History of Forensics


Earliest application of Forensic Science

Approx. 300 AD

Village elder slaughtered 3 pigs and burned the corpses with 3 living ones in a home to determine the cause of death for a man's body found inside a burned down house.

First test for detecting Arsenic in corpses


Cal W. Scheele devised a test for detecting Arsenic in Corpses, a carcinogenic which was commonly known as inheritance powder.

Valentin Ross discovered more precise method for detecting Arsenic


Previous methods required a lot of Arsenic whereas now smaller amounts could be detected.

Mathieu Orilla published article on detection of poisons and effects


Known as the Father of Forensic Toxicology and the

Polarizing microscope invented


Polarised light has waves that vibrate in only one direction, and cannot be seen normally. Polarising microscopes use this to improve image quality when examining birefringent, anisotropic materials.

First microscopic detection of sperm


Some dude has weird ideas of fun.

1st use of toxicological evidence in criminal trial


Photographs invented and popularized

1850 - 1860

1st presumptive test for blood


Alphonse Bertillion introduced Antropometry

1879 - 1903

system of identification bu physical appearance;was considered the most accurate method of personal identification for 2 decades. Replaced by fingerprinting in 1903

Sherlock Holmes published

1887 - Approx. 1893

The most influential fictional character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; can be compared in influence to modern CSI shows.

Criminal Investigation by Hans Gross Published


The first book of criminal investigation using forensic science

ABO blood typing discovered by Karl Landsteiner


Will West Case


Case of misidentification of two men whose Bertillon's measurements were nearly identical. The end of Anthropometry

Questioned Documents published by Albert Osborn


An in-depth look into a document which is being questioned in the case of fraud, forgery, etc.

Locard's Exchange Principle published by Edmond Locard


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.

Walter McCrone

1916 - 2002

Father of Modern Microscopy; known to have memorized anything he sees under a microscope.

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab founded


First lab to be founded in the USA

University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics founded


Created by Dr. Paul Kirk

FBI National Laboratory opens under J. Edgar Hoover


FBI Forensic Science Research and Training center opens