International Guild of Knot Tyers

The Forensic Analysis of Knots and Ligatures by Robert Chisnall

The Forensic Analysis of Knots and Ligatures by Robert Chisnall, B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Ed.

Lightning Powder 2000 ISBN Lightning Powder, 2000

This handsome 28.5 cm x 22 cm (11¼ in x 8½ in) hardback book deals with knotted cordage clues discovered at scenes of crime. The Canadian author - a founding member (and past-president) of the IGKT - is uniquely qualified and experienced to write this expert dissertation on salient practical and theoretical aspects of knotting pertinent to the forensic investigation of crime. In it he does more than merely collect and collate a bookfull of raw data. He distils it until it drips processed intelligence, then flavours this distillation with original observations and personal insights. I wish his advice on appearing in court to give evidence, as an expert witness had been available when I first ventured to do so. The book begins with 14 pages of prelims, including - I must declare my personal involvement - a written preamble from this reviewer. The next 157 pages are sub-divided into seven chapter headings, namely: introduction; basics; acquisition and preservation of evidence; observation and evaluation of evidence; analysis of evidence and conclusions; qualifications and testimony; research. It 13 concludes with a glossary, bibliography, author's CV and index. Robert Chisnall's worthwhile publication is a training manual, a reference book, and a fascinating read. I recommend it to all dedicated students of knotting (quite apart from the minority who already practise - or are considering - this unusual field of endeavour).