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Friday, January 7, 2022

Sherlock Holmes' Powers of Deduction

Sherlock Holmes, in the "Adventure of the Norwood Builder," showed off his powers of deduction with this greeting of a stranger: "You mentioned your name, as if I should recognize it, but I assure you that, beyond the obvious fact that you are a bachelor, a solicitor, a Freemason, and an asthmatic, I know nothing whatever about you." In the real world of investigative deductive powers, there have been murder cases where the detective in charge inferred suicide from an entrance wound to the back of the victim's head fired from beyond two feet. The performance of most criminal investigators falls some where between the cartoonish Sherlock Holmes character and the sheer incompetence of the amateur.

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