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      Analysis of the testimonial evidence of Portugal’s first major forensic case: part II


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          The crime possibly perpetrated by a doctor named Vicente Urbino de Freitas in 1890 is one of the most famous cases of poisoning, and it had echoes in the Portuguese and foreign press for several decades. This prestigious doctor was convicted of the fatal poisoning of his nephew. He also attempted the homicide of two nieces and their mother-in-law, who only escaped because they obstinately refused to comply with the “therapeutics” prescribed by the family doctor. The motive of the crime should have been Vicente Urbino de Freitas’ ambition to receive the family inheritance of his wife, the daughter of the well-known merchant José António Sampaio of Flores Street in Porto. Vicente Urbino de Freitas was convicted but doubt about his guilt persists for more than a century. This second work aimed to collect and analyse all the relevant and contradictory testimonial evidence of the prosecution and defence witnesses. This case represents an odd historical record obtained through more than 12 years of research on the first major significant Portuguese forensic case. Rare and unprecedented testimonial evidence and photographs were obtained from different countries and then repaired, since these also provide an important historical record of the medical photography.

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          Portugal’s first major forensic case and the genesis of forensic toxicology: 10 years of research to reconstruct the event

          Abstract The “Crime of Flores Street” is one of the most famous cases of poisoning to divide public opinion in Portugal in the late 19th century, and it also demonstrated the weaknesses of the Portuguese medicolegal system and attested to the importance of toxicological analysis. Vicente Urbino de Freitas was a prominent doctor, graduating from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra in 1875. He later became Professor of Physiology at the Porto Medical-Surgical School and author of a number of books on leprosy. In 1877, he married Maria das Dores Basto Sampaio Freitas, and this was followed by the death of a number of her close relatives in suspicious circumstances, notably her brother José António Sampaio Junior and nephew Mário Guilherme Augusto de Sampaio. This review aims to retell the story of Portugal’s first significant medicolegal case as well as the accompanying judicial drama that gave birth to Forensic Toxicology in Portugal and prompted the medicolegal organization that exists today. This research was carried out over a 10-year period and represents undeniable historical value given the rarity of the facts compiled. At the heart of this forensic case was the use of toxicological analyses in court for which the Chemist António Joaquim Ferreira da Silva played a key role. This toxicological report revealed high concentrations of morphine, delphinine and narceine in viscera and in Mario’s urine. The Mario’s cause of death was attributed to poisoning by opium alkaloids. Despite the strong judicial evidence, doubts still remains as to whether Vicente Urbino de Freitas was a “monster” or a victim of circumstances and a hapless martyr.
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            Relation médico-legale de l’affaire Urbino de Freitas [The medical-legal case Urbino de Freitas]

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              Hipócrates traído [Cheating hippocrates]


                Author and article information

                Forensic Sci Res
                Forensic Sci Res
                Forensic Sciences Research
                Taylor & Francis
                7 November 2019
                : 5
                : 4
                : 266-285
                [a ]Department of Public Health and Forensic Sciences, and Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto , Porto, Portugal
                [b ]IINFACTS - Institute of Research and Advanced Training in Health Sciences and Technologies, Department of Sciences, University Institute of Health Sciences (IUCS), Advanced Polytechnic and University Cooperative (CESPU), CRL , Gandra, Portugal
                [c ]UCIBIO-REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto , Porto, Portugal
                Author notes
                CONTACT Ricardo Jorge Dinis-Oliveira ricardinis@ 123456sapo.pt , ricardinis@ 123456med.up.pt
                Author information
                © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the Academy of Forensic Science.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 18, Tables: 0, Pages: 20, Words: 9847

                history of legal medicine,forensic sciences,forensic toxicology,vicente urbino de freitas,mário guilherme augusto de sampaio,testimonial evidence,flores street


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