Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
The Forever Witness by Edward Humes
Add The Forever Witness to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

The Forever Witness

Best Seller
The Forever Witness by Edward Humes
Nov 29, 2022 | ISBN 9781524746292

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (2) +
  • $28.00

    Nov 29, 2022 | ISBN 9781524746278

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Nov 29, 2022 | ISBN 9781524746292

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Nov 29, 2022 | ISBN 9780593627051

    627 Minutes

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from The Forever Witness

Product Details


“Whether one is interested in cold case puzzles or genealogy, or just curious about solving crimes, The Forever Witness should be read and reread until it becomes a dog-eared part of one’s library.”
—New York Journal of Books

“This book was fabulous. The Forever Witness was thorough, informative, and deeply emotional.”
True Crime Index

“Thoughtful true-crime.”

“Humes’ writing is suspenseful yet also journalistic, providing fascinating details about the case, technological advances in police work, and genetic genealogy. A winner for any fan of true crime.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Stellar true crime account… Humes matches taut prose with assured storytelling. This fascinating look at how technology has revolutionized crime solving is must reading.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Fans of Michelle McNamara’s acclaimed I’ll Be Gone in the Dark should clear their schedules, because Edward Humes’ riveting account is nearly impossible to put down…The Forever Witness has earned a well-deserved place among top-notch true crime.” 
—Bookpage (starred review)

“A well-paced true-crime procedural that offers new twists on old methods of police work.”

“An excellent addition to any true crime collection, this one is sure to intrigue readers who are interested in delving deeper into the hows and whys of solving cold cases.”
Library Journal

“Some detectives never give up, and in this expert retelling, you’ll follow Jim Scharf as he attempts to crack the coldest of cases: A golden young couple abducted and murdered in Washington state in 1987, with almost no clues left behind. This book is that rare thing, terrifying true crime told with a beating heart.” 
Maureen Callahan, New York Times bestselling author of American Predator

“In this brilliantly told, addictively readable book, Edward Humes reminds us that the term “cold case” is misleading, that unsolved murders simmer for decades with angry life and grief and the long-shadow of justice denied. And he also reminds us to hope that the answers to our most stubborn mysteries can yet be found if we simply refuse to give up on them.” 
Deborah Blum, New York Times bestselling author of The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz-Age New York

The Forever Witness is a remarkable achievement in true crime reporting, as Edward Humes brilliantly guides readers through a cold case investigation that’s smart, suspenseful, and on the cutting edge of forensic science. This book will keep you reading well into the night.”
Gilbert King, Pulitzer-prize winning author of Beneath a Ruthless Sun and Devil in the Grove

“A story within a story within a story—once you think you know what The Forever Witness by Edward Humes is about, Humes takes you deeper. It is not only a story of the tragic murders of two young people—but about the tale their bodies told, and how, after decades, that tale was able to come to light. Layered and informative, compassionate and analytical, this book picks up where Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark leaves off, explaining the miracle that is genetic genealogy as well as the ethical quagmire that surrounds it, while also offering a dignified eulogy to two lives violently, monstrously cut short.” 
Rachel Rear, author of Catch the Sparrow

“Ed Humes is not a fancy writer, and I mean that as a compliment.  He does not write for the applause of literary reviewers or book critics.  He writes for smart readers.  He is a gifted storyteller, an absolute master of the narrative.  The Forever Witness, the story of a kidnapping and murder, seizes you on the first page and holds you captive until the end.”
Gene Weingarten, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for feature writing, Washington Post journalist and author of One Day

“Top-notch, must-read true crime. Edward Humes has crafted a brilliant and riveting account of a haunting cold case, a relentless detective, and the birth of a cutting-edge forensic tool.” 
Dean Jobb, author of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream and Empire of Deception, and professor in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College

The Forever Witness is one of the best true crime books I’ve ever read—a riveting page turner that also made me so much smarter. With his deep and empathetic reporting, Humes manages to illuminate both the vivid history of a cold case and the complex future of criminology and genealogy.” 
Eli Saslow, Pulitzer Prize winner, Washington Post journalist, and author of Rising Out of Hatred

The Forever Witness is a nuanced examination of the role of genetic genealogy in criminal investigations, told through the wrenching, personal story of a horrific double murder left unsolved for decades. Humes approaches his subject with intelligence and probing curiosity, and the result is a fascinating study of the newest frontiers in information and DNA science.” 
Steph Cha, author of Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner Your House Will Pay

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Back to Top