Forensic History


Carl W. Scheele


Developed a test for arsenic in dead people.

Valentin Ross (German)


Further advanced the method for detecting arsenic.

Mathieu Orilla (Spanish) aka 'Father of Forensic Toxicology'


wrote article about toxicology, including the detection of poisons.

Polarizing microscope invented


The polarizing light microscope is to see and document specimens visible because of their anisotropic characteristics.

1st use of toxicological evidence in criminal trial


First time toxicological evidence was used in a trial big step for the forensic sciences and the practice being generally accepted.

first microscopic detection of sperm


Some guy wanted to see what it looked like after he masturbated.


1850 - 1860

Allowed more accurate recordings and a CSI could document a crime scene.

Alphonse Bertillon (French) introduced the Bertillon's system (aka Anthropometry)


a system for identifying people by their physical appearance that was considered to be the most accurate method of personal 
identification for nearly 2 decade until it was replaced by fingerprinting in 1903

Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

Recently learned he was a fictional character and the fake stuff in the novels had an effect on CSI's who wanted to be just like him.

London terrorized by a serial killer "Jack the Ripper"


He murdered many people and was never identified or caught.

Walter McCrone 'Father of Modern Microscopy'

1900 - 2000

He was the best at what he did with the microscopy. Studied items and developed a sort of encyclopedia.

ABO blood typing discovered by Karl Landsteiner


Discovery that led to peoples blood being categorized.

Will West Case


Two people looked the same and had identical head measurements and such; it led to the usage of fingerprints to identify people.

"Questioned Documents" published by Albert Osborn


His book was widely acclaimed by both the legal profession and by public and private labs in the matter of question documents.

Locard's Exchange Principle by Edmond Locard


When two things touch each other transfer will occur between the two objects according to this principle

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab (the first in USA)


in 1926, a 50-man "gun squad" was formed and the director announced that "the gun-toting element and the rum smugglers are going to learn that murder and gun-toting are most inimical to their best interest." He added that he would "hold court on gunmen in the Los Angeles streets; I want them brought in dead, not alive and will reprimand any officer who shows the least mercy to a criminal."

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


School for the criminalistics

FBI National Laboratory opens under Director J. Edgar Hoover


Created in 1932 and operating out of a state-of-the-art facility in Quantico, Virginia, the Lab’s scientific experts and special agents travel the world on assignment, using science and technology to protect the people.

FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center opens


A center to train forensic scientist to prepare them for practice in actual labs.