Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes PDF

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The Scientific Method of the Mind

Something sinister was happening to the farm animals of Great Wyrley. Sheep, cows, horses one by one, they were falling dead in the middle of the night.

The cause of death: a long, shallow cut to the stomach that caused slow and painful bleeding. Farmers were outraged; the community was shocked. Who would want to cause such pain to defenseless creatures?

The police thought they had their answer: George Edalji, the half-Indian son of the local vicar. In 1903, twenty-seven-year-old Edalji was sentenced to seven years of hard labor for one of the sixteen mutilations, that of a pony whose body had been found in a pit near the vicar’s residence.

Little did it matter that the vicar swore his son was asleep at the time of the crime. Or that the killings continued after George’s imprisonment.

Or, indeed, that the evidence was largely based on anonymous letters that George was said to have written in which he implicated himself as the killer.

The police, led by Staffordshire chief constable Captain George Anson, were certain they had their man.

Three years later, Edalji was released. Two petitions protesting his innocence one, signed by ten thousand people, the other, from a group of three hundred lawyers had been sent to the Home Office, citing a lack of evidence in the case.

And yet, the story was far from over. Edalji may have been free in person, but in their name, he was still guilty. Before his arrest, he had been a solicitor.

Now he could not be readmitted to his practice.

In 1906, George Edalji caught a lucky break: Arthur Conan Doyle, the famed creator of Sherlock Holmes, had become interested in the case.

That winter, Conan Doyle agreed to meet Edalji at the Grand Hotel, at Charing Cross. And there, across the lobby, any lingering doubts Sir Arthur may have had about the young man’s innocence were dispelled. As he later wrote:

He had come to my hotel by appointment, but I had been delayed, and he was passing the time by reading the paper.

I recognized my man by his dark face, so I stood and observed him. He held the paper close to his eyes and rather sideways, proving not only a high degree of myopia but marked astigmatism.

The idea of such a man scouring fields at night and assaulting cattle while avoiding the watching police was ludicrous. . . . There, in a single physical defect, lay the moral certainty of his innocence.

But though Conan Doyle himself was convinced, he knew it would take more to capture the attention of the Home Office.

And so, he traveled to Great Wyrley to gather evidence in the case. He interviewed locals. He investigated the 5 scenes of the crimes, the evidence, and the I circumstances.

He met with the increasingly hostile Captain Anson. He e visited George’s old school. He reviewed r old records of anonymous letters and e-pranks against the family.

He traced the handwriting expert who had proclaimed t that Edalji’s hand matched that of the anonymous missives. And then he put his -, findings together for the Home Office.

1 The bloody razors? Nothing but old rust -and, in any case, incapable of making the type of wounds that had been suffered s by the animals.

The dirt on Edalji’s o clothes? Not the same as the dirt in the e. field where the pony was discovered. The handwriting expert?

AuthorMaria Konnikova
Language English
No. of Pages836
PDF Size2.1 MB
CategorySelf Improvement

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Mastermind How To Think Like Sherlock HolmesBook PDF Free Download

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