The Elements of Murder

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192806000
Format: PDF
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A fascinating account of the five most toxic elements describes the lethal chemical properties of arsenic, antimony, lead, mercury, and thallium, as well as their use in some of the most famous murder cases in history, with profiles of such deadly poisoners as Mary Ann Cotton, Michael Swango, and Saddam Hussein and a look at modern-day environmental catastrophes.

The Elements of Murder

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191517356
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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How can a chemical we need on a daily basis to keep us healthy be fatal at a different dose? Why should elements that are intrinsically dangerous be used in medicine? How did poisoners use the chemical properties of chemicals to cover their tracks? Emsley gives detailed histories of five of the most toxic elements - arsenic, antimony, lead, mercury, and thallium, highlighting some of the most famous murders and how the murderers used the chemical properties of elements to hide what they were doing. He shows how the elements have been behind many modern day environmental catastrophes including accidental mass poisonings from lead and arsenic, and the Minamata Bay Disaster in Japan. The array of fascinating stories shows how chemicals have impacted the lives of people ranging from the Greeks and Romans to Newton, Napoleon, Lucrezia Borgia, Mozart, Nelson Mandela, and Saddam Hussein. Emsley also touches on subjects close to home: cot deaths, laxatives, venereal disease, alleged cures for acne, hangovers, and insanity.

The Elements of Murder A History of Poison

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191501204
Format: PDF
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How can a chemical we need on a daily basis to keep us healthy be fatal at a different dose? Why should elements that are intrinsically dangerous be used in medicine? How did poisoners use the chemical properties of chemicals to cover their tracks? Emsley gives detailed histories of five of the most toxic elements - arsenic, antimony, lead, mercury, and thallium, highlighting some of the most famous murders and how the murderers used the chemical properties of elements to hide what they were doing. He shows how the elements have been behind many modern day environmental catastrophes including accidental mass poisonings from lead and arsenic, and the Minamata Bay Disaster in Japan. The array of fascinating stories shows how chemicals have impacted the lives of people ranging from the Greeks and Romans to Newton, Napoleon, Lucrezia Borgia, Mozart, Nelson Mandela, and Saddam Hussein. Emsley also touches on subjects close to home: cot deaths, laxatives, venereal disease, alleged cures for acne, hangovers, and insanity.

Molecules of Murder

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN: 1782627995
Format: PDF
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Molecules of Murder is about infamous murderers and famous victims; about people like Harold Shipman, Alexander Litvinenko, Adelaide Bartlett, and Georgi Markov. Few books on poisons analyse these crimes from the viewpoint of the poison itself, doing so throws a new light on how the murders or attempted murders were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice. Part I includes molecules which occur naturally and were originally used by doctors before becoming notorious as murder weapons. Part II deals with unnatural molecules, mainly man-made, and they too have been dangerously misused in famous crimes. The book ends with the most famous poisoning case in recent years, that of Alexander Litvinenko and his death from polonium chloride. The first half of each chapter starts by looking at the target molecule itself, its discovery, its history, its chemistry, its use in medicine, its toxicology, and its effects on the human body. The second half then investigates a famous murder case and reveals the modus operandi of the poisoner and how some were caught, some are still at large, and some literally got away with murder. Molecules of Murder will explain how forensic chemists have developed cunning ways to detect minute traces of dangerous substances, and explain why some of these poisons, which appear so life-threatening, are now being researched as possible life-savers. Award winning science writer John Emsley has assembled another group of true crime and chemistry stories to rival those of his highly acclaimed Elements of Murder.

More Molecules of Murder

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN: 1788011031
Format: PDF
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How can a plant as beautiful as the foxglove be so deadly and yet for more than a century be used to treat heart disease? The same is true of other naturally occurring molecules as will be revealed in this current book by award-winning author and chemist, John Emsley. More Molecules of Murder follows on from his highly-acclaimed earlier book Molecules of Murder, and again it deals with 14 potential poisons; seven of which are man-made and seven of which are natural. It investigates the crimes committed with them, not from the point of view of the murderers, their victims, or the detectives, but from the poison used. In so doing it throws new light on how these crimes were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice. Each chapter starts by looking at the target molecule itself, its discovery, its chemistry, its often-surprising use in medicine, its effects on the human body, and its toxicology. The rest of the chapter is devoted to murders and attempted murders in which it has been used. But, be reassured that murder by poison is not the threat it once was, thanks to laws which restrict access to such materials and to the skills of analytical chemists in detecting their presence in incredibly tiny amounts.

The Poisoner s Handbook

Author: Deborah Blum
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101524898
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner's Handbook is "a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madame Curie" (The New York Observer) A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice. In 2014, PBS's AMERICAN EXPERIENCE released a film based on The Poisoner's Handbook.

The 13th Element

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 9780471441496
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The incredible "glowing" history of the "Devil's element "phosphorus Discovered by alchemists, prescribed by apothecaries, exploited by ninth-century industrialists, and abused by twentieth-century combatants, the chemical element phosphorus has fascinated us for more than three centuries. It may even be the cause of will-o'-the wisps and spontaneous human combustion! Now John Emsley has written an enthralling account of this eerily luminescent element. Shining with wonderful nuggets-from murders-by-phosphorus to a match factory strike; from the firebombing of Hamburg to the deadly compounds derived from phosphorus today-The 13th Element weaves together a rich tableau of brilliant and oddball characters, social upheavals, and bizarre events.

The Inheritor s Powder A Tale of Arsenic Murder and the New Forensic Science

Author: Sandra Hempel
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393240460
Format: PDF, ePub
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“Fascinating . . . one of history’s most important poisons—and most important murders.”—Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner’s Handbook In the first half of the nineteenth century, an epidemic swept Europe: arsenic poisoning. Available at any corner shop for a few pence, arsenic was so frequently used by potential beneficiaries of wills that it was nicknamed “the inheritor’s powder.” But it was difficult to prove that a victim had been poisoned, let alone to identify the contaminated food or drink since arsenic was tasteless. Then came a riveting case. On the morning of Saturday, November 2, 1833, the Bodle household sat down to their morning breakfast. That evening, the local doctor John Butler received an urgent summons: the family and their servants had collapsed and were seriously ill. Three days later, after lingering in agony, wealthy George Bodle died in his bed at his farmhouse in Plumstead, leaving behind several heirs, including a son and grandson—both of whom were not on the best of terms with the family patriarch. The investigation, which gained international attention, brought together a colorful cast of characters: bickering relatives; a drunken, bumbling policeman; and James Marsh, an unknown but brilliant chemist who, assigned the Bodle case, attempted to create a test that could accurately pinpoint the presence of arsenic. In doing so, however, he would cause as many problems as he solved. Were innocent men and women now going to the gallows? And would George Bodle’s killer be found? Incisive and wryly entertaining, science writer Sandra Hempel brings to life a gripping story of domestic infighting, wayward police behavior, a slice of Victorian history, stories of poisonings, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.

King of Poisons

Author: John Parascandola
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
ISBN: 1597977039
Format: PDF, Docs
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For centuries, arsenic's image as a poison has been inextricably tied to images of foul play. In King of Poisons, John Parascandola examines the surprising history of this deadly element. From Gustave Flaubert to Dorothy Sayers, arsenic has long held a place in the literary realm as an instrument of murder and suicide. It was delightfully used as a source of comedy in the famous play Arsenic and Old Lace. But as Parascandola shows, arsenic has had a number of surprising real-world applications. It was frequently found in such common items as wallpaper, paint, cosmetics, and even candy, and its use in medical treatments was widespread. American ambassador Clare Boothe Luce suffered from exposure to arsenical paint in her study, and Napoleon's death has long been speculated to be the result of accidental or intentional poisoning. But arsenic poisoning is still a public menace. In the neighborhood surrounding American University in Washington, D.C., the army has undertaken a massive cleanup of artillery shells and bottles containing chemical warfare agents such as arsenical lewisite after a number of workmen and residents became ill. Arsenic contamination of the water supply in Bangladesh and in West Bengal, India, is a major public health problem today as well. From murder to crime fiction, from industrial toxin to chemical warfare, arsenic remains a powerful force in modern life.

City of Light City of Poison Murder Magic and the First Police Chief of Paris

Author: Holly Tucker
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393248844
Format: PDF, Mobi
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“A fierce tale of conspiracy and retribution… Thanks to Tucker’s sympathetic necromancy and her luscious resurrection of everyday detail, even in gilded palaces the human psyche seems familiarly deceitful and self-justifying.” —Michael Sims, author of The Story of Charlotte’s Web and Arthur and Sherlock Appointed to conquer the “crime capital of the world,” the first police chief of Paris faces an epidemic of murder in the late 1600s. Assigned by Louis XIV, Nicolas de La Reynie begins by clearing the streets of filth and installing lanterns throughout Paris, turning it into the City of Light. The fearless La Reynie pursues criminals through the labyrinthine neighborhoods of the city. He unearths a tightly knit cabal of poisoners, witches, and renegade priests. As he exposes their unholy work, he soon learns that no one is safe from black magic—not even the Sun King. In a world where a royal glance can turn success into disgrace, the distance between the quietly back-stabbing world of the king’s court and the criminal underground proves disturbingly short. Nobles settle scores by employing witches to craft poisons and by hiring priests to perform dark rituals in Paris’s most illustrious churches and cathedrals. As La Reynie continues his investigations, he is haunted by a single question: Could Louis’s mistresses could be involved in such nefarious plots? The pragmatic and principled La Reynie must decide just how far he will go to protect his king. From secret courtrooms to torture chambers, City of Light, City of Poison is a gripping true-crime tale of deception and murder. Based on thousands of pages of court transcripts and La Reynie’s compulsive note-taking, as well as on letters and diaries, Tucker’s riveting narrative makes the fascinating, real-life characters breathe on the page.