Before there was CSI, there was one man who saw beyond the crime and into the future of forensic science. His name was Sir Bernard Spilsbury, and through his use of cutting-edge science, he single-handedly brought criminal investigations into the modern age. As a young, charismatic physician in the early 20th century, Spilsbury hit the English justice system like a cannonball, garnering a reputation as a real-life Sherlock Holmes. He uncovered evidence others missed, stood above his peers in crime reconstruction, exposed discrepancies between witness testimony and factual evidence, and, most importantly, convicted dozens of murderers with hard-nosed, scientific proof. Killers who would have previously escaped justice began to drop through the hangman's trapdoor. Fleet Street adored him: 'Horrible murder Spilsbury called in' became a favourite headline guaranteed to boost circulation. In telling Spilsbury's fascinating story, Colin Evans also tells those of infamous criminals such as Dr Crippen and Louis Voisin, the Butcher of Soho , and explores in some depth gruesome cases which Spilsbury helped solve, such as the notorious Brides in the Bath murders. He also traces the beginnings of the astonishing science of criminal investigation in our own time, for which we have Sir Bernard Spilsbury to thank.
Colin Evans is a veteran writer specialising in forensics. His books include The Casebook of Forensic Detection: How Science Solved 100 ofthe World's Most Baffling Crimes, and A Question of Evidence: The Casebook of Great Forensic Controversies from Napoleon to O.J. He lives in Wiltshire.