History of Forensic Science

Events

3rd century China

201 AD

Earliest record of apllication

Before the 17th century

1600 - 1699

A guilty person would confess under torture, while God would give an innocent person the strength to resist the pain. All suspects of a crime would be tortured and it was believed, if you were truly innocent, God would give resistibility of pain to oneself.

Carl W. Scheele

1775

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

19th century advancements

1800 - 1899

Medical advancements allowed MEs to determine cause of deaths

Valentin Ross

1806

discovered more precise 
method for detecting small amounts of Arsenic

Mathieu Orilla

1814

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

Polarizing Microscope Invented

1828

1st use of toxicological evidence in criminal trial

1839

First Microscope Detection of Sperm

1839

Photographs

1850

Camera advancements allowed more accurate recording of crimes throughout 1850-1860

1st presumptive test for blood

1863

Alphonse Bertillon (French)

1879

He introduced the Bertillon's system (aka Anthropometry) which was a system for identifying people by their physical appearance and was later considered a more accurate method of personal indentification for about 2 decades

Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

London terrorized

1888

London was terrorized by a serial killer that went by "Jack The Ripper"

"Criminal Investigation"

1893

Hans Gross (Austrian) published the first book of criminal investigation using 
forensic science

20th century advancements

1900 - 1999

Walter McCrone aka 'Father of Modern Microscopy'

ABO blood typing discovery

1901

discovery of ABO blood typing by Karl Landsteiner

The Bertillion system was replaced by fingerprinting

1903

"Questioned Documents"

1910

"Questioned Documents" was 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 1st known police crime lab.

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab (the 1st in USA)

1923

University of California

1930

University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics Department led by Dr. Paul Kirk

FBI National Laboratory opens under Director J. Edgar  Hoover

1932

FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center opens

1981