History of Forensic Science

Events

Earliest Recorded Use of Forensic Science

250 AD

The earliest record of application of forensic science took place in 3rd century in China

Confession Under Torture

Jan, 1601 - Dec, 1700

Guilty people would confess under
torture, while God would give an
innocent person the strength to 
resist the pain.

The Arsenic Test

1775

Carl W. Scheele devised a test for detecting Arsenic in corpses, commonly known as Inheritance Powder

Valentin Ross Discovery

1806

Valentin Ross (German) discovered more precise 
method for detecting small amounts of Arsenic

Mathieu Orilla Article Published

1814

Mathieu Orilla  (Spanish) aka 'Father of Forensic 
Toxicology' published article on detection of poisons and 
effects

Polarizing Microscope invented

1828

First Microscopic Detection of  Sperm

1839

1st Use of Toxicological Evidence in Criminal Trial

1839

Photographs

1850 - 1860

These allowed more accurate recording

1st Presumptive Test for Blood

1863

Bertillon's  System

1879

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

Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

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

Jack the Ripper

1888

London terrorized by a serial killer "Jack the Ripper"

Hans Gross Published

1893

"Criminal Investigation" by Hans Gross (Austrian) 
published; the 1st book of criminal investigation using forensic science

Walter McCrone

1901

He is referred to as the 'Father of Modern Microscopy'

ABO Blood Typing Discovered

1901

ABO blood typing was discovered by Karl Landsteiner

Will West Case

1903

Case of misidentiication of two men  whose 
Bertillon's  measurements were nearly identical which led to the end of Anthropometry.

"Questioned Documents" published by Albert Osborn

1910

Locard's Exchange Principle

1913

It was by Edmond Locard and stated 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 first known police crime lab.

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab

1923

It was the first in USA.

University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics  Department

1930

It was led by Dr. Paul Kirk

FBI National Laboratory

1932

It opened under Director J. Edgar 
Hoover

FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center opens

1981