Monday, November 15, 2010

Old Friends, New Friends - The Killer of Little Shepherds

Welcome Back

Dear Readers,

Dear Friends!

I've just finished reading 

Douglas  Starr's

The Killer of Little Shepherds
A True Crime Story
And The Birth
of Forensic Science.

I enjoyed it immensely 

and believe that 

you will too!

It tells the tale of two men.

Joseph Vacher,

who terrorized the French countryside,

killing and violating many

 near Lyon,

during the Belle Epoch.

And of criminologist 

Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne

who was instrumental in 

prosecuting Vacher 

and in the birth of 

Forensic Science. 

Anyone wondering what to read 

after The Millennium Trilogy

would be wise to pick this up!

  From Publishers Weekly

Starr (Blood) eloquently juxtaposes the crimes of French serial killer Joseph Vacher and the achievements of famed criminologist Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne during France's belle époque. From 1894 to 1897, Vacher is thought to have raped, killed, and mutilated at least 25 people, though he would confess to only 11 murders. Lacassagne, who headed the department of legal medicine at the university in Lyon, was a pioneer in crime scene analysis, body decomposition, and early profiling, and investigated suspicious deaths, all in an era when rural autopsies were often performed on the victim's dinner table. Lacassagne's contributions to the burgeoning field of forensic science, as well as the persistence of investigating magistrate Émile Fourquet, who connected crimes while crisscrossing the French countryside, eventually brought Vacher to justice. Vacher claimed insanity, which then (as now) was a vexed legal issue. Lacassagne proved the "systematic nature" of the crimes. Starr, codirector of Boston University's Center for Science and Medical Journalism, creates tension worthy of a thriller; in Lacassagne, he portrays a man determined to understand the "how" behind some of humanity's most depraved and perhaps take us one step closer to the "why."


  1. I would love to read it! in a way, don't you think it's horrible how we're drawn to the dark side of nature ? and yes i admit i loved the Millenium trilogy...Have a great day David...

  2. Thanks for stopping by Lala! This book is quite fascinating & I think you would love it! All the best to one of my favorites!