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Lethal Witness: Sir Bernard Spilsbury, Honorary Pathologist (True Crime History)
 
 

Lethal Witness: Sir Bernard Spilsbury, Honorary Pathologist (True Crime History) [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Ross
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The man who brought forensic pathology out of the laboratory

Sir Bernard Spilsbury was an early-twentieth-century British forensic pathologist who gained fame by testifying in classic murder cases, beginning in 1910 with the Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen trial. His expert court testimony he identified Crippen's victim by detailed microscopic study of a scar convinced the lay jury of Crippen's guilt.

Considered the father of modern forensic pathology, Spilsbury became well known after he provided crucial prosecutorial evidence in the Brides in the Bath case (where a nurse nearly drowned in a laboratory experiment designed to prove his theories), the Blazing Car and Brighton Trunk murders, and the Hay-on-Wye arsenic poisoning trial. Knighted in 1923, Spilsbury performed 20,000 postmortem examinations and became the first and only Honorary Pathologist to the Home Office.

Controversial and dramatic, Lethal Witness charts Spilsbury's rise and fall as a media star, revealing how he put spin on the facts, embellished evidence, and played games with the truth. In some notorious cases, his positive evidence led to the conviction and execution of men innocent of murder gross miscarriages of justice that now demand official pardons.

Andrew Rose examines Spilsbury's carefully nurtured image, dogmatic manner, and unbending belief in his own infallibility and exposes the fallacies of the man dubbed the most brilliant scientific detective of all time. True crime fans, students of forensics, and law enforcement professionals will enjoy this biography of Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the man who helped raise forensic science to an art.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1142 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Kent State University Press; 1 edition (6 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0096SI95A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #133,074 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Andrew Rose (from a from a long line of Scots doctors and lawyers) was educated in Dorset and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He practised as a criminal law barrister in London and sat as an Immigration Judge between 1999 and 2007.

Andrew is particularly interested in British social, legal and political history 1900-1950. His first two titles, Stinie: Murder on the Common (Bodley Head 1985; Penguin 1989) and Scandal at the Savoy (Bloomsbury 1991; Fusosha Japan 1993) have strong biographical elements. Each book explores a notorious Old Bailey murder trial, challenging the original verdict and offering a detailed factual re-assessment, largely based on previously closed official material. Stinie (which was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger Non-Fiction Award of the Crime Writers' Association) reveals a wrongful conviction based on perjured testimony in the 1911 Clapham Common murder case. Scandal at the Savoy - about 'Madame Fahmy' and the 1923 Savoy Hotel shooting - shows how unscrupulous defence tactics can sometimes allow the guilty to walk free from court. Both books explore issues of race, sexuality, and culture set against the social and political backdrop of their time.

Lethal Witness (Sutton Publishing 2007; Kent State University Press USA 2009) is a biography of Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the pioneer pathologist variously dubbed "the Father of Forensics" and "the living embodiment of mythical Sherlock Holmes". As before, Andrew has gained access to previously closed Home Office, Metropolitan Police and other files. He charts his subject's rise and fall as a media star, from the 1910 Crippen trial until his bizarre suicide in 1947, revealing how "the Honorary Pathologist to the Home Office" put spin on the facts, embellished evidence and played games with the truth. Spilsbury's (often flawed) 'positive evidence' for the prosecution led to the conviction and execution of men innocent of murder.

Andrew's latest book The Prince, the Princess and the Perfect Murder will be published on 4 April by Coronet in the UK and, later in the month, as The Woman Before Wallis: Prince Edward, the Paris Courtesan, and the Perfect Murder in the USA. A true story, never told before, about Edward VIII's first great love, a secret from WW1, about its extraordinary consequences, involving blackmail and murder, and a superbly choreographed cover-up by members of the British Establishment.

Andrew has been a contributor to several TV and radio programmes, including C4's The Last Secret of Dr Crippen (2004) and Was Crippen Innocent? (2008) on C5, as well as making appearances on ITV1's recent series Forensic Casebook. He has also given lectures and talks about his books.

Andrew is a member of the Society of Authors and the prestigious Biographers' Club.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Forensic Pathology 1 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bernard Spilsbury was perhaps the first pathologist in Britain to achieve a public image. His work and private life were controversial but this book goes a long way towards cutting through the myth of the man. One of the best biographies on the subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable 12 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very well written, an excellent balance of sober revelations about the great man interspersed with pithy witticisms about the life, times and personalities of war torn Britain. This is an absolute must for true crime enthusiasts and strangely moving. I did not want Sir B to have feet of clay, neither did I wish for him the losses and the unhappy marriage.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lethal Witness 12 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read,what a very clever man,but so sad his personal life suffered so badly,always wanted o know a bit more about Spilsburys works Joy Page Englad
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5.0 out of 5 stars The man behind the myth 8 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book gives a fascinating insight into the real man, flaws and all, behind the almost mythical being he became in forensic science.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars debunk 25 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short abrasive style of writing, leaving one with a vague dislike of the author, who whilst attempting to give another view of Sir Bernard Spilsbury manages to annoy with his debunking style of narrative.
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