The Gravel Page

The forensic sciences have received a great deal of attention lately, partly as a result of the OJ trial, but in this lengthy piece, the fine writer, John McPhee, writes about the far less-familiar field of forensic geology. He describes how the murderer of Adoph Coors was convicted on the basis of mud found in the wheel well of his automobile, and how the location of the launch sites of Japanese balloons that bombed the western US during the second world war were identified by the composition of the bags of sand they used for ballast. A third story tells how a spoonful of dirt from the body of a dead man led to the solution of the murder of a DEA agent in Mexico. These are well-told stories that give just due to the science.

Publication information
Pick Attribution: 

John McPhee

Publication Date: 
Monday, January 29, 1996