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The Elements of Murder

The Elements of Murder Author John Emsley
ISBN-10 0192806009
Release 2006-07-13
Pages 418
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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

The Elements of Murder Author John Emsley
ISBN-10 9780191517358
Release 2005-04-28
Pages 436
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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

The Elements of Murder  A History of Poison Author John Emsley
ISBN-10 9780191501203
Release 2005-04-28
Pages 436
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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

Molecules of Murder Author John Emsley
ISBN-10 9781782627999
Release 2015-12-07
Pages 252
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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

More Molecules of Murder Author John Emsley
ISBN-10 9781788011037
Release 2017-06-23
Pages 272
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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

The Poisoner s Handbook Author Deborah Blum
ISBN-10 9781101524893
Release 2011-01-25
Pages 336
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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.



Molecules at an Exhibition

Molecules at an Exhibition Author John Emsley
ISBN-10 0192862065
Release 1999-10-07
Pages 250
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Discusses interesting chemicals, such as the smelliest, most lethal, and most versatile, in a non-technical style that covers each chemical's importance without using formulas, equations, or diagrams



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

The Inheritor s Powder  A Tale of Arsenic  Murder  and the New Forensic Science Author Sandra Hempel
ISBN-10 9780393240467
Release 2013-10-15
Pages 352
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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.



The 13th Element

The 13th Element Author John Emsley
ISBN-10 047144149X
Release 2002-01-21
Pages 352
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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.



A is for Arsenic

A is for Arsenic Author Kathryn Harkup
ISBN-10 9781472911292
Release 2015-09-10
Pages 288
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Shortlisted for the BMA Book Awards and Macavity Awards 2016 Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's all made-up ... Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random – the characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not the case with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts? Christie's extensive chemical knowledge provides the backdrop for A is for Arsenic, in which Kathryn Harkup investigates the poisons used by the murderer in fourteen classic Agatha Christie mysteries. It looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, the cases that may have inspired Christie, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today. A is for Arsenic is a celebration of the use of science by the undisputed Queen of Crime.



Poisons

Poisons Author Peter Macinnis
ISBN-10 9781611450149
Release 2011-05
Pages 239
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A provocative tour of the role of poisons in today's world cites their prevalence in the environment, homes and foods, sharing colorful stories about celebrated poisoners in history and literature while identifying the sources of various poisons, the methods used to detect them and the science behind their practical applications and effects. Reprint.



King of Poisons

King of Poisons Author John Parascandola
ISBN-10 9781597977036
Release 2012-10-31
Pages 208
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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.



From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story

From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story Author Arthur Greenberg
ISBN-10 9780470085233
Release 2006-12-15
Pages 664
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Praise for From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story "The timeline from alchemy to chemistry contains some of the most mystifying ideas and images that humans have ever devised. Arthur Greenberg shows us this wonderful world in a unique and highly readable book." —Dr. John Emsley, author of The Elements of Murder: A History of Poison "Art Greenberg takes us, through text and lovingly selected images, on a 'magical mystery tour' of the chemical universe. No matter what page you open, there is a chemical story worth telling." —Dr. Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Laureate and coauthor of Chemistry Imagined "Chemistry has perhaps the most intricate, most fascinating, and certainly most romantic history of all the sciences. Arthur Greenberg's essays-delightful, learned, quirky, highly personal, and richly illustrated with contemporary drawings (many of great rarity and beauty)-provide a kaleidoscope of intellectual landscapes, bringing the experiments, the ideas, and the human figures of chemistry's past intensely alive." —Dr. Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story takes you on an illustrated tour of chemistry's fascinating history, from its early focus on the spiritual relationship between man and nature to some of today's most cutting-edge applications. Drawing from rare publications and artwork that span over five centuries, the book contains nearly 200 essays and over 350 illustrations-including 24 in full color-that tell the engaging story of the development of this fundamental science and its connection with human history. Join Arthur Greenberg as he combines the "best of the best" from his previous works (as well as several new essays) to paint a colorful picture of chemistry's remarkable origins!



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

City of Light  City of Poison  Murder  Magic  and the First Police Chief of Paris Author Holly Tucker
ISBN-10 9780393248845
Release 2017-03-21
Pages 352
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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.



Nature s Building Blocks

Nature s Building Blocks Author John Emsley
ISBN-10 0198503407
Release 2001
Pages 538
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Presents chemical, physical, nuclear, electron, crystal, biological, and geological data on all the chemical elements.



The Secret Poisoner

The Secret Poisoner Author Linda Stratmann
ISBN-10 9780300219548
Release 2016-04-28
Pages 320
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Murder by poison alarmed, enthralled, and in many ways encapsulated the Victorian age. Linda Stratmann’s dark and splendid social history reveals the nineteenth century as a gruesome battleground where poisoners went head-to-head with authorities who strove to detect poisons, control their availability, and bring the guilty to justice. She corrects many misconceptions about particular poisons and documents how the evolution of issues such as marital rights and the legal protection of children impacted poisonings. Combining archival research with a novelist’s eye, Stratmann charts the era’s inexorable rise of poison cases both shocking and sad.



Poison

Poison Author Joel Levy
ISBN-10 0762770562
Release 2011
Pages 224
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Discover the secret history of poison and how it shapes our world. From Cleopatra to Mary Ann Cotton, from cone snails to cocaine, this lavishly illustrated book will take you on a fascinating journey through the mysterious world of potions, magical herbs, and psychoactive preparations substances at once alluring and terrifying. Poison captures them in all their complexity, describing the many roles they have played in history and culture, science and religion, medicine and murder. POISONOUS FACTS Ergot mold, which grows on rye and other grains, causes convulsions and hallucinations. Cited in the witchcraft panic of 1691 in Salem, Massachusetts, it is a precursor in the synthesis of LSD. Jane Stanford, cofounder of Stanford University, died of strychnine poisoning. The gas chamber was first used in Nevada in the 1924 execution of Gee Jon, a Chinese-American gangster. Lethal injection is now the world's most popular form of execution. Nicotine, the addictive ingredient in cigarettes, is also a highly potent alkaloid neurotoxin that was used widely as an insecticide. The botulinum toxin is the most potent known to science. A little more than one cup would be enough to kill every human on the planet."