0:29 minutes

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*and 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 murderer to the electric chair and setting the standards that the rest of the country would ultimately adopt.

cc | Closed Captioning Available
Your video will resume shortly.
We're sorry, this video is no longer available.

View other videos for “American Experience”

Video Player : Video ID