Poisoner's Handbook: American Experience

In the early 20th century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner's treasure chest. There was radioactive radium in health tonics, thallium in depilatory creams, morphine in teething medicine and potassium cyanide in cleaning supplies. While the tools of the murderer's trade multiplied as the pace of industrial innovation increased, the scientific knowledge (and the political will) to detect and prevent the crimes lagged behind. All this changed in 1918, when New York City hired its first scientifically- trained medical examiner Charles Norris. Over the course of a decade and a half, Norris and his extraordinarily driven and talented chief toxicologist, Alexander Gettler, would turn forensic chemistry into a formidable science, sending many a murder to the electric chair and setting the standards that the rest of the country would ultimately adopt.
 

More Episodes



Comments

Share your thoughts, questions, and comments on "Poisoner's Handbook: American Experience" here.
 

Web Series: Makin’ Friends With Ryan Miller

Vermont transplant and Guster frontman Ryan Miller seeks out far-fetched friends across the state! Available exclusively online.

Vermont Winners!

Check out winning Vermont entries to the 2014 PBS Kids Writers Contest!

Videos & Games for Kids

Tons of videos and games for children from PBS!

CEO Search

Vermont PBS has opened a search for a Chief Executive Officer with the title of President & CEO who will report directly to the organization's Board of Directors. Learn more...

Lifelong Learning

PBS Kids - Tons of videos and games for children from PBS!

Educator Resources - Lesson plans, online courses, and videos for teachers and parents.


Vermont PBS Weekly

Our weekly email newsletter highlighting upcoming shows and important station news. Sign Up Today!

Vermont PBS

204 Ethan Allen Avenue
Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 655-4800
© 2014 Vermont PBS
All Rights Reserved

Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn Pinterest