4th Edition

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

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ISBN 9781439853832
Published January 13, 2014 by CRC Press
614 Pages - 334 Color Illustrations

USD $98.95

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Book Description

Covering a range of fundamental topics essential to modern forensic investigation, the fourth edition of the landmark text Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques presents contributions from experts in the field who discuss case studies from their own personal files. This edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect the cutting edge of forensic science across many different areas.

Designed for a single-term course at the lower 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 should be admissible. It takes the evidence from crime scene investigation into laboratory analysis and even onto the autopsy table for the fullest breadth of subject matter of any forensic text available. Topics include

  • Forensic anthropology and the role of entomology in a death investigation
  • Death investigation, including identifying the cause, manner, mechanism, and time of death
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis, the identification of blood and body fluids, the work of forensic toxicologists, and seized drug analysis
  • The history and development of DNA typing and the many ways it can be used
  • Fingerprint, firearm and ballistic, tool mark, tread impression, and trace evidence
  • The forensic analysis of questioned documents and computers
  • Arson, fire, explosives, and the work of forensic engineers in vehicular accidents and structural collapses
  • Forensic psychology and psychiatry, including criminal profiling
  • The future of forensic science

Going beyond theory to application, this text incorporates the wisdom of forensic practitioners who discuss the real cases they have investigated. Color-coded sidebars in each chapter provide historical notes, case studies, and current events as well as advice for career advancement. Each section and each chapter begins with an overview and ends with a summary, and key terms, review questions, and up-to-date references are provided. Appropriate for any sensibility, more than 300 photos from real cases give students a true-to-life learning experience.

*Access to identical eBook version included

Table of Contents

Setting the Stage
Justice and Science; Jon J. Nordby and Suzanne Bell
Evidence: Origins, Types, and Admissibility; Linda R. Netzel, Terrence F. Kiely, and Suzanne Bell
The Crime Scene
Crime Scene Investigation; Marilyn T. Miller and Patrick Jones
Bloodstain Patterns; Stuart H. James, Paul E. Kish, and T. Paulette Sutton
Forensic Death Investigation
Death Investigation; Ronald K. Wright
Forensic Anthropology; William D. Haglund and Marcella H. Sorg
Forensic Entomology; Gail S. Anderson
Forensic Biology
Identification of Blood and Body Fluids; Andrew Greenfield, Monica M. Sloan, and Robert P. Spaulding
DNA Typing; George Duncan, Martin Tracey, and Éric Stauffer
Forensic Chemistry
Forensic Toxicology; John Joseph Fenton and Suzanne Bell
Seized Drug Analysis; Donnell R. Christian and Suzanne Bell
Arson, Fire, and Explosives; David R. Redsicker
Pattern and Impression Evidence
Fingerprints; R. E. Gaensslen
Firearms and Tool Marks; Walter K. Rowe
Tread Impressions; William J. Bodziak
Cross-Cutting Forensic Disciplines
Trace Evidence; Thomas A. Kubic and Nicholas Petraco
Questioned Documents; Howard Seiden and Frank Norwitch
Engineering and Computing
Forensic Engineering; Randall K. Noon
Forensic Computing; Zeno Geradts and Thomas A. Johnson
The Human Element and the Future of Forensic Science
Behavioral Science and Forensic Science; Kenneth P. Baker, Robert D. Keppel, Michael R. Napier, Robert L. Sadoff,
and Louis B. Schlensinger
The Future of Forensic Science; Suzanne Bell

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Stuart H. James of James & Associates Forensic Consultants, Inc., is a graduate of Hobart College, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology and chemistry in 1962. He received his MT(ASCP) in medical technology from St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona, in 1963. Graduate courses completed at Elmira College include homicide investigation, bloodstain pattern analysis, and forensic microscopy. He has completed more than 400 hours of continuing education and training in death investigation and bloodstain pattern analysis. A former crime laboratory supervisor in Binghamton, New York, he has been a private consultant since 1981.

Jon J. Nordby, PhD, D-ABMDI, earned his advanced degrees from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. He works as a forensic science consultant for Final Analysis Forensics, an independent consulting practice in medical-legal death investigation, forensic science, and forensic medicine. He specializes in scene reconstruction, and evidence recognition, collection, and analysis, including bloodstain pattern analysis, ballistics, firearm and gunshot residue testing and the investigation of police shootings. He serves the National Disaster Medical System as a medical investigator and forensic specialist with the Region X DMORT team.

Suzanne Bell, PhD, earned a B.S. degree in 1981 from Northern Arizona University with a dual major in chemistry and police science (criminal justice). She obtained her master’s degree in forensic science from the University of New Haven in Connecticut and her Ph.D. in chemistry from New Mexico State University. She joined the faculty of West Virginia University in 2003 in the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry. Her research interests include forensic toxicology, ion mobility spectrometry, and gunshot residue. She works with students at all levels (undergraduate to doctoral) in chemistry and forensic science and is active in international forensic science outreach.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Suzanne  Bell

Suzanne Bell

Associate Professor, West Virginia University
Morgantwon, West Virginia, United States

Learn more about Suzanne Bell »


"All changes from third to fourth edition are excellent. It's now more concise, better organized, and contains more relevant info."
—Mary Juno, San Jose State University, California, USA

"The content is broken down into easy-to-digest sections with a scope limited to the primary forensic disciplines. The use of subject-matter experts as authors of each chapter allows current knowledge and experience to be expressed in both a theoretical and applied approach. Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques is a valuable textbook for instructors teaching an introductory forensic science course at the undergraduate level."
—L.N. Ferrara, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, in Forensic Science Review

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