By Sandra Hempel
An notorious homicide research that modified perpetually the best way poisoners have been delivered to justice.
within the first half the 19th century, a virus swept Europe: arsenic poisoning. to be had at any nook store for a couple of pence, arsenic was once so often utilized by capability beneficiaries of wills that it used to be nicknamed “the inheritor’s powder.” however it was once tough to end up sufferer have been poisoned, not to mention to spot the tainted nutrition or drink given that arsenic used to be tasteless.
Then got here a riveting case. at the morning of Saturday, November 2, 1833, the Bodle family sat right down to their morning breakfast. That night, the neighborhood healthcare professional John Butler obtained an pressing summons: the kinfolk and their servants had collapsed and have been heavily unwell. 3 days later, after lingering in ache, prosperous George Bodle died in his mattress at his farmhouse in Plumstead, abandoning a number of heirs, together with a son and grandson—both of whom weren't at the better of phrases with the family members patriarch.
The research, which won overseas awareness, introduced jointly a colourful forged of characters: bickering kinfolk; a drunken, bumbling policeman; and James Marsh, an unknown yet great chemist who, assigned the Bodle case, tried to create a attempt that may appropriately pinpoint the presence of arsenic. In doing so, even though, he might reason as many difficulties as he solved. have been blameless women and men now going to the gallows? And may George Bodle’s killer be found?
Incisive and wryly exciting, technological know-how author Sandra Hempel brings to lifestyles a gripping tale of household infighting, wayward police habit, a slice of Victorian background, tales of poisonings, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.
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Additional resources for The Inheritor's Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science
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