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The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science

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The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science Cover

ISBN13: 9780307266194
ISBN10: 0307266192
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A riveting true crime story that vividly recounts the birth of modern forensics.

At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known and feared as "The Killer of Little Shepherds," terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years — until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the eras most renowned criminologist. The two men — intelligent and bold — typified the Belle Epoque, a period of immense scientific achievement and fascination with sciences promise to reveal the secrets of the human condition.

With high drama and stunning detail, Douglas Starr revisits Vacher's infamous crime wave, interweaving the story of how Lacassagne and his colleagues were developing forensic science as we know it. We see one of the earliest uses of criminal profiling, as Fourquet painstakingly collects eyewitness accounts and constructs a map of Vachers crimes. We follow the tense and exciting events leading to the murderers arrest. And we witness the twists and turns of the trial, celebrated in its day. In an attempt to disprove Vachers defense by reason of insanity, Fourquet recruits Lacassagne, who in the previous decades had revolutionized criminal science by refining the use of blood-spatter evidence, systematizing the autopsy, and doing groundbreaking research in psychology. Lacassagnes efforts lead to a gripping courtroom denouement.

The Killer of Little Shepherds is an important contribution to the history of criminal justice, impressively researched and thrillingly told.

Review:

"Starr's heavy immersion into forensics and investigative procedure makes interesting reading . . . [A] well-documented mix of forensic science, narrative nonfiction, and criminal psychology." Kirkus

Review:

“Engrossing and carefully researched.” The New Yorker

Review:

“Gripping, almost novelistic...Like an episode of CSI: 19th-Century France.” Entertainment Weekly

Review:

“Gripping...Starr’s description of the legal, medical and even philosophical questions around Vacher’s responsibility are strikingly current.” The Seattle Times

Review:

“Riveting, yet cerebral...Besides focusing on Joseph Vacher, also known as the Killer of Little Shepherds, Starr explains and expands on the fascinating achievements of those studying the criminal world.” San Francisco Book Review

Review:

“Starr’s heavy immersion into forensics and investigative procedure makes interesting reading ...[A] well-documented mix of forensic science, narrative nonfiction, and criminal psychology.” Kirkus

Synopsis:

At the end of the 19th century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, dubbed "The Killer of Little Shepherds," terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years — until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era's most renowned criminologist.

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About the Author

Douglas Starr is codirector of the Center for Science and Medical Journalism and a professor of journalism at Boston University. His book Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce won the 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and became a PBS-TV documentary special. A veteran science, medical, and environmental reporter, Starr has contributed to many national publications, including Smithsonian, Audubon, National Wildlife, Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and Time, and has served as a science editor for PBS-TV. He lives near Boston.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

CentralCaliGrrrl, March 27, 2011 (view all comments by CentralCaliGrrrl)
Excellent read! Great flow...author does not "bounce around" too much within the story. Lots of fascinating, factual information. At times, the book almost read like prose, which must have been difficult to achieve considering the context. I also liked the few pages of pictures that were included in the center of the book. Douglas Starr is a terrific writer - I couldn't put this book down!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307266194
Subtitle:
A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science
Author:
Starr, Douglas
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
General
Subject:
Criminal Procedure
Subject:
Forensic Science
Subject:
General True Crime
Subject:
Murder - Serial Killers
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 PAGES OF PHOTOGRAPHS
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.55 x 6.35 x 1.15 in 1.45 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Crime » Forensics and Evidence
History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » World History » France » General

The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Knopf - English 9780307266194 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Starr's heavy immersion into forensics and investigative procedure makes interesting reading . . . [A] well-documented mix of forensic science, narrative nonfiction, and criminal psychology."
"Review" by , “Engrossing and carefully researched.”
"Review" by , “Gripping, almost novelistic...Like an episode of CSI: 19th-Century France.”
"Review" by , “Gripping...Starr’s description of the legal, medical and even philosophical questions around Vacher’s responsibility are strikingly current.”
"Review" by , “Riveting, yet cerebral...Besides focusing on Joseph Vacher, also known as the Killer of Little Shepherds, Starr explains and expands on the fascinating achievements of those studying the criminal world.”
"Review" by , “Starr’s heavy immersion into forensics and investigative procedure makes interesting reading ...[A] well-documented mix of forensic science, narrative nonfiction, and criminal psychology.”
"Synopsis" by , At the end of the 19th century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, dubbed "The Killer of Little Shepherds," terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years — until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era's most renowned criminologist.
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