Science: Elementary Murder

About one death in five in the U.S. calls for official investigation. So says Dr. Le-Moyne Snyder, medico-legal director of the Michigan State Police. The number of unsolved killings is considerable. Dr. Snyder believes that this is largely due to police bungling. To show the need for scientific detection, he published last week an elementary manual on murder (Homicide Investigation, Charles C. Thomas; $5).

Dr. Snyder's chief thesis will be no surprise to detective-story fans: the first 15 minutes of investigation is likely to make or break a case. He insists that nothing must be moved until the scene of...