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Über dieses Buch

In recent years, a number of textbooks on forensic science have been published, most of them directed to two groups, viz. the students of forensic science, and the customers so to say, (prosecutors, police officers, judges, defense lawyers). In this book, while covering fundamental concepts, we try to go a little further and address also active workers in the field of forensic chemistry. This is mainly achieved by relatively nu­ merous literature references. We hope that they may assist the forensic chemist in penetrating further into the subjects covered in this volume. At the end of most chapters there are examples of actual cases handled at the Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science. Many of these cases could, no doubt, have been investigated in greater detail, but they reflect the compromises often necessary for achieving a reasonable turnover. Some parts of the book are quite strongly colored by the personal opinions of the authors. We felt that these passages will give a little more life to the text than in other treatises of a more objective, but possibly duller character. The authors welcome all constructive criticism which will help to improve the book, should there be a second edition.



A. General Introduction

In the history of human civilization, there was an early urge for thought and experimentation in the fields of religion, philosophy, medicine and law. This was of course due to the basic needs of man, beyond the “natural” needs for food and propagation. From these roots, the tree of knowledge grew and branched. Some twigs from these branches eventually contributed to the field of forensic sciences. A very recent development, from the historical point of view, was the emergence of police forces about a century ago. A schematic diagram (Fig. A. 1) depicts these relationships.
Andreas Maehly, Lars Strömberg

B. The State of the Art

Man has used extracts and fumes from plants as stimulants for thousands of years and has also discovered the intoxicating effect of ethyl alcohol. This use (and abuse) is continuing also today, but a new situation has developed during the last 100 years or so due to the rapid development of synthetic organic chemistry. Synthetic drugs have created a much more serious scenario for drug abuse than ever before in human history. This has led to national and international efforts to stop or at least to limit this abuse and its damaging effect on individuals and indeed on major parts of human society.
Andreas Maehly, Lars Strömberg

C. Auxiliary Activities

The criminalistics branch of Forensic Science is concerned with the search of the crime scene and the belongings of suspects followed by the investigation and comparative analysis of the collected evidence material. The former activity may be designated as criminalistic field work, the latter as criminalistic laboratory work.
Andreas Maehly, Lars Strömberg


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