With master's degrees in forensic psychology and clinical
psychology, plus a PhD in philosophy, Katherine Ramsland has chosen
to deploy her intellectual curiosity in a morbid field. Ramsland
has written books about serial killers, mass murderers, sexual
predators, and the techniques of investigating cold cases. She also
writes books related to the CSI
empire's episodes (including last year's The
), finding the links between on-screen fiction
and real-life fact.
In Beating the Devil's Game
Ramsland steps back from current cases to explain how criminal
investigation got its start and then evolved into the high-tech
career of today. How did the practice of fingerprinting come to be?
What about ballistics? Document analysis? And, perhaps most
significantly, DNA identification? Ramsland takes readers back many
centuries, to ancient Rome and feudal China, among other locales,
when organized religion and outright superstition hampered drawing
logical conclusions from crime-scene evidence. But as the
scientific technique began to overtake - or at least coexist with -
religion and superstition, the methods for catching the
perpetrators became more reliable.