American Sherlock (Paperback)

Murder, forensics, and the birth of crime scene investigation

Kate Winkler Dawson

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Kate Winkler Dawson is an unbelievable crime historian and such a talented storyteller. Karen Kilgariff, cohost of the My Favorite Murder podcast

‘Heinrich changed criminal investigations forever, and anyone fascinated by the myriad detective series and TV shows about forensics will want to read [this].’ The Washington Post

‘An entertaining, absorbing combination of biography and true crime.’ Kirkus

Kate Winkler Dawson has researched both her subject and his cases so meticulously that her reconstructions and descriptions made me feel part of the action rather than just a reader and bystander. She has brought to life Edward Oscar Heinrich’s character, determination, and skill so vividly that one is left bemused that this man is so little known to most of us. Patricia Wiltshire, author of Traces and The Nature of Life and Death
Berkeley, California, 1933. In a lab filled with curiosities – beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners and hundreds of books – sat an investigator who would go on to crack at least 2,000 cases in his 40-year career.
Known as the ‘American Sherlock Holmes’, Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of the greatest – and first – forensic scientists, with an uncanny knack for finding clues, establishing evidence and deducing answers with a skill that seemed almost supernatural.
Based on years of research and thousands of never-before-published primary source materials, American Sherlock is a true-crime account capturing the life of the man who spearheaded the invention of a myriad of new forensic tools, including blood-spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests and the use of fingerprints as courtroom evidence.



Kate Winkler Dawson is an associate professor in journalism at the
University of Texas. A seasoned documentary producer, her work has appeared in
the New York Times, the Washington Post, WCBS News, ABC News Radio, ‘PBS NewsHour’ and ‘Nightline.’ She is the host of Tenfold More Wicked, a historical true crime podcast on the Exactly Right network, now on its second series.


‘Kate Winkler Dawson is an unbelievable crime historian and such a talented storyteller.’ — Karen Kilgariff, cohost of the My Favorite Murder podcast
‘Heinrich changed criminal investigations forever, and anyone fascinated by the myriad detective series and TV shows about forensics will want to read [this].’ — The Washington Post
‘Kate Winkler Dawson has researched both her subject and his cases so meticulously that her reconstructions and descriptions made me feel part of the action rather than just a reader and bystander. She has brought to life Edward Oscar Heinrich’s character, determination, and skill so vividly that one is left bemused that this man is so little known to most of us.’ — Patricia Wiltshire, author of Traces and The Nature of Life and Death
‘An entertaining, absorbing combination of biography and true crime.’– Kirkus
American Sherlock will take you on a journey to the origins of crime scene investigation by exploring the obsessive, troubled, brilliant mind of Oscar Heinrich, the nation’s first true medical detective, an accomplished polymath who understood, far ahead of his time, that applied forensic science was the key to unlocking criminal mysteries. Kate Dawson offers a riveting, real, and sometimes-unsettling account of Heinrich’s life and legacy in this thoroughly-researched and unblinking biography that will at times make you shake your head at the ways that true crime is stranger than fiction.’ — Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell, authors of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner
‘Part institutional history, part true crime account, and part dramatic tale of brilliant minds and clashing personalities, American Sherlock promises to be just as gripping as her first.’ — CrimeReadsCrimeReads
‘Those interested in the development of modern forensics will be enthralled’ — Publishers Weekly

ABOUT THIS BOOK

about this book

ISBN: 9781785787058

Price: 9.99 GBP

Pages: 336

Publication date: 06/05/2021

Category: True Crime / History

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