Dead Reckoning: The Art of Forensic Detection

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CRC Press, Dec 20, 1999 - Law - 304 pages
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Her Brentwood home became a hotbed for homicide. But in the wake of intense public and media attention, one saliant and hard truth was often overlooked: the murder of Nicole Brown-Simpson, while brutal and heinous in its form, was just one of thousands of homicides committed during that same year. Most escaped the scrutiny of public interest. Many never made it to trial, and still others were dismissed as natural deaths-perfect crimes that remain forever unsolved. How, then, do investigators solve a murder when the trail goes cold?

Like mariners navigating without landmarks under a starless night sky-lacking a reliable witness or smoking gun-they plot their course through the clues by applying their own style of Dead Reckoning, reconstructing the crime by disciplined observation, careful reasoning, and experience.

Dead Reckoning: The Art of Forensic Detection examines the applications of logic and science to decipher chaotic death scenes and difficult cases, and to derive orderly explanations from their jumbled clues. The 10 case studies in this book illustrate the powers of observation exercised in reading the signs, identifying them as clues, and reasoning from them to the best explanation.

For investigators, as well as forensic pathologists, coroners, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, Dead Reckoning: The Art of Forensic Detection stresses the importance of trusting your own observations even in the wake of contradictory evidence.

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MethodThe Andrews Case Reasoning Backward Analytically
SignsThe Duffy Case Reading Signs
ChanceThe Davenport Case Probability and Serendipity
EliminationThe Homberg Case Inductivism Best Explanations and Testing Alternatives
Explanationthe Majcher Case Natural Signs and Statistical Inferences
DiagnosisThe Ridgeley Case Natural Signs and Logics of Discovery
ConfirmationThe SelsnerMartin Case Logical Testing
ProofThe Melrow Case Causal Explanation and Formal Deduction
ErrorThe Baby Beldon Case Fallacious Appeals to Medical Authority
DisagreementThe Darcy Case An Open Verdict Opinion Uncertainty and Conflicting Conclusions
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