Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science: International Edition

9780131227255: Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science: International Edition

For Introduction to Forensic Science courses offered by Forensic Science or Criminal Justice programs.

Written by a renowned authority on forensic science, this text introduces the non-scientific student to the field of forensic science through an exploration of its applications to criminal investigations, and clear explanations of the techniques, abilities and limitations of the modern crime laboratory.

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“Dr. Richard Saferstein's Criminalistics continues to be the gold standard of forensic science textbooks. He is simply unrivaled in his skill at making the crime lab exciting and accessible to all readers, ranging from forensic scientists and pathologists, to attorneys and judges, to law enforcement, to students and enthusiasts of all ages. I have, since the beginning of my career, relied upon various editions of Criminalistics, its accuracy, integrity and detail never failing me.

This compelling, latest updated edition of Criminalistics should be in every library and classroom, especially now in this era of proliferating forensic scientific advancements that make the impossible possible and mistakes unpardonable.” – Patricia Cornwell


Patricia Cornwell's recent bestsellers include Predator, Trace and Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed. Her brand-new thriller At Risk will be published by Putnam in May 2006. Patricia Cornwell is Director of Applied Forensic Science at the National Forensic Academy. Visit her website at

From the Back Cover:

In this new edition of Criminalistics, the noted forensic scientist, Richard Saferstein, brings the reader into the crime lab for a firsthand look at the role of science in the criminal justice system.

The application of science to criminal investigation is described in a style that is easily comprehensible, even to the reader with no background or skills in science. Through actual case histories and with the aid of over 200 illustrations, the reader will explore how forensic science impacted on the "crimes of the century"―the Lindbergh kidnapping and the Simpson criminal investigation―as well as other noted criminal cases.

Criminalistics focuses its attention on the up-to-date technologies police rely on to apprehend criminal perpetrators and to link them through trace evidence to crime scenes. The new edition emphasizes the latest DNA profiling technologies, which include STR and mitochondrial DNA. This book details how the creation of a new, nationwide DNA data bank has been designed to apprehend the mobile criminal. Today, the ability to detect less than one billionth of a gram of DNA means that forensic scientists can extract critical information at crime scenes from stamps and envelopes licked with saliva; a cup or can that has come in contact with a person's lips; chewing gum; the sweat bank of a hat; or a bedsheet containing an individual's skin cells.

As forensic science enters the new millennium, the impact of the digital revolution has led to the development of data banks for fingerprints, fired bullets, hair, paint, and shoeprints. This updated revision of Criminalistics emphasizes the new high-tech advances being made in crime scene investigation, as well as in arson and explosion investigation. A major portion of the text is devoted to how common items of physical evidence are located at crime scenes, processed in the crime lab, and preserved for presentation in the courtroom.

Like all facets of modern life, forensic science has been touched by the Internet. This new edition introduced the reader to basic concepts of Internet use and encourages exploration of the latest Web sites particularly relevant to forensic science and criminal investigation.

In addition to this book's comprehensive coverage of forensic science, a newly revised laboratory manual has been separately designed to supplement this edition.

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