Robin Odell was born in Hampshire in 1935. After training as a laboratory technician and developing an interest in forensic science, he turned to crime writing as a pastime. His first book, Jack the Ripper in Fact & Fiction, published in 1965, is still regarded as an important contribution to the subject. In a writing career spanning over forty years, he has written or co-written eighteen books in the fields of true crime, forensic investigation and criminal histoy. He won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1980 for The Murderers Who s Who and again in 2007 for Ripperology. He also lectures extensively to clubs and societies on crime cases.