Fingerprints are used on clay tablets for business transaction in ancient Babylon.
Jan 1, 600
Measuring Volume of Strange Objects
Archimedes talks about being able to prove the crown was not made of gold using density and buoyancy.
Jan 1, 750
First Lie Detector
Erasistratus, an ancient Greek physician, discovers that his patients’ pulse rates increase when they are telling lies. Allegedly the first lie detection test.
Jan 28, 1235
Learning to Find Murder Weapons
A murder was committed using a sickle. All those in the village who owned a sickle were made to bring them out and lay them in the sun. Eventually flies gathered on one particular sickle, identifying it as the murder weapon.
Jan 28, 1248
Medicine in Murder
The Chinese book His Duan Yu describes how to distinguish drowning from strangulation. The first recorded application of medicine to help solve crimes.
Jan 1, 1302
First Medical Autopsy
Bartolomeo da Varignana performed one of the first medicolegal autopsies in the case of a suspected murder of a nobleman.
Jan 1, 1447
The missing teeth of the French Duke of Burgundy are used to identify remains.
The first microscope is developed.
Using Physical Matching
John Toms of Lancaster, England is convicted of murder on the basis of a torn wad of paper found in a pistol matching a remaining piece in his pocket. One of the first documented uses of physical matching.
Henry Goddard of Scotland Yard first uses bullet comparison to catch a murderer. The comparison was based in a visible flaw in the bullet, traced back to a mold.
H. Baynard publishes the first reliable procedures for the microscopic detection of sperm.
Using Body Temperature to Determine Time of Death
Taylor and Wilkes write a paper on the determination of time since death from fall in body temperature, introducing many current concepts.
First advocation of the use of photography for the identification of criminals and the documentation of evidence and crime scenes.
Using Fingerprints to determine Crime
Henry Faulds of Scotland publishes a paper suggesting fingerprints at the scene of a crime could identify the offender. Faulds uses fingerprints to eliminate an innocent suspect and indicate a perpetrator in a Tokyo burglary.
The NY States Prison system begins the first systematic use of fingerprints in the US for criminal identification.
Telling Weapons Apart
Charles E. Waite is the first to catalogue manufacturing data about weapons.
John Larson and Leonard Keeler design the portable polygraph.
FBI Crime Lab
The FBI crime laboratory is created.
Using Dental Records
Dental records are compared with teeth from corpses.
Tape lifting Evidence
Max Frei-Sulzer develops the tape lift method of collecting trace evidence.
R. F. Borkenstein invents the Breathalyzer for field sobriety testing.
Body Cooling After Death Discoveries
De Saram publishes measurements of temperature I cases obtained from executed prisoners. The papers are considered landmarks in determination of time since death from body cooling.
Testing for Firearm Discharge
Harrison and Gilroy introduce a qualitative colorimetric chemical test to detect the presence of barium, antimony and lead on the hands of individuals who fired a firearm.
Using Forensic Science to Solve crimes
The Federal rules of Evidence are enacted as a congressional statute, based on the relevancy standard in which scientific evidence that is deemed more prejudicial than probative may not be admitted.
Finger Print Scanning System
The FBI introduces the beginnings of its Automated Fingerprint Idrntification System (AFIS) with first computerised scans of fingerprints.
Starting DNA Recognition
American geneticists discover a region of DNA that does not hold any genetic information and is extremely variable between individuals. Starting our path on dna recognition.
Using DNA to Catch a Criminal
DNA is used for the first time to solve a crime. DNA profiling is used to identify Colin Pitchfork as the murderer of two young girls in the English Midlands.
DNA Profiling in Court
DNA profiling is introduced for the first time in a US criminal court.
Shell Casings as Evidence
The FBI helps develop Drugfire, an automated imaging system to compare marks left on cartridge cases and shell casings.
FBI Uses DNA
An FBI DNA database, NIDIS, is put into practice.
Footwear Detection Intelligence
The Forensic Science Service launches the UK’s first online footwear coding and detection management system, Footwear Intelligence Technology.