I had heard of Edward Oscar Heinrich, but in somewhat of an urban myth type of way.
I knew he was a real person, and his name seemed to crop up on the edges of research I had done whilst gaining Forensic Qualifications.
So when I saw this book was available to review I knew I was going to read it. Originally I was going to use it as a literacy pallet cleanser, reading a chapter between books. That went out of the window after the first chapter
If you don’t know who Edward Oscar Heinrich is imagine a mad Professor who approached the Police and said science can solve crimes. Now think this happened in the early 1930’s
A lot of his work has gone unrecorded for years, after some of his methods were called into doubt.
But after his death in 1953, at the age of 72, all of his files and equipment went into storage. In the late 1960s the collection was bequeathed to the University of California where it lay untouched for nearly 50 years until the author requested permission to look inside the boxes, and what a treasure chest she opened
Heinrich was integral in some of the most high profile cases of the 20’s, 30s and 40’s
The first case that brought him to attention was when he assisted police in Portland with a crime that had gone wrong. 3 men had tried to stop a train and rob it, a bit like the UK’s Great Train Robbery, only this one went very wrong
The men only succeeded in blowing the train up and killing 4 people.
Heinrich used science to establish what had happened and helped catch the perpetrators.
And so was born Forensic Scene Examination, and Forensic Science in American Law enforcement.
This book looks at some of his more notable, and in some cases infamous, cases.
This is more than a book, it’s a gateway, via Google, into some brilliant reading.
Whether you are a True Crime fan, a Crime Fiction fan, or just somebody who enjoys a good book, you will live this.
But be prepared, it’s going to lead to a lot of reading outside of the covers of this book.
Pages: 359. Publisher U.K: Icon Books. Available now