Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh

In his book The Blooding, bestselling author and former LA Detective Joseph Wambaugh tells the story of the rape and murder of two teenage girls that took place in Leicester England in the 1980's.  This case is historically significant because its the first time DNA evidence was used in a police investigation to solve a murder.  Prior to this point DNA was used to determine paternity but when the two girls in Leicester were killed, three years apart 1983 and 1986, the British public wanted answers and the police had a sense that one man had committed both crimes

Turns out nearby the murders, at Leicester University, Dr Alec Jeffreys was developing what would turn out to be DNA profiling.  Dr Jeffrey offered his services to the police and they sent out a dragnet asking men between the ages of late teens to middle age to come in for a blood test. Thousands of men had their blood drawn and it raised civil liberties questions.  But this blood test campaign was important not only for ruling out suspects but also in catching the killer.  As Joseph Wambaugh points out who didn't show up for the blood test became as big a clue as who did show up.

In the genre of True Crime Joseph Wambaugh is top notch.  In his many books he is able to paint a picture of the town where the crime occurs, the family, friends, suspects and the victim.  Being a former Detective, Wambaugh is particularly good at explaining police work and the mindset of detectives and while I prefer another book Wambaugh wrote, Echoes In the Darkness, The Blooding was a page turner, particularly if you are a fan of shows like CSI and Forensic Files since the Blooding is where DNA solving crimes first got started

No comments:

Post a Comment