If you've read enough Agatha Christie stories, you know to be on the lookout for arsenic, cyanide, and other toxins lurking in the bottom of your wine glass or stirred into your coffee. But before CSI or Law and Order, how did such chemical crimes come to light? In this segment, Ira talks with author Deborah Blum about her book 'The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.' The book follows the life and careers of Dr. Charles Norris, Manhattan's first trained chief medical examiner, and Alexander Gettler, the city's first toxicologist, as they work to develop the science of medical forensics in the early 1900s.
Produced by Annette Heist, Senior Producer