History of forensics

Timeline created by ottomorrisslo
  • 300


    Woman burns house down to kill husband, was caught for it by examining the effects of fire on a dead body vs. an alive body
  • Carl W. Sheele

    Swedish chemist, devised the test for detecting arsenic in corpses.
  • Mathieu Orfila

    Father of Forensic toxicology, published articles on the detection of poisons and effects.
  • August Vollmer

    Los Angeles PD opened the first Crime Lab in the US under August Vollmer.
  • William Nicol

    developed Polarizing Microscope
  • James Marsh

    testified to the detection of arsenic in a corpse marking the first use of toxicological evidence in a criminal trial.
  • Period: to


    the development of photographs allowed for more accurate records and documentation
  • Alphonse Bertillon

    a French anthropologist, introduced the Bertillon System, also called Bertillonage. It was a system of identifying people by their physical appearance. Various measurements were taken and recorded from various parts of the body.
  • Alvarez

    used a bloody fingerprint to solve the murder of two boys in Argentina. His system is known as comparative dactyloscopy.
  • Criminal Investigation

    the first book of criminal investigation using forensic science, Criminal Investigation, was published by Hans Gross from Austria.
  • Edward Henry

    created the Henry Classification System for examining fingerprints which became the primary identification system used throughout most of the world.
  • Albert Llwellyn Hall

    published “The Missile and the Weapon” in the Buffalo Medical Journal describing how ammunition could be linked to the gun it was fired from by examining markings on the projectile or shell casing.
  • Karl Landsteiner

    discovered blood types.
  • Kansas State Prison

    incarcerated two individuals, both by the name of Will West. They both had identical facial features and body measurements, by the Bertillon System. This led to the end of Anthropometry and helped the rise of fingerprinting
  • Rodolphe Archibald Reiss

    first school of forensic science founded in switzerland
  • Questioned Documents

    published by Albert Osborn.
  • First crime lab

    opened in Lyon, France by Edmond Locard who was also referred to as the “Sherlock Holmes of France”. He was best known for developing the Exchange Principle.
  • Victor Balthazard and Marcelle Lambert

    did a study on hair and how it can be used to identify people. This was used in a case quickly after
  • FBI National Laboratory opened under Director J. Edgar Hoover.

  • Paul Kirk

    University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics Department was opened and led by Dr. Paul Kirk.
  • Period: to

    Frances Glessner Lee

    constructed dioramas called the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death to teach future investigators how to fully examine a crime scene.
  • FBI's Forensic Science Research and Training Center opened

  • DNA profiling

    developed by Alec jeffreys
  • DNA evidence

    announced that its almost always reliable