Fundamentals of Forensic Science

Fundamentals of Forensic Science

1st Edition - April 14, 2006

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  • Authors: Max Houck, Jay Siegel
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080507088

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Fundamentals of Forensic Science offers a complete look at the core topics of forensic science. It represents the most realistic view of the field by including areas that, while central to criminal investigation, fall outside the typical definition of criminalistics. These areas include pathology, entomology, anthropology, and other areas of scientific study unique to forensic textbooks. Organized by the timeline of a real case, the text begins with an introduction and history of forensic science. It then covers the methods of analysis used in most forensic examinations, addressing the biological, chemical and physical elements relevant to the field, and concluding with an examination of how forensic science intersects with law. Feature boxes throughout the text contain online resource listings, historical events in forensic science, practical issues in laboratory analysis, and topics for further reading or interest. This book is recommended for students in forensic science and professionals in the various forensic disciplines – fire, chemistry, crime scene, trace evidence, law enforcement personnel, lawyers, and defense attorneys.

Key Features

- Vivid, full-color illustrations that diagram key concepts and depict evidence encountered in the field
- Straightforward unit organization that includes key terms, numerous feature boxes emphasizing resources on the World Wide Web, historical events in forensic science, practical issues in laboratory analysis, and topics for further reading
- Effective pedagogy -including end-of-chapter questions- paired with a clear writing style makes this an invaluable resource for professors and students of forensic science


Students in forensic science, professionals in the various forensic disciplines - fire, chemistry, crime scene, trace evidence, law enforcment personnel, lawyers and defense attorneys

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
    2. Crime Scene Investigation
    3. The Nature of Evidence
    4. Microscopy
    5. Spectroscopic Techniques
    6. Separation Methods in Forensic Science
    7. Pathology
    8. Anthropology and Odontology
    9. Entomology
    10. Serology and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
    11. DNA Analysis
    12. Forensic Hair Examinations
    13. Illicit Drugs
    14. Forensic Toxicology
    15. Textile Fibers
    16. Paint Analysis
    17. Soil and Glass
    18. Fires and Explosions
    19. Friction Ridge Examination
    20. Questioned Documents
    21. Firearms and Tool marks
    22. Impression Evidence
    23. Legal Aspects of Forensic Science

Product details

  • No. of pages: 688
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2006
  • Published: April 14, 2006
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080507088

About the Authors

Max Houck

Dr. Max M. Houck is an internationally-recognized forensic expert with research interests in forensic science, education, and the forensic enterprise and its industries. He has worked in all aspects of forensic science, including at the FBI Laboratory. Dr. Houck has published widely in books and peer-reviewed journals. His anthropology and trace evidence casework includes the Branch Davidian Investigation, the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon, the D.B. Cooper case, the US Embassy bombings in Africa, and the West Memphis Three case, among hundreds of others. He served for six years as the Chair of the Forensic Science Educational Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). Dr. Houck is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a founding Co-Editor of the journal Forensic Science Policy and Management.

Affiliations and Expertise

Vice President, Forensic and Intelligence Services, LLC

Jay Siegel

Jay Siegel
Jay Siegel, PhD is retired Director of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. He was Director of the Forensic Science Program at Michigan State University for 25 years from 1980-2004 until his retirement as Professor Emeritus. Dr. Siegel is a Distinguished Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and was named as Distinguished Alumni Scholar by his alma mater, George Washington University in 2011. He is co-editor of Forensic Science Policy and Management: An International Journal. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Forensic Science Committee from 2006-09.

Affiliations and Expertise

Director, Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program, Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN, USA

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