From Poe's Dupin and Doyle's Holmes to the television hits Quincy and CSI, the public's fascination with science employed to solve crimes continues and grows. But this understanding of how science works in the forensic laboratory is filtered through the fictional worlds of books and television-how is science really used to fight crime? What techniques are used to catch criminals and free the innocent? Forensic scientists work with police, investigators, medical personnel, attorneys, and others to uphold justice, but their methods are often misunderstood, overestimated, underestimated, revered, or disputed. Here, the author answers many common questions about forensic science: How is the science conducted and by whom? What are the real limits, and real benefits, of forensic science? What new techniques are emerging to catch 21st Century criminals? Readers are treated to an insider's overview of the realties of forensic science. Forensic Science: Modern Methods of Solving Crime covers the basic concepts of forensic science and how it assists in criminal investigations.
Starting with a brief history of forensic science, from its early days in Europe to the modern advances of today, the book describes each method and presents cases that highlight the applications of the methods. Houck profiles pioneers in forensic science, offers an overview of such forensic topics as DNA, fibers, fingerprints, and firearms, takes readers through the collection and processing of evidence, and uses frequent examples and anecdotes to illustrate all the major areas of forensic science. This introduction to the field is a useful starting point for anyone wishing to learn more about the real world of forensic science.
Max M. Houck is the Director of the Forensic Science Initiative, a program that develops research and professional training for forensic scientists and professionals in related fields. He is a trace evidence expert and forensic anthropologist who was assigned to the Trace Evidence Unit at the FBI Laboratory from 1992 to 2001. Houck is also Director of Forensic Business Development at West Virginia University and serves as Chairman of the Forensic Science Educational Program Accreditation Commission. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Forensic Sciences and the Journal of Forensic Identification. He is the author or editor of Fundamentals of Forensic Science, Mute Witnesses: Trace Evidence Analysis, and other books and articles.