Sunday, April 9, 2017

Blood, Bullets, and Bones

Blood, Bullets, and Bones

YA/adult nonfiction
"Suspects were arrested and tortured until they talked. To stop
the torture, prisoners would confess to crimes they hadn't committed
and accuse those who were innocent. In all, 442 people were charged
and 319 ordered arrested. Of course none of the accusations could be
verified scientifically...But trials were held nonetheless, in a
secret courtroom called the burning chamber...Here, thirty-six people
were sentenced to death and many more banished or imprisoned."
My husband enjoys watching crime scene investigation television
shows. Judging by their popularity, he's far from the only one. For
some viewers, these programs become more than recreational viewing.
Forensic science is growing as a field of study and vocation. Both
people contemplating forensics as vocation and recreational viewers of
this genre would probably find Bridget Heos' Blood, Bullets, and
Bones: the Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA
When we think of forensics, DNA analysis usually comes to mind.
This application is a very new addition to forensic science
techniques, first used to solve a murder case only 30 years ago.
Fingerprint analysis as evidence is also relatively recent, going back
only to the 1880's. Homicide, however, has probably been around as
long as modern humans. Go no further than Genesis in the Bible for
evidence of this. Murderers also have over the ages evolved ways to
cover up their illicit activities to escape capture and punshment.
In ages past when bodies turned up and deaths might not have
been due to natural causes, how did authorities bring perps to
justice, acquire justice for victims, and sometimes keep other people
safe? Blood, Bullets, and Bones gives a very thorough chronology of
discoveries and their implications. Readers will become acquainted
with techniques such as testing for poison, criminal profiling, and
analysis of fingerprints, blood patterns, and recovered bullets.
There is a lively balance of theories behind discoveries and the cases
that led to and validated their use. There are plenty of photos and
other illustrations.
More sensitive readers might find some parts of the book a
little too graphic. It is not the best choice for right before
bedtime reading. I personally discovered this. But it is a very
intriguing read and window into scientific history.
On a personal note, tomorrow at UMaine Pride Week will begin with the
flag raising, parade, and carnival. Last week we tie dyed unicorn tee
shirts to get ready. We have cool pins too. There will be lots of
activities culminating in stuffing rainbow bears and the drag show. I
think it will be the best drag show ever.
A great big shout out goes out to all who are working to make it happen.
jules hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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