Fundamentals of Forensic Science

Fundamentals of Forensic Science, 3rd Edition

Fundamentals of Forensic Science, 3rd Edition,Max Houck,Jay Siegel,ISBN9780128000373
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Approaches forensic science from a unique and exciting perspective, giving readers an appreciation for crime scenes as recent pieces of history whose evidence tells a story

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Key Features

  • Straightforward organization that includes key terms, numerous feature boxes emphasizing online resources,
    historical events, and figures in forensic science
  • Compelling, actual cases are included at the start of each chapter to illustrate the principles being covered
  • Effective training, including end-of-chapter questions – paired with a clear writing style making this an invaluable
    resource for professors and students of forensic science
  • Over 250 vivid, color illustrations that diagram key concepts and depict evidence encountered in the field


Fundamentals of Forensic Science, Third Edition, provides current case studies that reflect the ways professional forensic scientists work, not how forensic academicians teach. The book includes the binding principles of forensic science, including the relationships between people, places, and things as demonstrated by transferred evidence, the context of those people, places, and things, and the meaningfulness of the physical evidence discovered, along with its value in the justice system.

Written by two of the leading experts in forensic science today, the book approaches the field from a truly unique and exciting perspective, giving readers a new understanding and appreciation for crime scenes as recent pieces of history, each with evidence that tells a story.


Advanced undergrad and graduate students in forensic science.

Max Houck

Dr. Max M. Houck is an internationally-recognized forensic expert with research interests in forensic science, education, and the forensic enterprise and its industries. He has worked in all aspects of forensic science, including at the FBI Laboratory. Dr. Houck has published widely in books and peer-reviewed journals. His anthropology and trace evidence casework includes the Branch Davidian Investigation, the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon, the D.B. Cooper case, the US Embassy bombings in Africa, and the West Memphis Three case, among hundreds of others. He served for six years as the Chair of the Forensic Science Educational Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). Dr. Houck is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a founding Co-Editor of the journal Forensic Science Policy and Management.

Affiliations and Expertise

Vice President, Forensic and Intelligence Services, LLC

View additional works by Max M. Houck

Jay Siegel

Jay Siegel, PhD is retired Director of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. He was Director of the Forensic Science Program at Michigan State University for 25 years from 1980-2004 until his retirement as Professor Emeritus. Dr. Siegel is a Distinguished Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and was named as Distinguished Alumni Scholar by his alma mater, George Washington University in 2011. He is co-editor of Forensic Science Policy and Management: An International Journal. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Forensic Science Committee from 2006-09.

Affiliations and Expertise

Director, Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program, Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN, USA

View additional works by Jay A. Siegel

Fundamentals of Forensic Science, 3rd Edition

Section I. Criminal Justice and Forensic Science
CH1 Introduction
CH2 Crime Scene Investigation
CH3 The Nature of Evidence

Section II. Analytical Tools
CH4 Microscopy
CH5 Light and Matter
CH6 Separation Methods

Section III. Biological Sciences
CH7 Pathology
CH8 Anthropology and Odontology
CH9 Entomology
CH10 Serology and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
CH11 DNA Analysis
CH12 Forensic Hair Examinations

Section IV. Chemical Sciences
CH13 Illicit Drugs
CH14 Forensic Toxicology
CH15 Textile Fibers
CH16 Paint Analysis
CH17 Soil and Glass
CH18 Fires and Explosions

Section V. Physical Sciences
CH19 Friction Ridge Examination
CH20 Questioned Documents
CH21 Firearms and Toolmarks
CH22 Impression Evidence
CH23 Forensic Engineering

Section VI. Legal and Forensic Science
CH24 Digital Evidence and Computer Forensics
CH25 Legal Aspects of Forensic Science

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