2nd Edition

Forensic Investigation of Explosions

ISBN 9781420087253
Published November 2, 2011 by CRC Press
830 Pages 365 B/W Illustrations

USD $195.00

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Book Description

Now in its second edition, Forensic Investigation of Explosions draws on the editor’s 30 years of explosives casework experience, including his work on task forces set up to investigate major explosives incidents. Dr. Alexander Beveridge provides a broad, multidisciplinary approach, assembling the contributions of internationally recognized experts who present the definitive reference work on the subject.

Topics discussed include:

  • The physics and chemistry of explosives and explosions
  • The detection of hidden explosives
  • The effect of explosions on structures and persons
  • Aircraft sabotage investigations
  • Explosion scene investigations
  • Casework management
  • The role of forensic scientists
  • Analysis of explosives and their residues
  • Forensic pathology as it relates to explosives
  • Presentation of expert testimony

With nearly 40 percent more material, this new edition contains revised chapters and several new topics, including:

  • A profile of casework management in the UK Forensic Explosives Laboratory, one of the world’s top labs, with a discussion of their management system, training procedures, and practical approaches to problem solving
  • Properties and analysis of improvised explosives
  • An examination of the Bali bombings and the use of mobile analytical techniques and mobile laboratories
  • The collection, analysis, and presentation of evidence in vehicle-borne improvised explosive device cases, as evidenced in attacks on US overseas targets

This volume offers valuable information to all members of prevention and post-blast teams. Each chapter was written by an expert or experts in a specific field and provides well-referenced information underlying best practices that can be used in the field, laboratory, conference room, classroom, or courtroom.

Table of Contents

The History, Development, and Characteristics of Explosives and Propellants; Robert B. Hopler

Physics of Explosion Hazards; Bibhu Mohanty

Detection of Hidden Explosives; Susan Hallowell, Richard Lareau, Ronald Krauss, Curtis Bell, Joshua Rubinstein, Polly Gongwer, Pamela Beresford, and James C. Weatherall

General Protocols at the Scene of an Explosion; Jean-Yves Vermette

Recovery of Material from the Scene of an Explosion and its Subsequent Forensic Laboratory Examination—a Team Approach; Richard A. Strobel

The Management of Casework within the United Kingdom Forensic Explosives Laboratory; Sharon Broome and Clifford Todd

Aircraft Explosive Sabotage Investigation; John H. Garstang

Evidence of Explosive Damage to Materials and Structures in Air Crash Investigations; Maurice Baker, John Winn, Steve Harris, and Nigel Harrison

Investigation of Gas Phase Explosions in Buildings; Christopher D. Foster

Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices; Donald J. Sachtleben

Investigation of Pipe Bombs; Edward C. Bender and Alexander D. Beveridge

Improvised Explosives Characteristics, Detection, and Analysis; Kirk Yeager

Quality and the Trace Detection and Identification of Organic High Explosives; Sean Doyle

Chromatography of Explosives; Bruce McCord, Inge Corbin, and Edward Bender

Analysis of Explosives by Mass Spectrometry; Tsippy Tamiri and Shmuel Zitrin

Analysis of Explosives by Infrared Spectrometry; Shmuel Zitrin and Tsippy Tamiri

Portable Explosive Detection Instruments; Sarah Benson, Naomi Speers, and Vincent Otieno-Alego

The Significance of Analytical Results in Explosives Investigation; Gerard T. Murray

Forensic Pathology of Explosive Injury; Indira Kitulwatte and Michael S. Pollanen

Presentation of Explosive Casework Evidence; James W. Jardine


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Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Beveridge is a consultant forensic chemist and lawyer in Vancouver, Canada. He is a fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and had a 30-year career in the Forensic Science Service of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where he headed the chemistry section in the Vancouver laboratory for many years. Sandy conducts courses and workshops on forensic investigation of explosions from practical, scientific, and legal perspectives for investigators and at academic institutions.


"If there is a book for explosives investigations that I can recommend to anyone training in the field of explosives, then it is without a doubt Forensic Investigation of Explosions. The book not only accompanies the beginner through the history of explosives and explosives investigations, but serves as a great tool for seasoned investigators, scientists, and bomb technicians as the world of explosives investigations evolves."
Melanie Brochu, B.Sc. RCMP Forensic Specialist (Explosives), Ottawa, Ontario