How Sherlock Changed the World

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His impact on real-life criminal and forensic investigation

Sherlock Holmes, the most famous fictional detective in the world, was also the first Crime Scene Investigator. Based on a real surgeon, Holmes was a scientist who used chemistry, bloodstains, and minute traces of evidence to solve the crime. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle added his own knowledge of fledgling forensic techniques to create the fictional sleuth and his revolutionary crime-scene methods, set in an era when eyewitness reports and 'smoking gun' evidence were needed to convict criminals, and when police incompetence meant that Jack the Ripper stalked the streets freely.

Forensic scientists, crime historians, and Sherlockian experts reveal for the first time the astonishing impact the fictional detective had on the development of real-life criminal investigation and forensic techniques. Using a mix of interviews, dramatic recreations, and archival footage, How Sherlock Changed the World details the impact and legacy of the most famous crime fighter in history.