Catalogue - New Works (Ficton & non-ficton)

Crime Scientist
by Dr John Thompson

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Books of Zimbabwe, 1980.
220 x 150 mm, xi, 184 pp., 25 illus., Preface, 1980.
ISBN (Std) 0 86920 237, (Lbk) 0 86920 236 7.


DR JOHN THOMPSON became the first Director of the British South Africa Police Forensic Science Laboratory in Salisbury, Rhodesia in 1963, a position he held until retiring in 1977.

During those years he dealt with some 12000 cases. To his laboratory was directed evidence collected in cases of murder, arson, forgery, embezzlement, theft, fraud and smuggling. He helped to establish how emeralds, stolen from an area near Fort Victoria, 'found their way' via a Johannesburg gang to its French connection in Paris - Dr Thompson's first contact with international organised crime.

Although he was not an authority on printing, he was able to uncover a postage stamp forgery racket in Marandellas in 1965, and he also assisted in securing the conviction of a ring of coin counterfeiters.

Other investigations led him to a close study of African tribal customs, some of which he outlines with sympathetic insight, throwing new light on an area which, to date, has been little understood outside tribal lands.

No book on crime would be complete without mention of the crime passionnel, and in his chapter on this subject he includes useful hints on self-defence in the case of sexual assault.


"Crime Scientist is a notable contribution to the literature of the BSA Police, in its day justly honoured among police forces. It is also a deeply interesting record of the work of a man of scientiflc insight and integrity, illumined by humour and a warm humanity."
DAILY DISPATCH, East London, South Africa.

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