extracting DNA with a blender and toothpicks, and more. Information about the history of crime scene investigations, cases, and procedures from the past that are still used today are covered in this interesting book.
And, of course, if you’re simply interested in the television shows, we’ve got multiple seasons of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and all its various permutations. Whatever you choose, there’s always something interesting to uncover at your Abilene Public Library.
Article Contributed by Tony Redman, Information Services Librarian