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Publisher's Summary

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.
Step into the world of forensic science and study the most fascinating crimes and mysteries from the last two centuries in the 24 lectures of Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals. Professor Murray, a forensic anthropologist with nearly 30 years of experience in the field, has crafted lectures that are a remarkable blend of storytelling and science - a whirlwind tour that takes you from the gas-lit streets of Victorian London 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.
Using her extensive background in the field and her skill at weaving riveting stories, Professor Murray invites you peer over the shoulders of investigators as they examine some of the most famous crimes in history, as well as cases that shed light on what happens when the justice system goes awry. Whether they're controversial or by-the-book, solved or unsolved, hot or cold, these cases are an opportunity to gain deeper insight into the historic and cutting-edge methods and tools forensic scientists use on the job. Having participated in hundreds of investigations in America and abroad, Professor Murray intersperses these historical examinations with some of her own, equally intriguing, personal experiences.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2014 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2014 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Jouko on 05-29-15

History of tabloid crimes - very little science

From the title and summary I garnered the impression that this was going to be a college type course covering famous crimes and their solving from a forensic SCIENCE view point. In practicality, it is an almost tabloid-like recounting of historical events with a surprising amount of unproven conjecture and conspiracy (in fairness labeled as such) and very little explanation as to how the field of forensic science actually worked and developed. The professor does an acceptable job at story telling, but don't expect to learn anything more about the workings of forensic science than what you would from an average article about the crimes in question. Had I spent college tuition type dollars on this course, I would have been terribly disappointed and would wonder what it had to do with any degree. However, in this format it was passable while exercising, doing yard work etc.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Quaker on 04-19-15

Different from many of The Great Courses

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Kudos to Audible for placing this series under the "True Crime" category. That's an unusual place to put one of The Great Courses, but it applies perfectly to this series, which plays out like a true crime detective show.

Don't get me wrong. I love The Great Courses. I'm addicted to The Great Courses. It's just that the buyer should understand that this series is more history than science. Oh, the science is there, but you're learning more about the history of how and when it was developed -- and how that science did (or didn't) play a role in landmark cases -- than you are in the minutia of how the science works.

Any additional comments?

Professor Murray has a folksy style that I found engaging. She has a dry wit, and I suppose that's a requirement given the work that she does. If the idea of hearing about decaying bodies, sexual mutilation, or other grizzly crimes on your daily commute sounds too disgusting, you might want to try a different title.

If this type of history sounds good but you'd prefer something that focused less on murder, then I highly recommend Doctors: The History of Medicine Told Through Biography, also by The Great Courses. Brilliant.

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28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lesley S. on 01-22-15


Where does Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This my first Great Courses audiobook and I'm impressed. I like the lecture room feel to it.

What did you like best about this story?

I'm a true crime buff and I was worried this would be covering old ground but there were many cases I had never heard of and even those that were well known had a new angle.

What does Professor Elizabeth A. Murray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I loved her narration and she is clearly passionate about the subject. Yes, she does stumble occasionally but I find it endearing, it's just like being in a lecture room

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sarahabi on 02-07-15

Fascinating, very detailed excellent audiobook

This is an extremely interesting and comprehensive overview of forensics. For those interested in this area it covers all the major crime types and even ones that are typically missed in these types of books eg political crimes.
Very good value, excellently narrated

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 05-09-17


Fascinating insight and loads of unique stories. I listened to the whole thing in one day, I just could not turn it off.
Some cases discussed are well known and nicely summarised along with things I had never heard about such as Human Rights Anthropology.
Absolutely loved it.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer2 on 12-09-16

I certainly did enjoy it.

A very informative 'behind the scene' look at SO much relating to crime. These are great stories along with a fascinating look at historical events and inventions which assist crime fighting. The narration is very pleasant. I will listen again.

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