John Sweetman Identity


Code 9781399735872
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Binding: Paperback

Date Published: 30 May 2024



When a violent incident led young misfit garda John Sweetman into the Garda Technical Bureau with incriminating evidence, he found his true calling.

He spent the next 25 years as a detective garda working on the frontline of crime scene investigations - as both a fingerprint expert and, in later years, a forensic handwriting and document expert. His tenacity and natural eye for detail led him to becoming involved in many criminal investigations and high-profile cases.

From the brutal murder of Marie Dillon in Finglas in 1998 to the gangland killing of Raymond Salinger in 2003, John was involved in the search for forensic evidence at these and other crime scenes.

He later employed his handwriting expertise in examining fraudulence, threatening letters and counterfeit documents, as well as the investigations into the murders of Jasmine McGonagle and student Jastine Valdez and the horrific Hawe familicide in Cavan in 2016.

Identity is both a fascinating insight into specialist forensic fields, which peeks behind the curtain of how crimes are solved, and a bravely told story of a nonconformist detective in a remarkable career.

'I am determined this case is not going to be forgotten. This man is dangerous and has to be found.' FROM THE PROLOGUE

About the Author

For over twenty-five years, John Sweetman worked as a Detective Garda attached to the Garda Technical Bureau in Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park. He qualified as a Fingerprint Expert and later as a Security Document and Handwriting Expert and has spent the bulk of his career examining crime scenes and scenes of crime exhibits for the purposes of presenting expert identification testimony in Irish Courts.

As a dedicated member of the Technical Bureau, John was involved in numerous serious crime investigations over the years, up until his retirement from An Garda Siochana in 2023. A keen artist, with an excellent eye for detail, John put his talent to use in the meticulous and exacting field of forensic comparison and individualisation, using the skills he acquired during his service as a valued member of the Garda Technical Bureau.

John lives with his family in North County Dublin. Identity: Murder, Fraud and the Making of a Garda Forensic Expert is his first book.

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