American Sherlock


Known as the ‘American Sherlock Holmes’, Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of America’s greatest forensic scientists, with a skill level that seemed almost supernatural. Heinrich spearheaded the invention of new forensic tools that police still use today, including blood spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests, and the use of fingerprints as courtroom evidence. His work, though not without its serious – some would say fatal – flaws, changed the course of American criminal investigation. Based on years of research, ‘American Sherlock’ captures Heinrich’s life, work, and legacy.

In stock


Kate Winkler Dawson is an unbelievable crime historian and such a talented storyteller.�Karen Kilgariff, cohost of the�My Favorite Murder�podcast

‘Heinrich changed criminal investigations forever, and anyone fascinated by the myriad detective series and TV shows about forensics will want to read [this].’ The Washington Post

‘An entertaining, absorbing combination of biography and true crime.’�Kirkus

Kate Winkler Dawson has researched both her subject and his cases so meticulously that her reconstructions and descriptions made me feel part of the action rather than just a reader and bystander. She has brought to life Edward Oscar Heinrich’s character, determination, and skill so vividly that one is left bemused that this man is so little known to most of us.�Patricia Wiltshire, author of Traces and The Nature of Life and Death

Berkeley, California, 1933. In a lab filled with curiosities – beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners and hundreds of books – sat an investigator who would go on to crack at least 2,000 cases in his 40-year career.

Known as the ‘American Sherlock Holmes’, Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of the greatest – and first – forensic scientists, with an uncanny knack for finding clues, establishing evidence and deducing answers with a skill that seemed almost supernatural.

Based on years of research and thousands of never-before-published primary source materials, American Sherlock is a true-crime account capturing the life of the man who spearheaded the invention of a myriad of new forensic tools, including blood-spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests and the use of fingerprints as courtroom evidence.

Additional information

Weight 0.259 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 1.9 cm










363.25092 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K

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