The History of Forensics

  • May 9, 1235

    The Earliest Forensic operation

    The Earliest Forensic operation
    Story of Sung Tzu and the bloody sickle. 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.
  • May 8, 1247

    The earliest forensic procedures

    The earliest forensic procedures
    In 1247 the first textbook on forensic medicine is published in China which among others things documents the procedures to be followed when investigating a suspicious death.The Chinese book His Duan Yu (The Washing Away of Wrongs) describes how to distinguish drowning from strangulation. The first recorded application of medicine to help solve crimes
  • May 9, 1302

    First Autopsy

    First Autopsy
    Bartolomeo da Varignana performs a medicolegal autopsy in the case of suspected murder of a nobleman.
  • May 8, 1547

    The begining of forensic study

    The begining of forensic study
    Dr Ambroise Paree, a French army surgeon, was the first to systematically study the effect of violent death upon the interal organs.
  • First microscope

    First microscope
    The first microscope is developed.
  • The discovery of adipocere

    The discovery of adipocere
    English physician, biologist, philosopher and historian Sir Thomas Browne discovers adipocere. What he describes as a fatty, waxy, soap-like substance formed on human corpses buried in moist, air-free places
  • Physical matching

    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.
  • toxiology

    Sir Robert Christison publishes Treatise on Poisons, which is for many years regarded as the standard work on toxicology.
  • Firearms and Toolmarks

    Firearms and Toolmarks
    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.
  • Time since death test

    Time since death test
    Dr John Davy recounts experiments with dead soldiers using a mercury thermometer. One of the first attempts to determine time since death using body temperature
  • Discovery of Finger Prints

    Discovery of Finger Prints
    In 1877, American Thomas Taylor, suggested that markings from the tips of a persons fingers could be used for identification in criminal cases.
  • Introduction of Finger Print Classifification

    Introduction of Finger Print Classifification
    Juan Vucetich developed a fingerprint classification system that was used in Latin America. The system came into use in Europe and North America in 1896
  • Blood Recognition

    Blood Recognition
    In 1901, Dr. Paul Uhlenhuth developed a method of testing blood stains, to determine if they were human.
  • Dental Records

    Dental Records
    1940s – Dental records are compared with teeth from corpses.
  • the term 'Serial Killer'

     the term 'Serial Killer'
    The term ‘Serial Killer’ was invented in the early 1980s, by American F.B.I. Agent Robert Ressler. He was describing a killer who killed repeatedly and obsessively, on separate occasions.
  • First DNA test

    First DNA test
    In 1984, Sir Alec Jefferies developed the first DNA profiling test. But He published his findings later on, in 1985.

    An FBI DNA database, NIDIS, is put into practice
  • Farwell Brain Fingerprinting

    Farwell Brain Fingerprinting
    In 1999 Dr. Lawrence Farwell developed the technique of ‘Farwell Brain Fingerprinting’, a new computer-based method of identifying criminals by measuring brain-wave responses to viewing relevant pictures.