James Fraser Murder Under The Microscope


Code 9781786495952
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Most murders are not difficult to solve. People are usually killed by someone they know, there is usually abundant evidence and the police methods used to investigate this type of crime are highly effective. But what about the more difficult cases, where the investigation involves an unusual death, an unusual killer, or is complex or politically charged? In these cases, bringing the accused before the courts can take many years, even then, the outcome may be contentious or unresolved.

In this compelling and chilling memoir, Jim Fraser draws on his personal experience as a forensic scientist and cold case reviewer to give a unique insight into some of the most notable cases that he has investigated during his forty-year career, including the deaths of Rachel Nickell, Damilola Taylor and Gareth Williams, the GCHQ code breaker.

Inviting the reader into the forensic scientist's micro-world, Murder Under the Microscope reveals not only how each of these cases unfolded as a human, investigative and scientific puzzle, but also why some were solved and why others remain unsolved or controversial even to this day.

About the Author

Jim Fraser is a Research Professor in Forensic Science at the University of Strathclyde and a Commissioner of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. He has over forty years' experience in forensic science and has worked on many high-profile cases as an expert witness and case reviewer. He has advised many public agencies including police organisations in the UK and abroad, the Home Office, the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament.

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'Powerful... Fascinating'
- Independent, 'Books of the Month'

'Jim Fraser has been at the forefront of forensic science in the UK for decades... A fascinating insight into complexities of real-life criminal investigations from their start, often at a blood-stained scene, through the complex laboratory processes to their conclusion in the court room... Totally enthralling.'
- Dr Richard Shepherd, bestselling author of Unnatural Causes

'In this fascinating account of what really went on behind the scenes of Britain's most famous murder cases, Fraser slides not just the evidence, but the whole criminal legal system, squarely under his forensic microscope. Everyone interested in justice - how it works, and how it fails - should read this compelling book.'
- Sarah Langford, bestselling author of In Your Defence

'In this engrossing and accessible professional memoir, Jim Fraser opens his forensic files and offers the reader a fascinating insight into some of the most notorious cases that he has worked on during his lifetime.'
- David Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Criminology Birmingham City University

'This is a page-turning read but also an educational resource: the public, police, lawyers, judges, scientists should all read it. It is a raw account of the fragility of justice: a concept many talk about but few understand. And it is about truth: the limitations of our own judgments, science and the law. It is probably one of the most important criminal justice texts of our time... For those working in the criminal justice system, it should be mandatory reading.'
- Simon McKay, Barrister


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