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A fascinating documentary on the history of poisoning and forensics

If you're intrigued by historical crimes and the birth of forensic science, you need to drop everything and watch this incredible PBS documentary, The Poisoner's Handbook, based on award-winning science journalist Deborah Blum's amazing book. It's streaming for free on the American Experience website.


Here's the synopsis:

In the early 20th century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner's treasure chest, with radioactive radium, thallium, and morphine in everyday products. The pace of industrial innovation increased, but the scientific knowledge to detect and prevent crimes committed with these materials lagged behind until 1918. New York City's first scientifically trained medical examiner, Charles Norris, and his chief toxicologist, Alexander Gettler, turned forensic chemistry into a formidable science and set the standards for the rest of the country.


You can watch the whole documentary over on the American Experience website.

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Watched this last night. It wasn't what I was expecting, but I absolutely loved it. It's a fun 2 hours that makes you say outloud "then what happened?" over and over. And then they tell you. Like only PBS can. Seriously. You don't get great stuff like this or Nova or Frontline anywhere else.