A Life of Crime: My Career in Forensic Science chronicles the career and experiences of world-renowned forensic scientist, Dr. Douglas Lucas.  It is the culmination of his decades-worth of work in the field, developing innovative techniques that have revolutionized several aspects of forensic science.  It is part professional reference, part career guide, part instructive reference for students wishing to entering the to enter the field, and wholly autobiographical. 

Dr. Lucas chronicles a number of the high-profile cases he’s worked on firsthand. This includes both the logistical problem-solving of case management—how to process and handle the evidence—in addition to the testing, analysis and processes he went through, and developed, along the way.  Such cases include mass disaster plane crashes, arson, IEDs and explosives, poisonings, missing persons, and homicides, to name just a few. Dr. Lucas has encountered and seen just about everything a forensic professional can see.

In addition to the in-depth discussion, development, and philosophy of forensic science as a discipline, the book also discusses the balance of personal and professional life. This is a vital, but little thought of aspect that becomes a conspicuous reality of working in the field: namely, delving into the science, and dealing with those personal emotions, work conflicts, and ethical conundrums that a professional regularly encounters.  Forensic professionals, investigators, and students—regardless of background or discipline—will find this a fascinating look "behind the curtain" at one of the most decorated, innovative, and respected members of the field over the last 50 years.

chapter Chapter 1|14 pages

The Early Years

chapter Chapter 2|10 pages

The Fledgling Forensic Scientist

chapter Chapter 3|8 pages

Point Zero Eight

Forensic Science Influences the Law

chapter Chapter 4|10 pages

The Courtroom

“What on Earth Am IDoing Here?”

chapter Chapter 5|6 pages

Broadening Horizons

There Is More to This Than Just Alcohol!

chapter Chapter 6|8 pages

Screech and Seal Flipper Pie

Fire and Politics in Newfoundland

chapter Chapter 7|10 pages

Carbon Monoxide

“Death and the Dark-Haired Maiden”

chapter Chapter 8|16 pages

Nitroglycerine and Explosions

Some Things Can’t Be Learned in the Laboratory

chapter Chapter 9|10 pages

An Explosion in a Dynamite Plant

“Holy Sh--! This Stuff Is Dangerous!”

chapter Chapter 10|6 pages

Dealing with IEDs

“There Has to Be a Better Way”

chapter Chapter 11|10 pages

Canada’s Guy Fawkes 1

chapter Chapter 12|10 pages

Mr. Miscellaneous

“Can You Do Something with This?”

chapter Chapter 13|4 pages

Missing Person or Homicide?

Regina v. Arthur Kendall

chapter Chapter 14|6 pages

How to Get a New Lab?

Regina v. Wayne Ford

chapter Chapter 16|20 pages

“Get Involved” They Told Me, So I Did

Professional Associations

chapter Chapter 17|22 pages

Last Word Society Stories No. 1 (1979)

“Was Tom Thomson Murdered?” or “Whose Bones Are Buried under That Spruce Tree?

chapter Chapter 18|10 pages

Last Word Society Stories No. 2 (1983)

The Assassination of Thomas D’arcy McGee, “Look for the Tailor with the Red Whiskers”

chapter Chapter 19|8 pages

Last Word Society Stories No. 3 (1988)

Arsenic and Old Ice, the Death of Charles Francis Hall

chapter Chapter 20|14 pages

Miracle of Mississauga

“Let’s Get the Hell Out of Here”

chapter Chapter 21|8 pages

The Baby Deaths at Sick Kids Hospital

“George the Moose Was Still Standing”

chapter Chapter 22|10 pages

Introduction of DNA Profiling

“If You Are Going to Do It, Do It Right!”

chapter Chapter 23|8 pages

The Guy Paul Morin Case, a “Tragedy of Errors”

chapter Chapter 24|18 pages

The Steven Truscott Case

Wrongful Conviction or Factual Innocence?

chapter Chapter 25|46 pages

Retirement, Part 1

“So, What Do I Do Now?”

chapter Chapter 26|6 pages

Retirement, Part 2

My Final Presentation

chapter |4 pages

Epilogue: A Sense of Pride