Ugo Cappuzzo was a young doctor to the Italian Embassy in Peking, where he had arrived in the early 1930s with his new wife.
After Pamela Werner's murder in 1937, Cappuzzo became one of her father ETC Werner's chief suspects: Cappuzzo was an accomplished surgeon and lived near the French ice rink where Pamela was last seen alive.
Many Shansi residents lived in traditional "cave houses", dwellings carved into the solid rock. Many still exist today.
The cave houses were warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but they also provided excellent conditions for the spread of typhus, with the poor occupants living crowded together with limited washing facilities.
Typhus is spread by human body lice. Living in hair and clothing, the adult (left) feeds on its host's blood.
At considerable risk to himself, Cappuzzo collected infected lice from the Chinese victims. He then transferred the infection to guinea pigs, from the brains of which he cultivated a vaccine on his return to Peking.
The following year Cappuzzo returned to Shansi with his vaccine where he successfully inoculated many poor residents.
It was bold and brave work by Cappuzzo, and replicated the new technique pioneered by the Polish biologist Rudolf Weigl (right).
Deservedly, Cappuzzo received a great deal of official thanks for his work. Werner, however, had him down as a conspirator in rape and murderer.
A Death in Peking explains just how and why Werner was wrong.