By E. J. Wagner
The technology of Sherlock Holmes is a wild trip in a hansom cab alongside the line paved via Sherlock Holmes—a trip that leads us via medication, legislation, pathology, toxicology, anatomy, blood chemistry, and the emergence of real–life forensic technological know-how through the 19th and 20th centuries.
From the "well–marked print of a thumb" on a whitewashed wall in "The experience of the Norwood Builder" to the trajectory and influence of a bullet in "The Reigate Squires," writer E. J. Wagner makes use of the good Detective′s striking adventures as springboards into the real–life forensics at the back of them.
You′ll meet scientists, investigators, and medical examiners, equivalent to the larger–than–life Eugène Vidocq of the Paris Sûreté, the made up our minds detective Henry Goddard of London′s Bow highway Runners, the fingerprint professional Sir Francis Galton, and the intense yet conceited pathologist Sir Bernard Spilsbury. You′ll discover the traditional myths and peculiar folklore that have been challenged through the evolving box of forensics—including the assumption that hair and nails develop after demise, and the concept the skull′s measurement and form make certain personality—and learn the position that mind fever, Black canine, and vampires performed in legal history.
Real–life Holmesian mysteries abound during the e-book. What occurred to Dr. George Parkman, prosperous doctor and philanthropist, final noticeable coming into the Harvard university of medication in 1849? The trial incorporated the various first professional testimony on handwriting research on record—some of it foreshadowing what Holmes stated of revealed facts years later within the Hound of the Baskervilles, "But this is often my specified pastime, and the variations are both obvious."
What was once the key of the well–known bridge professional and good-looking man–about–town Joseph Browne Elwell, chanced on shot to demise in his library in 1920? the manager medical expert tested the doorway wound in "Holmesian style with a magnifying glass," Wagner tells us, explaining the method used to figure out even if the sufferer died by chance, homicide, or suicide.
Would Elizabeth Barlow nonetheless have married Kenneth Barlow if the physique of her husband′s first spouse were tested with a similar Sherlockian care that Elizabeth′s finally used to be? "It will be a sharp–eyed coroner, certainly, who may distinguish the 2 little darkish punctures," Holmes says with darkish prescience in "The experience of the Speckled Band" in 1892.
Through a variety of instances, together with celebrated ones reminiscent of these of Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden, the writer lines the effect of the coolly analytical Holmes at the slow emergence of forensic technology from the grip of superstition. You′ll end up turning the pages of The technological know-how of Sherlock Holmes as eagerly as you'll these of any Holmes secret.
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Extra info for The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases
Although we make Step Three as unthreatening as we can (“Just think up a new way to think”), that does not make it easy to do. When Step Two has targeted deep-seated attitudes and personal principles, it is often hard to think of alternatives. But that, we suggest, is exactly the struggle offenders need to engage in – and win – in order to find their way out of their pro-criminal attitudes into a pro-social way of life. Struggling with Step Three is a good sign, and we do not let them off the hook: OFFENDER: I can think, “It’s not my problem that he insulted my brother” and I can think, “I’ll only get in trouble if I get revenge on him,” but when it comes to the need I feel to get revenge on people for something like that?
In a sense and to varying degrees, we all grew up professionally in the blossoming era of evidence-based practice. And each of us experienced frustration in our encounters with the culture of actual forensic practice. With a background of counseling voluntary and semi-voluntary clients, Parker felt some contradictions in the “what works” literature. How do you individualize treatment while maintaining program integrity? How do you keep relatively unmotivated high-risk offenders involved in community treatment programs geared more to motivated medium-risk offenders?
It is easy to imagine that most of us would be this way most of the time if we were not so well brought up, or if there were no laws, or if laws were not enforced. However, on a closer look, criminal behavior is not so simple. The most persistent offenders seem to be immune to caring about the harm they do to others. Law enforcement and punishment seem not to deter them. They seem perversely determined to be as they are, and to stay that way. Something more than “normal human selfishness” is going on here.
The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases by E. J. Wagner