History of Forensics

Events

3rd century (China)

200 - 299

The earliest record of application of forensic science

Torture (Europe)

1500 - 1600

Guilty person would confess under torture, while God would give an innocent person the strength to resist the pain.

U.S. Postal Inspection Services Laboratories

1772 - Present

Carl W Scheele

1775

Devised a test for detecting Arsenic (the inheritance powder) in corpses

Medical Advancements

1800 - 1899

Allowed ME's to determine cause of deaths

Valentin Ross (German)

1806

Discovered more precise method for detecting small amounts of Arsenic.

Mathieu Orilla (Spanish)

1814

'Father of Forensic Toxicology'; published article on detection of poisons and effects.

Polarizing Microscope Invented

1828

Allowed the discovery of more physical evidence.

British Home Office Metropolitan Police Laboratory (Scotland Yard)

1829

Located in Britain

First microscopic detection of sperm

1839

1st use of toxicology evidence in criminal trial

1839

Photographs

1850 - 1860

Allowed ore accurate recording.

1st presumptive test for blood

1863

Alphonse Bertillion (French)

1879

Introduced Bertillon's system (Anthropometry); a system for identifying people by their physical appearance and was considered the most accurate method of personal identification for for almost 20 years. Was replaced by fingerprinting in 1903.

Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

The most influential fictional character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His influence can be compared to that of modern CSI shows today.

Jack the Ripper

1888

London was terrorized by serial killer 'Jack the Ripper'.

"Criminal Investigation" by Hans Gross (Austrian)

1893

The first book of criminal investigation using forensic science.

Walter McCrone

1900 - 1999

Father of Modern Microscopy.

ABO blood typing

1901

Discovered by Karl Landsteiner.

Will West Case

1903

Case of misidentification of two men who's Bertillon's measurements were almost identical, leading to the end of Anthropometry.

"Questioned Documents"

1910

Published by Albert Osborn

Locard's Exchange Principle by Edmond Locard (French)

1913

When 2 objects come into contact with each other, a cross-transfer of materials occurs that can connect a criminal suspect to the victim or the crime scene. Locard also started the first known police crime lab.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Laboratories

1920

Located in Canada. Centre of Forensic Sciences (Toronto). The Institute of Legal Medicine and Police Science (Montreal).

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab

1923

First crime lab in USA.

University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics Department

1930

Led by Dr. Paul Kirk.

FBI National Laboratory opens

1932

Opened under Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

1968 - Present

Analyze drugs seized in violation of federal laws.

United States Army Criminal Investigation Laboratories (USACIL)

1971

Located in Fort Gillem, Ellenwood, GA.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Laboratories (ATF)

1972 - Present

analyze alcoholic beverages, weapons, and explosive devices.

FBI Forensic Science Research and Training center opens

1981