History of Forensic Science

Events

3rd Century China

Approx. 201 - Approx. 299

Earliest application of forensic science using pigs.

Test for Detecting Arsenic

1776

Carl. W. Scheele, a Swedish chemist, devised a test for detecting Arsenic in corpses.

Precise Method for Arsenic Detection

1806

Valentin Ross, a German scientist, discovered a more precise way for detecting small amounts of Arsenic.

Father of Forensic Toxicology

1814

Mathieu Orilla, a Spanish scientist known as the "Father of Forensic Toxicology", published an article on poison detection and its effects.

Polarizing Microscope

1828

The first polarizing microscope was invented.

Detection of Sperm

1839

The first detection of sperm on a microscope occurred.

Toxicological Evidence

1839

The first use of toxicological evidence in a criminal trial.

Photography in Forensics

1850 - 1860

Photographs allowed for more accurate recordings in cases.

Blood Test

1863

The first presumptive test for blood was created.

Anthropometry

1879

Alphonse Bertillon, a French scientist, introduced a system for identifying people by their physical appearance.

Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

The most influential fictional character that has shaped modern day CSI TV shows.

Jack the Ripper

1888

London terrorized by the notorious serial killer, "Jack the Ripper".

"Criminal Investigation"

1893

Hans Gross, an Austrian scientist, published "Criminal Investigation", the first book of criminal investigation using forensic science.

20th Century Forensics Findings

1901 - 2000

Walter McCrone, known as the Father of Modern Microscopy, was a highly accomplished American chemist at this time.

ABO Blood Typing

1901

ABO Blood Typing discovered by scientist named Karl Landsteiner.

Will West Case

1903

Led to the end of Anthropometry because of the case misidentification of two men whose Bertillon's measurement were nearly identical.

"Questioned Documents"

1910

"Questioned Documents", also known as handwritng analysis, was published by Albert Osborn.

Locard's Exchange Principle

1913

A French scientist named Edmond Locard created a principle that states when 2 objects come into contact with each other, a cross transfer of materials can connect a criminal suspect to the victim or crime scene.

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab

1923

The Los Angeles Police Department Crime Lab was the first crime lab in the United States.

University of California-Berkeley

1930

The University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics Department was lead by Dr. Paul Kirk.

FBI National Laboratory

1932

The FBI National Laboratory opens under the director J. Edgar Hoover.

Opening of Forensic Science and Research Center

1981

The FBI Forensic Science Research and Training Center opens.