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Although I love most of the courses I have taken from the Great Courses series, this one is the exception. The professor spends most of her time discussing criminal activity and the people suspected of the crimes, from murder to political corruption, from hoaxes, to athletes' abuse of prescription meds, and more. She spent little time on the forensics involved in actually solving the cases. In fact, in many of her cases, they occurred at a time when forensic techniques were extremely limited. So the use of fingerprint matching, DNA evidence, body decomposition, and blood analysis, to give some examples, were not available at all or were extremely limited. I got tired of hearing how today's forensic technology would have made the solving of those cases much easier. I got tired of hearing about how the press interfered with the investigations by traipsing through the murder scenes and destroying evidence.
Besides the anecdotal content, including the biographies of the criminals, their partners in crime, and their other misdeeds, the lectures were very poorly organized. The professor skipped from one crime to another, and then back again, so it was sometimes hard to distinguish who was connected with which crime. So pass this course by and select another from the many courses by this company that have sound educational value.
The course book and CD's have arrived. I love it The story is fascinating educational and I am enjoying reading the book. It is convenient to listen to the tapes when I am driving a long distance. They arrived promptly and were exactly what I wanted.
Are you interested with forensics science as it really is? In these lectures produced The Teaching Company forensic anthropologist and also Professor of Biology at Mount St. Joseph University Elizabeth A. Murray delivers 24 fascinating lectures on various aspects of forensics science both in terms of what forensics science do and also its history. Every lecture is interesting in its own right! Topics in these lectures include "Decomposition and confusing interpretation," "Frauds and Forgeries" and "Motive and Kidnapping." I love the series discussion of history including an entire lecture on Jack the Ripper, the Black Dahlia murder and the Romanovs. I also appreciated that this lecture also cover topics on the limitation of forensic science and times when investigators made mistakes. "Crooked Cops and Bad Convictions" was a very emotionally riveting lecture of an actual case example. I also enjoyed the author sharing some of her own personal experience as an expert in the field. The one on genocide was very interesting lecture in of itself but for her to share her own experience investigating a human rights crime scene overseas was very illuminating. I learned a lot from these lectures. This include the lecturer’s discussion of area that I haven’t really thought about forensics science such as Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal and also the truth behind false confessions. Part-history, part-science and part-psychological (in the sense of talking about criminal’s motivation and outlook) this is an incredibly fascinating series.
This is a terrific audio course. It is entirely about forensics and criminal law cases. She's got Lizzie Borden, the Tylenol Murders, the Blue Dahlia, the Romanovs and just about every other great crime which comes to mind. She has an interesting voice and delivery. She has a very engaging way of presenting this material. I can understand why her actual classes are so popular. It is much more of an experience hearing her tell you about these cases. This is one book I would much rather take in by hearing than reading. Professionally she is an anthropologist.
Reviewed in the United States on November 26, 2017
This is a must read for those who want to protect themselves, their families, and, perhaps, others from criminals. These criminals include members of the legal profession and the law enforcement profession.
The technical quality of this course is not as good as most of The Great Courses I have taken.