Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, Third Edition

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  • Features contributions from top experts in the field discussing their own cases
  • Contains 400 photographs, most in color
  • Appropriate for high school and university students
  • Includes the technical detail necessary to understand the breadth of the science
  • Highlights words in the text that are defined in the glossary

An instructor’s guide with objectives, questions and answers, suggested activities, and material in electronic format is available to qualifying instructors. Accompanying lab manuals are also available.


Now revised and updated, this comprehensive work, long considered the top textbook in the forensics field, reaches far beyond the scope of those introductory texts that concentrate primarily on criminalistics. Covering a range of fundamental topics, it introduces newcomers to the field while providing the technical detail necessary to understand the field as a science. To this end the book is compatible with CRC lab manuals, including Forensic Science Laboratory Manual and Workbook, Third Edition (87193) and Crime Scene Processing and Laboratory Workbook (85425).

Praise for the Previous Edition:
"The first-hand experience of the authors and the use of real case studies, including photographs, captivate the reader. Even non-forensic science students and the general public would find this book interesting reading."
   —Kieran F. Lim, Physical Sciences Educational Reviews, Vol. 7, No. 1

This updated third edition includes:

  • New material on forensic photography, crime scenes, and forensic pathology, including a chapter on Forensic Digital Photo Imaging
  • Simplified, easy-to-understand chapters on computer forensics and DNA analysis
  • Revised materials in each chapter to reflect advances in the field

New and More Extensive Teaching Materials:
An instructor’s guide with objectives, questions and answers, suggested activities, and material in electronic format is available upon qualifying course adoption.

Table of Contents

Forensic Pathology and Related Specialties

Here We Stand: What a Forensic Scientist Does; Jon J. Nordby

The Role of the Forensic Pathologist; Ronald K. Wright

Forensic Nursing; Janet S. Barber Duval, Catherine M. Dougherty, and Mary K.Sullivan

Investigation of Traumatic Deaths; Ronald K. Wright

Forensic Toxicology; John Joseph Fenton

Forensic Odontology; R. Tom Glass

Forensic Anthropology; Marcella H. Sorg and William D. Haglund

Forensic Taphonomy; William D. Haglund and Marcella H. Sorg

Forensic Entomology; Gail S. Anderson

Evaluation of the Crime Scene

Crime Scene Investigation; Marilyn T. Miller, Ed.D.

Forensic Digital Photo Imaging; Patrick Jones

Recognition of Bloodstain Patterns; Stuart H. James, Paul E. Kish, and T. Paulette Sutton

Forensic Science in the Laboratory

The Forensic Laboratory; Linda R. Netzel

The Identification and Characterization of Blood and Bloodstains; Robert P. Spalding

Identification of Biological Fluids and Stains; Andrew Greenfield and Monica M. Sloan

Forensic DNA: Technology, Applications, and the Law; Susan Herrero

Microanalysis and Examination of Trace Evidence; Thomas A. Kubic and Nicholas Petraco

Fingerprints; R. E. Gaensslen

Forensic Footwear Evidence; William J. Bodziak

Forensic Tire Tread and Tire Track Evidence; William J. Bodziak

Firearm and Tool Mark Examinations; Walter F. Rowe

Questioned Documents; Howard Seiden and Frank H. Norwitch

Analysis of Controlled Substances; Donnell R. Christian, Jr.

Forensic Engineering

Structural Failures; Randall K. Noon

Basic Fire and Explosion Investigation; David R. Redsicker

Vehicular Accident Reconstruction; Randall K. Noon

Cybertechnology and Forensic Science

Informatics in Forensic Science; Zeno Geradts

Computer Crime and the Electronic Crime Scene; Thomas A. Johnson

Forensic Application of the Social Sciences

Forensic Psychology; Louis B. Schlesinger

Forensic Psychiatry; Robert L. Sadoff

Serial Offenders: Linking Cases by Modus Operandi and Signature; Robert D. Keppel

Criminal Personality Profiling; Michael R. Napier and Kenneth P. Baker

Legal and Ethical Issues in Forensic Science

Forensic Evidence; Terrence F. Kiely

Countering Chaos: Logic, Ethics, and the Criminal Justice System; Jon J. Nordby

Appendix A: Biohazard Safety Precautions

Appendix B: Forensic Web Sites

Appendix C: Trigonometric Tables: Sine and Tangent Functions

Appendix D: Metric Measurements and Equivalents




Editor Bio(s)

Stuart H. James is a forensic consultant with James and Associates Forensic Consultants, Inc., in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has been a consultant on cases in 47 states as well as in Australia, Canada, England, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has given expert testimony in state, federal, and military courts. Mr. James is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a charter and distinguished member of the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts, and a member of the FBI’s Scientific Working Group on Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (SWGSTAIN).

Jon J. Nordby works as a forensic science consultant for Final Analysis Forensics, an independent consulting practice in death investigation, forensic science, and forensic medicine. He specializes in scene reconstruction, evidence recognition, collection, and analysis, as well as bloodstain pattern analysis and the investigation of police shootings. His many publications include the book Dead Reckoning: The Art of Forensic Detection. Dr. Nordby is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and belongs to the Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction and the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts.

Editorial Reviews

…James and Nordby have enlisted the hemisphere's leading experts in his or her individual field of expertise to explain and educate the reader to the topic at hand … I found the book to be concise, very informative, and easy to understand … For the college/university student, this book has the potential to be ranked as the 'must have' textbook … As a former crime scene investigator and current adjunct instructor, I believe this book to be a noteworthy addition to any private or agency library. Accordingly, it could easily fulfill the curriculum mandate for a general forensic science class at either the freshman or second-year post-secondary school level … the third edition of Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques is not only a premiere reference textbook, but with its palatable price tag, this reference manual makes for a worthwhile academic investment either in or out of the classroom.
—Craig C. Moore, Constable, Niagara Regional Police Service, Ontario, Canada, Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal, Vol. 43 No. 1, March 2010