History of Forensic Science

Events

Earliest record of application of forensic science

201 - 300

3rd century in China

Begin (before 17th century)

Approx. 1600

Guilty person confess, and God give strength to the innocent person to resist the pain.

First Test for detecting Arsenic

1775

Carl W. Scheele, a Swedish Chemist, was the first who devised a test for detecting Arsenic in corpses.

Medical advancements

1800

It was allowed MEs to determine cause of deaths and the microscope was invented.

Valentin Ross' discovey

1806

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

Mathieu Orilla's publication

1814

Mathieu Orilla (Spanish), the Father of Forensic Toxicology, published article on detection of poisons and effects.

Polarizing Microscope invented

1828

First microscopic detection of sperm

1839

First use of toxicological evidence in criminal trial

1839

Photographs

1850 - 1860

This invention allowed more accurate recording.

First presumptive test for blood

1863

Introduction of Bertillon's system

1879

Alphonse Bertillon (French) introduced the Bertillon's system (aka Anthropometry). This system identifies people by their physical appearance. It was considered to be the most accurate method of personal identification for 2 decades.

Sherlock Holmes' influence

1887 - 1893

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

London terrorized by a serial killer "Jack the Ripper"

1888

Publication of "Criminal Investigation"

1893

Published by Hans Gross (Austrian), it was the first book of criminal investigation using forensic science.

Walter McCrone

1900 - 1999

Considered the Father of Modern Microscopy

Discovering of ABO blood typing

1901

Discovered by Karl Landsteiner

Replacement of Bertillon's system by fingerprinting

1903

Will West Case and end of Anthropometry

1903

Case of misindetification of two men whose Bertillon's measurements were nearly identical.

"Questioned Documents" published by Albert Osborn

1910

Locard's Exchange Principle

1913

By Edmond Locard (French): When two 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.

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab

1923

The first in United States

University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics

1930

FBI National Laboratory

1932

Opened under Director J. Edgar Hoover

FBI Forensic Science Research and Training Center opens

1981