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

Sandra Hempel


An notorious homicide research that modified without end the way in which poisoners have been delivered to justice.

within the first 1/2 the 19th century, a virulent disease swept Europe: arsenic poisoning. on hand at any nook store for a number of pence, arsenic was once so often utilized by strength beneficiaries of wills that it used to be nicknamed “the inheritor’s powder.” however it used to be tricky to end up sufferer were poisoned, not to mention to spot the tainted foodstuff or drink given that arsenic was once tasteless.

Then got here a riveting case. at the morning of Saturday, November 2, 1833, the Bodle loved ones sat right down to their morning breakfast. That night, the neighborhood surgeon John Butler acquired an pressing summons: the relatives and their servants had collapsed and have been heavily in poor health. 3 days later, after lingering in soreness, prosperous George Bodle died in his mattress at his farmhouse in Plumstead, abandoning numerous heirs, together with a son and grandson—both of whom weren't at the better of phrases with the kinfolk patriarch.

The research, which received foreign cognizance, introduced jointly a colourful forged of characters: bickering kin; a drunken, bumbling policeman; and James Marsh, an unknown yet fantastic chemist who, assigned the Bodle case, tried to create a try out which can effectively pinpoint the presence of arsenic. In doing so, in spite of the fact that, he may reason as many difficulties as he solved. have been blameless women and men now going to the gallows? And could George Bodle’s killer be found?

Incisive and wryly wonderful, technology author Sandra Hempel brings to existence a gripping tale of household infighting, wayward police habit, a slice of Victorian historical past, tales of poisonings, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.

6 illustrations

Show sample text content

Download sample