5th Edition

Forensic Science
An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, Fifth Edition

ISBN 9781138048126
Published March 3, 2019 by CRC Press
366 Pages 354 Color Illustrations

USD $120.00

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Book Description

Covering a range of fundamental topics essential to modern forensic investigation, the fifth edition of the landmark text Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques presents contributions and case studies from the personal files of experts in the field. In the fully updated 5th edition, Bell combines these testimonies into an accurate and engrossing account of cutting edge of forensic science across many different areas.

Designed for a single-term course at the undergraduate level, the book begins by discussing the intersection of law and forensic science, how things become evidence, and how courts decide if an item or testimony is admissible. The text invites students to follow evidence all the way from the crime scene into laboratory analysis and even onto the autopsy table. Forensic Science offers the fullest breadth of subject matter of any forensic text available, including forensic anthropology, death investigation (including entomology), bloodstain pattern analysis, firearms, tool marks, and forensic analysis of questioned documents.

Going beyond theory to application, this text incorporates the wisdom of forensic practitioners who discuss the real cases they have investigated. Textboxes in each chapter provide case studies, current events, and advice for career advancement. A brand-new feature, Myths in Forensic Science, highlights the differences between true forensics and popular media fictions. Each chapter begins with an overview and ends with a summary, and key terms, review questions, and up-to-date references. Appropriate for any sensibility, more than 350 full-color photos from real cases give students a true-to-life learning experience.

*Access to identical eBook version included


  • Showcases contributions from high-profile experts in the field
  • Highlights real-life case studies from experts’ personal files, along with stunning full-color photographs
  • Organizes chapters into topics most popular for coursework
  • Covers of all forms of evidence, from bloodstain patterns to questioned documents
  • Includes textboxes with historical notes, myths in forensic science, and advice for career advancement
  • Provides chapter summaries, key terms, review questions, and further reading
  • Includes access to an identical eBook version


Ancillaries for Instructors:

  • PowerPoint® lecture slides for every chapter
  • A full Instructor’s Manual with hundreds of questions and answers—including multiple choice
  • Additional chapters from previous editions
  • Two extra in-depth case studies on firearms and arson (photos included)
  • Further readings on entomological evidence and animal scavenging (photos included)

Table of Contents

Section 1. Setting the Stage

1. Justice and Science

2. Evidence

Section 2. The Crime Scene

3. Crime Scene Investigation

4. Bloodstain Patterns

Section 3. Investigation of Death

5. Medicolegal Investigation of Death

6. Forensic Toxicology

7. Forensic Anthropology

8. Forensic Entomology

Section 4. Forensic Biology

9. Biological Evidence

10. DNA Typing

Section 5. Forensic Chemistry

11. Drugs and Poisons

12. Arson and Fire Investigation

13. Explosives

Section 6. Pattern and Microscopic Evidence

14. Fingerprints

15. Firearms and Toolmarks

16. Tread Impressions

17. Trace Evidence

Section 7. Other Forensic Disciplines

18. Questioned Documents

19. Forensic Engineering

20. Forensic Computing

21. Behavioral Science

Appendix A

Appendix B

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Dr. Suzanne Bell obtained her Ph.D. from New Mexico State University, and her M.S. in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven. She has extensive professional experience as a forensic chemist and crime scene prosecutor with the New Mexico State Police and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She started her career in academia in 1994 at Eastern Washington University, where she helped develop a forensic chemistry major. In 2003 she joined the Chemistry Department at West Virginia University. In addition to numerous research articles, she has authored and edited many text and reference books, including Forensic Chemistry and the 4th edition of Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques.