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Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals by Elizabeth A. Murray

Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals -  The Great Courses, Professor Elizabeth A. Murray, The Great Courses
bookshelves: autumn-2015, nonfic-nov-2015, nonfiction, ttc, skoolzy-stuff, true-grime, forensic-anthropology, forensics, history, medical-eew, forensics-taphonomy, archaeology, casual-violence, fascinating-fayre, forensic-paleontology, games-people-play, hoax, moidah, ouch, pharma, recreational-homicide, revenge, under-50-ratings, wrong-so-wrong, art-forms, corruption, gangsters, history-of-science, life-is-cheap-around-here, suicide, books-about-books-and-book-shops, obsession, poison, forensics-audio, newtome-author, forensic-odontology, kidnap, holocaust-genocide, assassination, back-to-basics, betrayal, execution, gorefest, lifestyles-deathstyles, massacre, mental-health, misanthropic, misogyny, nowt-as-queer-as-folk, prisoner, psychology, recreational-drugs, racism, revolution, rid-the-world-of-tyrants, serial-killer, slit-yer-wrists-gloomy, sciences, spies, torture, tragedy, tricksy, forensic-otoscopy, forensic-serology, forensic-touch-dna
Read from November 25 to 27, 2015


Description: Modern history is filled with terrible crimes, baffling hoaxes, and seedy scandals. The infamous Jack the Ripper slayings. The alleged survival of Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of the murdered Tsar. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong’s public fall from grace. The Chicago Tylenol poisonings and the copycat crimes that followed.

These events have the power to captivate us with their mystery and shock us with views into the darkest parts of the human psyche. As a society, we seek resolution of these crimes and scandals, to bring their perpetrators to justice and hopefully prevent such events from occurring again.

Step into the world of forensic science and study the most fascinating historical crimes and mysteries from the last two centuries in Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals. Delivered by acclaimed Professor Elizabeth A. Murray of Mount St. Joseph University, a forensic anthropologist with nearly 30 years of experience in the field, these 24 lectures are a remarkable blend of storytelling and science—a whirlwind tour that takes you from the gas-lit streets of Victorian London to the mountains of Puerto Rico to small-town America. As you journey around the world and into the past, you’ll re-examine modern history’s great crimes and scandals using the tools and insights of forensic science. In doing so, you’ll learn how cutting-edge advancements in science and technology are applied to investigations and how to evaluate evidence and think like a forensic scientist.

Lecture 1: Jack the Ripper (1888)

Lecture 2: Analyzing The Black Dahlia Murder (1947)

Lecture 3: Dissecting Hollywood corpses: apparently three men who played superman went on to suffer unusual deaths.

George Reeves died at age 45 from a single gunshot, which remains a polarizing topic; the official finding was suicide, but some believe that he was murdered or the victim of an accidental shooting (1959)

The baby Kal-El: Quigley died at the age of fourteen after inhaling solvents (1991) Superman Curse is established.

Crane had been bludgeoned to death with a weapon that was never identified, though investigators believed it to be a camera tripod. An electrical cord had been tied around his neck.

Bruce Lee as sidekick (pun intended)'Kato' to the Green Hornet. Lee's iconic status and untimely demise (1973) fed many wild rumors and theories. These included murder involving the Triads and a supposed curse on him and his family. Bruce Lee Vs Chuck Norris (Way of the Dragon) Climactic Fight to Death

Brandon Lee died of a gunshot wound on March 31, 1993 at the filming studio in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the age of 28, after an accidental shooting on set of The Crow.

Lecture 4: Decomposition and Confusing Interpretations

Lecture 5: Lizzie Borden and the Menendez Brothers

Abby and Andrew Borden were murdered at their home on the morning of Thursday, August 4, 1892.

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

On August 20, 1989, Lyle and Erik were 21 and 18 years old, respectively.

Lecture 6: Chicago Tylenol murders (1982): a series of poisoning deaths resulting from drug tampering.

Lecture 7: Copycats and Hoaxes

Piltdown Man: a paleoanthropological hoax in which bone fragments were presented as the fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human. (1912)

John Stonehouse faked his own death (1974)

Lecture 8: Frauds and Forgeries

Elmyr de Hory - in 1976, de Hory committed suicide before facing extradition to France to face fraud charges.

Irving admitted that his book was a hoax. Time magazine dubbed him “Con Man of the Year.”

Lecture 9: Blood Doping and Other Sports Scandals. [What a topical subject.]

Lecture 10: Bad Boys of US Politics

Warren G Harding

Lecture 11: Criminals of the Wild, Wild West

Lecture 12: Investigating Incredible Banks Heists

Lecture 13: How Reliable is Eyewitness Testimony

Lecture 14: The Truth Behind False Confessions

Lecture 15: Crooked Cops and Bad Convictions

Lecture 16: Innocent until Proven Guilty

Lecture 17: Political Assassinations

Lecture 18: The Romonov family mysteries

Lecture 19: Forensics of Genocide

Armenian genocide: Centenary of massacre of 1.5 million by Ottoman Turks

Lecture 20: The Nazis and the Witch of Buchenwald

Lecture 21: The Spies Have It

Lecture 22: Motive and Kidnapping

Lecture 23: Identification Matters

Lecture 24: The Past, Present, and Future of Forensics

There is nothing here I would call scholastic, the delivery is as shallow news stories read from an armchair. Interesting enough as a general history yet I wanted to be taught something. If you are interested in forensic science at work then I can recommend FutureLearn for their forensic courses they put on a couple of times a year. The last one was Val McDermid in connection with Dundee uni and was very good.

My TTCs:

4* History of Science 1700 - 1900
5* A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts
TR Secrets of Sleep
TR Turning Points in Modern History
TR Apocalypse
4* Myth in Human History
3* A History of Russia
TR The Classics
5* London
4* Re-thinking Our Past
4* The Vikings
5* Lost Worlds of South America
3* Rome and the Barbarians
TR Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon
OH History of Science: Antiquity to 1700
TR Albert Einstein: Physicist, Philosopher, Humanitarian
TR Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
5* From Monet To Van Gogh: A History Of Impressionism
5* History of the English language
TR The Late Middle Ages
3* Great American Music: Boadway Musicals
5* Classics of Russian Literature
5* Lost Worlds of South America
2* The Skeptic's Guide to the Great Books
2* Thomas Aquinas
CR Forensic History