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Kate Winkler Dawson

Kate Winkler Dawson, author of DEATH IN THE AIR (“Not since Devil in the White City has a book told such a harrowing tale,” said Douglas Preston), now brings readers the story of the birth of criminal investigation in the 20th century. And it's riveting!

Berkeley, California, 1933. A lab filled with curiosities--beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners, and hundreds of books--was the workplace of the AMERICAN SHERLOCK, an investigator who would go on to crack at least two thousand cases in his 40-year career. Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of our greatest--and first--forensic scientists, with an uncanny knack for finding clues, establishing evidence, and deducing answers with a skill that seemed almost supernatural.

Heinrich was one of the nation’s first expert witnesses, working in a time when the turmoil of Prohibition led to sensationalized crime reporting and only a small, systematic study of evidence. With his commanding presence in both the courtroom and at crime scenes, Heinrich spearheaded the invention of new forensic tools that police still use, including blood spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests, and the use of fingerprints as courtroom evidence. His work, though not without flaws, changed the course of American criminal investigation.

Based on years of research and thousands of never-before-published primary source materials, AMERICAN SHERLOCK: MURDER, FORENSICS, AND THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN CSI captures the life of the man who pioneered the science our legal system now relies upon, as well as the limits of those techniques and the very human experts who wield them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kate Winkler Dawson is a seasoned documentary producer, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, WCBS Newsradio 880, and ABC News Radio, PBS NewsHour, and Nightline. She is the author of DEATH IN THE AIR: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City. She teaches journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.

Wednesday, February 19th, 6:00PM
Event address: 
5600 West Lovers Lane
Dallas, TX 75209
American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525539551
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 11th, 2020