It is London in the 1890s. A young woman has just taken a dose of a tonic she's been given in the belief that it will improve her complexion. About ten minutes pass and she starts to experience breathing difficulties. Another minute and she collapses. Mercifully, death arrives but the poison has not yet finished, for the process of rigor mortis has set in with unusual speed. Her body is frozen into a rigid and contorted mass. This is the horror of strychnine, the nastiest of poisons. Despite knowing all the dreadfulness of this poison, Dr Thomas Neill Cream, the Lambeth Poisoner, used it to kill several prostitutes. And who knows how many other victims experienced the horror of strychnine, for it was by no means an uncommon poison. Today, there may well be more poisons available to the individual than ever before, but there are also advances in medical examination and forensic analysis that increase the likelihood of the poisoner being caught. This book will examine poisons, both natural and man-made menaces, and cases based on a particular poison as well as information about how forensic analysis is conducted. Appealing to scientists and non-scientists alike, this enthralling book will entertain and educate and bring the reader up to date with how important chemical analysis is in crime detection.
Table of Contents
Primitive Potions and Poisons; Chemical Chaos; Animal, Vegetable, Mineral; Man-made Menace; From Poison to Prison; Chemistry Clues and Crime; Testing the Toxin; Conclusion; Glossary; Bibliography
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