History of Forensic Science


Forensic Science in China

200 AD

China started to use forensic science in solving crimes with pigs



A person was guilty until proven innocent. A guilty person was was tortured until he admitted his crime. If a person was innocent, God would give them the strength to withstand the torture

U.S Postal Inspection Services Laboratories

1772 - Present

U.S Postal Inspection Services Laboratories opens

Carl W. Scheele

1775 - 1786

Scheele was a Swedish chemist that devised a test for detecting Arsenic in corpses

19th Century Advancements


Medical advancements allowed MEs to determine the cause of death. Microscopes started to get more usage

Valentin Ross


Ross discovered a more precise way to detect small amounts of arsenic.

Mathieu Orilla

1814 - 1853

Mathieu Orilla was known as the "Father of Forensic Toxiocology." He published many articles on the detection of poisons and its effects on the body

Polarizing Microscope


The polarizing microscope was invented that helped a lot during investigation of crimes

The Scotland Yard


Major crime lab in Britian

Sperm Detection


This was when the first detection of sperm was seen under a microscope

Toxicological Evidence


This was the first time toxicological evidence was used to aid in a criminal trial


1850 - 1860

The use of photographs in crime scenes really helped investigators keep track of their stuff. Instead of sketching and writing things down, investigators could actually look at the crime scene in actuality again.

Blood Test


This was the first presumptive test for blood

Alphonse Bertillon

1879 - 1914

Bertillon introduced the Bertillon system (Anthropometry) which basically took precise measurements of a convicted person.

Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published a series of books about Sherlock Holmes who was a private investigator/forensic scientist

Jack "The Ripper"


London was terrorized by a serial killer known as "Jack the Ripper"

Hans Gross

1893 - 1915

"Criminal Investigation" by Hans Gross was published. This was the first book of criminal investigations using forensic science

Walter McCrone

1900 - 2002

McCrone was known as the, "Father of Modern Microscopy."

Karl Landsteiner

1901 - 1943

ABO blood typing was discovered by Landsteiner

Will West Case


There were two convicted felons that had the same measurements. THEY WERE NOT IDENTICAL TWINS. This case led to the end of the Bertillon system

Albert Osborn

1910 - 1946

"Questioned Documents" was published by Osborn

Locard's Exchange Principle


Edmond Locard came up with a principle that states when 2 people or objects come into contact with each other, they are bound to transfer materials onto each other.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Laboratories


Major Crime Lab in Canada



The first crime lab was opened in LA

Dr. Paul Kirk


University of California at Berkeley Criminalizes Department was led by Kirk

FBI National Laboratory


The first FBI National Laboratory was opened under Director Hoover



The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives open



The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Laboratories opens

FBI Forensic Science & Research Training Center