History of Forensic Science (Anna Ellis)

Events

1st evidence of forensic science

200

A Chinese doctor uses pigs to test whether a man died before or after being set on fire.

Torture (Europe)

Approx. 1500 - Approx. 1600

The criminal justice system consisted solely of torture. Supposedly guilty people would confess while innocent people would be granted strength from God to resist the pain.

Carl W. Scheele

1775

Scheele, a Swedish chemist, creates a test to detect arsenic poisoning among rich old people who are mysteriously dying. ["Inheritance Powder"]

Valentin Ross

1806

Ross discovers a better method to detect small amounts of arsenic.

Mathieu Orilla (Father of Toxicology)

1814

Orilla publishes article about the detection and effects of poison.

Polarizing Microscope Invented

1828

1st use of toxicological evidence in criminal trial

1839

Sperm is observed under a microscope

1839

Photography

1850 - 1860

Photographs allow crime scenes and evidence to be more accurately and efficiently documented.

1st presumptive test for blood

1863

Alphonse Bertillon (Anthropometry)

1879 - 1903

Bertillon's system is introduced as a way to identify people by their appearances and measurements.

Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

The books sensationalize criminal investigation.Compare to today's "CSI Effect".

Jack the Ripper

1888

"Criminal Investigation" by Hans Gross

1893

The 1st book about criminal investigation using forensic science is published.

Walter McCrone (Father of Microscopy)

1900

Karl Landsteiner (ABO Bloodtyping)

1901

Will West Case

1903

Two convicts are mistaken for one another because they have nearly identical Bertillon measurements. Anthropometry is deemed ineffective.

"Questioned Documents" (Albert Osborn)

1910

Introduces handwriting analysis.

Locard's Exchange Principle (Edmond Locard)

1913

When two objects come in contact with each other, a cross-transfer of materials occurs that can sometimes connect a criminal suspect to the victim or the crime scene.

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab

1923

UC Berkeley Criminalists Dept. (Dr. Paul Kirk)

1930

FBI National Laboratory (J. Edgar Hoover)

1932

FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center

1981