The Blooding

By Joseph Wambaugh,

Book cover of The Blooding: The Dramatic True Story of the First Murder Case Solved by Genetic "Fingerprinting"

Book description

Fifteen-year-old Lynda Mann's savagely raped and strangled body is found along a shady footpath near the English village of Narborough.  Though a massive 150-man dragnet is launched, the case remains unsolved.  Three years later the killer strikes again, raping and strangling teenager Dawn Ashforth only a stone's throw from where…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Blooding as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The Blooding recounts a gripping true tale of murders in the picturesque English countryside-but aside from its haunting atmosphere, it is a detailed account of the beginning of DNA as a crime-solving technique. We have come a long way since the mid-1980s, and we can get much more information from newer DNA methods, but the detailed explanation of exactly how this worked as a revolutionary method is invaluable. Reading this book puts the reader at the very beginning of a revolution.

From E.J.'s list on the beginning of crime.

A homicide detective I interviewed about the forensics involved in one of his cases a few years back, put me onto this book. And, it’s brilliant, I couldn’t put it down. While we all have a basic understanding of forensics thanks to CSI, this is the first murder case to be solved by DNA and follows the investigation into the rape and murder of two 15-year-old girls in the 1980s. There are lots of red herrings—just like in a real crime novel—along the way of this four-year-long police investigation, and the largest manhunt in British crime history. When the killer…

One of the most forensically significant cases in history, this gripping story shows how the first DNA analysis in a crime case identified a serial killer and exonerated an innocent man. Wambaugh, a bestselling true crime writer and former LAPD officer, effectively situates readers in an English village as he demonstrates the challenge of detective work with few resources and describes the serendipitous connection between science and cops that evolved into a landmark case. The crime landscape was never the same again. Detailed background stories and compelling dialogue enliven the tale, and the constabulary perspective is uniquely authentic.

From Katherine's list on single-case serial murder investigations.

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