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May 29, 2021

American Sherlock

American Sherlock

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My special guest is Kate Winkler Dawson here to discuss her new book American Sherlock about America's first and greatest forensic scientist. Get her book on Amazon.

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From the acclaimed author of Death in the Air ("Not since Devil in the White City has a book told such a harrowing tale"--Douglas Preston) comes the riveting story of the birth of criminal investigation in the twentieth century.

Berkeley, California, 1933. In a lab filled with curiosities--beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners, and hundreds upon hundreds of books--sat an investigator who would go on to crack at least two thousand cases in his forty-year career. Known as the "American Sherlock Holmes," Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of America's 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. However with his brilliance, and commanding presence in both the courtroom and at crime scenes, Heinrich spearheaded the invention of a myriad of new forensic tools that police still use today, including blood spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests, and the use of fingerprints as courtroom evidence. His work, though not without its serious--some would say fatal--flaws, changed the course of American criminal investigation.

Based on years of research and thousands of never-before-published primary source materials, American Sherlock 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.

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Ivor DavisProfile Photo

Ivor Davis

Special Guest

Author/journalist and investigative reporter IVOR DAVIS was deeply embedded in the life of Charles Manson, while maintaining distance from the mesmerizing pull that drew Manson’s followers to him and compelled them to do his savage, unspeakable bidding. Davis retained a cool, independent, and objective view as the case played out, and in his gripping new book Manson Exposed: A Reporter’s 50-Year Journey into Madness and Murder, he shares his personal odyssey over half a century. He meticulously pieces together the complex and Byzantine story, making sense of senseless as well as the facts surrounding one of the most savage massacres in American criminal history.
For half a century Davis was an eyewitness to the case. He was hot on the story from the moment the Tate murders were discovered in August 1969. He had a front row seat during the crazy, year-long trial and sheds new light on this ever changing story by sharing how he stayed one step ahead of investigators; pinpointing why this killer band did what they did, and how they did it and who they did it to, as well as clearly identifying all the players in this warped American tragedy. Five to Die was his first book ever published on the murders and was so pinpointed and scrupulously detailed, it was used by the Los Angeles district attorney as a blueprint for the prosecution.
Today, drawing from his personal diaries, decades of reportage, court records as well as dozens of new interviews, he weaves together his memories, investigations, and an exclusive dossier gathered over half a century, to deliver new evidence and revelations. The result is a complex and fascinating “I was there” catalogue of criminal certitude. His eyewitness interviews with Manson Family members, their lawyers, prosecutors, plus an assortment of world famous celebrities whose lives were forever scarred as a result of becoming enmeshed in this dark and brutal chapter in murder history, makes for a true life roller coaster ride.
Written with a master sto­ryteller’s eye, “Manson Exposed” brings vivid new life and revelations to this much chronicled story.