Sum it Up! #56

sum it up!Sum it Up! #56 holds a promise I made to readers to list some true crime books from my to-read pile. I have not read these books yet and may never post a book review. However, they piqued my interest or, were recommended to me by friends.

First for those interested in forensics, I found these two articles.

DNA and Fingerprints

After 500 days in space astronaut Scott Kelly now has a different DNA than his identical twin and retired astronaut Mark. The Kelly twins are the only identical twin astronauts in history. NASA used the opportunity to study the affects of long-term space travel on human beings. Being in space changes your DNA. “According to researchers, around 7% of Scott Kelly’s genes have shown long-lasting changes when compared to his brother’s. Those changes have remained for the two years since he returned to solid ground.” Read the article here.

We already know that we can find fingerprints on hard, smooth, and soft surfaces but now we can add fabric. It has always been difficult to show fingerprints on fabric. Paul Deacon, fingerprint unit manager at the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) said that “the research is still in its early stages but we are starting to see results. We have shown that fabrics with a high thread count are best for revealing a print and have recovered identifiable fingerprints on a number of fabrics including silk, nylon and polyester.” Read here how they do it.

And now a part of my to-read list.

True Crime Books

If you read these books please do not tell me (or others) the ending. Allow us to discover the stories on our own.

Caleb Carr

When I heard that Caleb Carr’s “the Alienist” would become a mini-tv series I was excited to finally see the Isaacson brothers discuss their finding during a delicious dinner at Delmonico’s while Stevie, too young to enter, would snug close to the terrace so he could be handed a meal and a root beer literally from under the table. So to prepare for the series I tried to find my copy of the Alienist and before I knew it I bought Carr’s “Surrender, New York.”

I am not done reading yet but this books opens the way I love it: debunking TV CSI and giving the readers a realistic view on crime scene investigations. Be ready for fully detailed descriptions of crime scene and sewage but most of all, for the sobering wake-up call: advanced technology cannot explain all and will never replace the human mind when it comes to profiling suspects. The book is thick and isn’t a book-a-day novel. It is one to savour slowly like “the Alienist.”

Jerry White

After reading “The Devil in the Marshalsea” by Antonia Hodgson I have kept a book alert on the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison. The biggest attraction? The architecture of the building (would love to see it if I ever get to the UK) so when this book popped up I decided to buy it second-hand. Jerry White‘s book should give me corrupt management and lawyers who try to wring the last penny out of the poorest of the poor with someone fighting back. I have not read it yet but my hands itch to pick this one up.

Wesley Murphy

After blogging about the unsolved murder of Alice Louise Lee, I decided to buy Murphy’s book “A homeless man’s burden” as it is based on the Lee case. I want to know more about the background of the town and the people. Murphy worked for Alice’s dad. The book is fiction but Alice’s case was the inspiration.

Martin Knight

My friend Evie alerted me to the Joan Woodhouse murder. Joan Woodhouse was a librarian in London. She went missing and a week later her remains were found on the grounds of Arundel Castle in Sussex (UK). I found Martin Knight’s book second-hand and cannot wait to read it. There is an index in the back (call me crazy but it one of the first things I check in a book), chapter and illustration index, and photography.

If this case interests you, check this article. I quote the author: “The case was very strange and I had to really press to be allowed access to the police files. “But some files are going to remain closed until 2033 which is very unusual, 85 years after the date of the murder. There are not many cases where some details are not being released until so long after the event.” Files closed until 2033… color me intrigued.

Graeme Macrae Burnet

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2016, Burnet’s book is about the Roderick Macrae case. The inspiration came from several cases. I quote the article: “Burnet drew inspiration from a case in 1835 in rural Normandy, in which a young Frenchman, Pierre Riviere, brutally murdered his mother and two siblings with a pruning hook, “to free his father and himself from his mother’s tyranny” – then wrote a memoir to justify what he had done. After writing the novel, Burnet also heard about a murder committed in Benbecula in 1857 by a crofter called Angus Macphee, who ‘hideously butchered’ his mother and two other family members and, even more coincidentally, was later imprisoned under the supervision of James Bruce Thomson.” Eager to start reading this one too.

I will post this Sum it Up! to my blog’s Facebook page as well. If you read any of the books you can leave your thoughts there in the comment section.

Until the next Sum it Up!