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Master Detective February 2005
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And God said to the serpent, ‘Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon the belly shalt thou go and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.’
"Do you think that is why the serpent is compelled to crawl upon its belly?" Chicago attorney Clarence Darrow asked William Jennings Bryan, a Tennessee lawyer and politician-turned-preacher, in a courtroom in Dayton.
"I believe that," Bryan replied.
"Have you any idea how the snake went before that time?"
"Do you know whether he walked on his tail or not?"
"No, sir, I have no way to know."
This month’s Notable Cross-Examinations backs up what your letters had told us – that MD should continue to pulish historic cases as well as modern ones because they are well written and interesting. In particular they show how police forces across the US and UK solved many crimes by means of sheer dogged perisstence and masterly detective work in those pre-DNA days.
AN ACT OF PURE EVIL
Ian Peters was "absolutely devasted" when he heard of the deaths of his wife and child, but the navy chaplain who told him the news felt that his grief was feigned.
SEX BEFORE MURDER
Meredith told the court that she didn’t believe her boy friend meant what he said when he talked of killing his parents to get his inheritance. Most of her friends had said the same thing…
THE SWINDON PUB MURDERS
Why did Edward Palmer write "The curse of my life" on Hettie’s photograph?
NOTABLE CROSS-EXAMINATIONS: DID JOSHUA MAKE THE SUN STAND STILL?
It was a courtroom battle for civilisation, according to Clarence Darrow, the distinguished Chicago attorney who took on the Christian Fundamentalists
KILLER OF PREGNANT WIFE MUST BE PUT TO DEATH
The trail that had America gripped, laced as it was with sex and mystery. The real question is: was Scott Peterson so stupid that he nearly got away with murder?
"IF ONLY SHE’D STAYED WITH ME"
William Gain talks of his love for Scott Peterson’s dead wife while serving time for shooting his own girl friend
A DAY IN THE COUNTRY
"I can clear this up in three words," 21-year-old Anthony told the police. "He is dead. He is in a bit of a state, or will be by now. I strangled him"
WHY THEY HANGED JEAN LEE
Fifty-four years ago this month Jean Lee and two accomplices were hanged in Australia. Did she deserve to die?
DID ELINOR’S BEST FRIEND CUT HER INTO PIECES?
As writer Harold Fitch wined and dined a charming woman he’d met in the launderette, she told him a macabre tale