Cover image for Blood evidence : how DNA is revolutionizing the way we solve crimes
Blood evidence : how DNA is revolutionizing the way we solve crimes
Lee, Henry C.
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Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Perseus Publishing, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxx, 418 pages ; 24 cm
1. The DNA of DNA -- 2. "No doubt at all" -- 3. "Does not match" -- 4. The improbable origins of PCR -- 5. Exonerations : take no one's word -- 6. The world's most-wanted man (part 1) -- 7. The world's most-wanted man (part 2) -- 8. Less is more -- 9. Forensic DNA analysis and customized life -- 10. Bad blood (part 1) -- 11. Bad blood (part 2) -- Conclusion : the future of forensic DNA analysis.
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RA1057.55 .L44 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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From O. J. Simpson's "trial of the century" to the recent disappearance of Chandra Levy and the reopening of the Edward De Salvo case, the collection and use of DNA in criminal investigations has become a controversial and often confusing burden of proof. Blood Evidence explains the principles and science behind DNA testing and shows how it has both helped solve some of the most puzzling criminal cases in recent history and been used to discredit eyewitness accounts and physical evidence found at the crime scene. Written specifically for a lay audience, Blood Evidence is the first trade book to explore the complexities of DNA testing and the effect it has had on justice systems worldwide.

Author Notes

Dr. Henry C. Lee, Ph.D. , is the Chief Emeritus for Scientific Services, Chair Professor at University of New Haven, Forensic science program, Research professor in Molecular Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut, and the former Commissioner of Public Safety for the State of Connecticut. He served as that state's Chief Criminalist from 1979 to 2000 and was the driving force behind establishing a modern forensic lab in Connecticut. He has received numerous awards for his work and has helped the police around the world with over 6,000 cases. He has authored or co-authored over 30 book on forensic science.

Frank W. Tirnady is a writer living in Middletown, Connecticut. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and the University of Connecticut School of Law. This is his first book.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lee first entered the national spotlight as a defense expert in the O.J. Simpson murder case, when his memorable phrase, "Something's wrong," cast doubt on crucial crime scene blood samples. Based on Lee's extensive experience as director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory, this is a highly detailed yet accessible look at how forensic DNA analysis has evolved in the U.S. to its current state of being "routinely used" in criminal and civil cases. Like Lee's earlier Famous Crimes Revisited, which used seven sensational murder cases to evaluate crime scene reconstruction techniques, the book analyzes a range of high-profile assault cases to show how DNA fingerprinting has both helped establish guilt as well as free the wrongly imprisoned. The authors expertly explain for the average reader technical DNA-typing techniques such as PCR technology, RFLP and STR analysis and EDTA samples. They also explore the successful use of DNA analysis in famous nonviolent cases, such as a Mick Jagger paternity suit and the effort to establish the death of notorious Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele. A large final section on DNA evidence in the Simpson case overlaps with Lee's previous book, Cracking Cases: The Science of Solving Crimes, once again criticizing the Los Angeles Police Department for its possible contamination and its definite mishandling of crucial blood evidence. Although the authors downplay Lee's role in the Simpson case, this volume is an excellent introduction to the science and use of DNA analysis. (Mar.) Forecast: Ongoing interest in the Simpson case, as well as the reliance on DNA evidence cited in former Illinois governor George Ryan's recent commutation of statewide death penalties, should help raise awareness of this book for the public. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

At first glance, Lee and Tirnady's book appears to be another in a litany of recent books aimed at dramatizing the feats of forensic science to the general public. However, by the conclusion of the introductory chapter, it becomes obvious that this work is not for the casual reader, but is instead aimed at documenting, sometimes to minutiae, the history and applications of DNA technology. The title is somewhat misleading in that its coverage goes far beyond criminal investigation to include genetic engineering, paternity testing, and molecular archaeology. The book's outstanding feature is the thoroughness of the research that went into its preparation. More than 1,200 references help document the history and science of DNA applications and provide the book with an aura of thoroughness, accuracy, and scientific integrity. Importantly, the authors' writing styles do not demand a technical or scientific background of the reader. The book concludes with a fascinating discussion of the role DNA played in the investigation of the recent anthrax attacks. This book is best classified as a resource work that successfully details DNA technologies and noted applications for the serious reader. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through professionals; two-year technical program students. R. Saferstein Widener University