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Lethal Witness: Sir Bernard Spilsbury, Honorary Pathologist Paperback – Jun 1 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Kent State University Press; 1 edition (June 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606350196
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606350195
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 15.7 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #861,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I "met" Sir Bernard Spilsbury at the beginning (the procescution of Dr. H. H. Crippen for wife murder) and nearly at the end of his forensic career (his advice to Lieut-Commander Ewan Montagu as to how to send a dead body on a mission of deception and have it believed that he died of drowning. IOW "Operation Mincemeat"). So I was eager to read this e-book. It was not as engrossing as Colin Evans' "The Father of Forensics". Mr. Ross and Mr. Evans also disagree on which of Spilsbury's examinations was based on "good" and which on "bad" forensic science. Sir Bernard was treated by the courts as a man who could not be wrong. He had quite a following, especially among the judges, which influenced juries to convict on his evidence alone. This alone makes him a remarkable subject. Spilsbury not only made forensic pathology acceptable and respectable in criminal justice, he nearly brought it into disgrace by his dogmatism. So write both Ross and Evans, each from his own viewpoint. I think both are a must read for those interested in the history of CSI and forensic medicine
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Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Must have for true crime fans Aug. 16 2013
By Pop culture man - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This absorbing book compels you to keep turning its pages. It covers many of the classic British murder cases of the first half of the Twentieth century, as Spilsbury was the key medical witness sought by the prosecution throughout that period. The author has great skill in expressing technical legal and medical issues clearly and concisely. He gives satisfying levels of detail about the crimes and the trials and also about Spilsbury's personal life. He demonstrates convincingly how Spilsbury many times went unjustifiably beyond the evidence he had gathered to construct theories on how the crimes had been committed. His fame, reputation and very effective performance as a witness usually meant that his testimony at trial was the clincher in destroying the defence's case. In three or four cases, the author argues, Spilsbury's elaboration led to the execution of innocent men. Lethal Witness is an outstanding example of the true crime genre.

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