Dr. Henry Lee's Forensic Files: Five Famous Cases: Scott Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, and more...

Henry C. Lee, Author, Jerry Labriola, Author . Prometheus $24 (266p) ISBN 978-1-59102-409-5

Legendary forensic scientist Lee continues to build his popular bibliography with his latest collaboration with medical doctor Labriola, but those seeking revelations about the two notorious cases cited in the subtitle will be disappointed. The investigation of Scott Peterson's case takes up almost half of the book, but in the end, Lee was not even called as a witness for the defense. While he disagrees with the guilty verdict, Lee does an insufficient job of rebutting the prosecution's circumstantial evidence, focusing instead on the absence of a forensic smoking gun. Similarly, the section on the Elizabeth Smart abduction offers little that's new. Lee might have been better served by focusing on the lesser-known trio of cases that make up the rest of the book and giving more detail to the role of forensics in solving those crimes. For example, the defense in the little-known Michael Peterson case, which supposedly involved a fatal staircase fall, benefited from Lee's expertise in blood splatter analysis. And the case that closes the book, involving a plot worthy of fiction—two suspects accusing each other of the murder of the wife of one of them—challenged Lee's skills to reconstruct who was actually guilty. Color and b&w illus. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/06/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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