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Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of ...

science
to
criminal In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper ...
and civil laws, mainly—on the criminal side—during
criminal investigation Criminal investigation is an applied science Applied science is the use of the scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science s ...
, as governed by the legal standards of
admissible evidence Admissible evidence, in a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertai ...
and
criminal procedure Criminal procedure is the adjudication Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbitration, arbiter or judge reviews evidence (law), evidence and argumentation, including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants, to come ...
. Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific
evidence Evidence for a proposition In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence (linguistics), sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is shared by a ...

evidence
during the course of an investigation. While some forensic scientists travel to the scene of the crime to collect the evidence themselves, others occupy a laboratory role, performing analysis on objects brought to them by other individuals. Still others are involved in analysis of financial, banking, or other numerical data for use in financial crime investigation, and can be employed as consultants from private firms, academia, or as government employees. In addition to their laboratory role, forensic scientists testify as
expert witness An expert witness, particularly in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written ...
es in both criminal and civil cases and can work for either the
prosecution A prosecutor is a legal representative of the prosecution in states with either the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by co ...
or the defense. While any field could technically be ''forensic'', certain sections have developed over time to encompass the majority of forensically related cases. Forensic science is a combination of two different Latin words: forensis and science. The former, forensic, relates to a discussion or examination performed in public. Because trials in the ancient world were typically held in public, it carries a strong judicial connotation. The second is science, which is derived from the Latin word for 'knowledge' and is today closely tied to the scientific method, a systematic way of acquiring knowledge. Taken together forensic science means the use of the scientific methods and processes for crime solving.


Etymology

The word ''forensic'' comes from the Latin term ', meaning "of or before the forum". The history of the term originates in Roman times, when a criminal charge meant presenting the case before a group of public individuals in the
forum Forum (plural forums or fora) may refer to: Common uses * Forum (legal), designated space for public expression in the United States *Forum (Roman), open public space within a Roman city **Roman Forum, most famous example *Internet forum, discus ...

forum
. Both the person accused of the crime and the accuser would give speeches based on their sides of the story. The case would be decided in favor of the individual with the best argument and delivery. This origin is the source of the two modern usages of the word ''forensic''—as a form of legal evidence; and as a category of public presentation. In modern use, the term ''forensics'' in the place of ''forensic science'' can be considered incorrect, as the term ''forensic'' is effectively a
synonym A synonym is a word, morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone ...
for ''legal'' or ''related to courts''. However, the term is now so closely associated with the scientific field that many dictionaries include the meaning that equates the word ''forensics'' with ''forensic science''.


History


Origins of forensic science and early methods

The
ancient world Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from t ...

ancient world
lacked standardized forensic practices, which enabled criminals to escape punishment. Criminal investigations and trials relied heavily on forced confessions and witness
testimony In law and in religion, testimony is a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter. Etymology The words "testimony" and "testify" both derive from the Latin word ''testis'', referring to the notion of a disinterested Third-party source, thir ...
. However, ancient sources do contain several accounts of techniques that foreshadow concepts in forensic science developed centuries later. The first written account of using
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
and
entomology Entomology () is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. Th ...
to solve criminal cases is attributed to the book of ''Xi Yuan Lu'' (translated as ''Washing Away of Wrongs''), written in China in 1248 by
Song Ci Song Ci (; 1186–1249) was a Chinese physician, judge, forensic medical scientist, anthropologist, and writer of the Southern Song The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279 ...
(宋慈, 1186–1249), a director of justice, jail and supervision, during the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
. Song Ci introduced regulations concerning autopsy reports to court, how to protect the evidence in the examining process, and explained why forensic workers must demonstrate impartiality to the public. He devised methods for making antiseptic and for promoting the reappearance of hidden injuries to dead bodies and bones (using sunlight and vinegar under a red-oil umbrella); for calculating the time of death (allowing for weather and insect activity); described how to wash and examine the dead body to ascertain the reason for death. At that time the book had described methods for distinguishing between suicide and faked suicide. In one of Song Ci's accounts (''Washing Away of Wrongs''), the case of a person murdered with a sickle was solved by an investigator who instructed each suspect to bring his sickle to one location. (He realized it was a sickle by testing various blades on an animal carcass and comparing the wounds.) Flies, attracted by the smell of blood, eventually gathered on a single sickle. In light of this, the owner of that sickle confessed to the murder. The book also described how to distinguish between a
drowning Drowning is a type of suffocation Asphyxia or asphyxiation is a condition of deficient supply of oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen Grou ...

drowning
(water in the
lungs The lungs are the primary organs of the respiratory system The respiratory system (also respiratory apparatus, ventilatory system) is a biological system consisting of specific organs and structures used for gas exchange in animal ...

lungs
) and
strangulation Strangling is compression of the neck that may lead to unconsciousness Unconsciousness is a state which occurs when the ability to maintain an awareness of self and environment is lost. It involves a complete, or near-complete, lack of re ...
(broken neck
cartilage Cartilage (cartilaginous tissue) is a resilient and smooth elastic tissue Elastic is a word often used to describe or identify certain types of elastomer An elastomer is a polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-m ...

cartilage
), and described evidence from examining corpses to determine if a death was caused by murder, suicide or accident. Methods from around the world involved saliva and examination of the mouth and tongue to determine innocence or guilt, as a precursor to the
Polygraph test A polygraph, popularly referred to as a lie detector test, is a device or procedure that measures and records several physiological indicators such as blood pressure Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure Pressure (symbol: ''p'' or ''P'' ...
. In ancient India, some suspects were made to fill their mouths with dried rice and spit it back out. Similarly, in ancient
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, those accused of a crime would have rice powder placed in their mouths. In ancient
middle-eastern The Middle East is a transcontinental region in Afro-Eurasia which generally includes Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It includes Anatoli ...
cultures, the accused were made to lick hot metal rods briefly. It is thought that these tests had some validity since a guilty person would produce less saliva and thus have a drier mouth; the accused would be considered guilty if rice was sticking to their mouths in abundance or if their tongues were severely burned due to lack of shielding from saliva.


Development of forensic science

In 16th-century Europe, medical practitioners in army and university settings began to gather information on the cause and
manner of death In many legal jurisdictions Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Lat ...
.
Ambroise Paré Ambroise Paré (c. 1510 – 20 December 1590) was a French barber surgeon who served in that role for kings Henry II of France, Henry II, Francis II of France, Francis II, Charles IX of France, Charles IX and Henry III of France, Henry III. He is ...

Ambroise Paré
, a French army
surgeon In modern medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive kno ...
, systematically studied the effects of violent death on internal organs. Two
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...
surgeons, Fortunato Fidelis and Paolo Zacchia, laid the foundation of modern
pathology Pathology is the study of the causesCauses, or causality, is the relationship between one event and another. It may also refer to: * Causes (band), an indie band based in the Netherlands * Causes (company), an online company See also * Cau ...
by studying changes that occurred in the structure of the body as the result of disease. In the late 18th century, writings on these topics began to appear. These included ''A Treatise on Forensic Medicine and Public Health'' by the French physician Francois Immanuele Fodéré and ''The Complete System of Police Medicine'' by the German medical expert
Johann Peter Frank Johann Peter Frank (19 March 1745 – 24 April 1821) was a German physician and hygienist. Biography He was born in Rodalben. His first studies were in theology. He then studied medicine at the Universities of University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg ...

Johann Peter Frank
. As the rational values of the
Enlightenment era The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link= ...
increasingly permeated society in the 18th century, criminal investigation became a more evidence-based, rational procedure − the use of torture to force confessions was curtailed, and belief in witchcraft and other powers of the
occult The occult, in the broadest sense, is a category of supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abiliti ...
largely ceased to influence the court's decisions. Two examples of English forensic science in individual legal proceedings demonstrate the increasing use of
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
and procedure in criminal investigations at the time. In 1784, in
LancasterLancaster may refer to: Lands and titles *The County Palatine of Lancaster, a synonym for Lancashire *Duchy of Lancaster, one of only two British royal duchies *Duke of Lancaster *Earl of Lancaster *House of Lancaster, a British royal dynasty ...
, John Toms was tried and convicted for murdering Edward Culshaw with a
pistol A pistol is a handgun, more specifically one with the chamber integral to its gun barrel with its massive bore and the stacked barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container with a bulging center, longer than it is wide. Th ...

pistol
. When the dead body of Culshaw was examined, a pistol wad (crushed paper used to secure powder and balls in the muzzle) found in his head wound matched perfectly with a torn newspaper found in Toms's pocket, leading to the conviction. In
Warwick Warwick ( ) is a market town and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use ...

Warwick
1816, a farm laborer was tried and convicted of the murder of a young maidservant. She had been drowned in a shallow pool and bore the marks of violent assault. The police found footprints and an impression from corduroy cloth with a sewn patch in the damp earth near the pool. There were also scattered grains of
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'' ...

wheat
and chaff. The breeches of a farm labourer who had been threshing wheat nearby were examined and corresponded exactly to the impression in the earth near the pool. An article appearing in
Scientific American ''Scientific American'' (informally abbreviated ''SciAm'' or sometimes ''SA'') is an American popular science Popular science (also called pop-science or popsci) is an interpretation of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', ...
in 1885 describes the use of microscopy to distinguish between the blood of two persons in a criminal case in Chicago.


Toxicology

A method for detecting arsenious oxide, simple
arsenic Arsenic is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same num ...

arsenic
, in corpses was devised in 1773 by the Swedish chemist,
Carl Wilhelm Scheele Carl Wilhelm Scheele (, ; 9 December 1742 – 21 May 1786) was a German and Swedish Pomerania Swedish Pomerania ( sv, Svenska Pommern; german: Schwedisch-Pommern) was a Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one o ...

Carl Wilhelm Scheele
. His work was expanded upon, in 1806, by German chemist Valentin Ross, who learned to detect the poison in the walls of a victim's stomach. James Marsh was the first to apply this new science to the art of forensics. He was called by the prosecution in a murder trial to give evidence as a chemist in 1832. The defendant, John Bodle, was accused of poisoning his grandfather with arsenic-laced coffee. Marsh performed the standard test by mixing a suspected sample with
hydrogen sulfide Hydrogen sulfide is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by havi ...

hydrogen sulfide
and
hydrochloric acid Hydrochloric acid +(aq) Cl−(aq) or H3O+ Cl− also known as muriatic acid, is an aqueous solution An aqueous solution is a solution Solution may refer to: * Solution (chemistry) Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, upMaking a salin ...

hydrochloric acid
. While he was able to detect arsenic as yellow
arsenic trisulfide Arsenic trisulfide is the inorganic compound with the formula As2 S3. It is a dark yellow solid that is insoluble in water. It also occurs as the mineral orpiment (Latin: auripigment), which has been used as a pigment called King's yellow. It ...

arsenic trisulfide
, when it was shown to the jury it had deteriorated, allowing the suspect to be acquitted due to reasonable doubt. Annoyed by that, Marsh developed a much better test. He combined a sample containing arsenic with
sulfuric acid Sulfuric acid (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English orthography English orthogra ...

sulfuric acid
and arsenic-free
zinc Zinc is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical element ...

zinc
, resulting in
arsine Arsine (IUPAC The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries. It is a member of the International Science Cou ...

arsine
gas. The gas was ignited, and it decomposed to pure metallic arsenic, which, when passed to a cold surface, would appear as a silvery-black deposit. So sensitive was the test, known formally as the
Marsh test The Marsh test is a highly sensitive method in the detection of arsenic Arsenic is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an eleme ...
, that it could detect as little as one-fiftieth of a milligram of arsenic. He first described this test in ''The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal'' in 1836.


Ballistics

Henry Goddard at
Scotland Yard Scotland Yard (officially New Scotland Yard) is a metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' ...

Scotland Yard
pioneered the use of bullet comparison in 1835. He noticed a flaw in the bullet that killed the victim and was able to trace this back to the mold that was used in the manufacturing process.


Anthropometry

The French police officer
Alphonse Bertillon Alphonse Bertillon (; 22 April 1853 – 13 February 1914) was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who applied the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement creating an identification system based on physical me ...

Alphonse Bertillon
was the first to apply the anthropological technique of
anthropometry Anthropometry (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is app ...
to law enforcement, thereby creating an identification system based on physical measurements. Before that time, criminals could be identified only by name or photograph.Kirsten Moana Thompson, ''Crime Films: Investigating the Scene''. London: Wallflower Press (2007): 10 Dissatisfied with the ''ad hoc'' methods used to identify captured criminals in France in the 1870s, he began his work on developing a reliable system of anthropometrics for human classification. Bertillon created many other
forensics Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of to and , mainly—on the criminal side—during , as governed by the legal standards of and . Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific during the c ...

forensics
techniques, including
forensic document examination In forensic science, questioned document examination (QDE) is the examination of document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fiction ...
, the use of
galvanoplastic Electrotyping (also galvanoplasty) is a chemical method for forming metal parts that exactly reproduce a model. The method was invented by Moritz von Jacobi Moritz Hermann or Boris Semyonovich (von) Jacobi (russian: Борис Семёнови ...
compounds to preserve
footprint 's bootprint on the Moon The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. At about one-quarter the diameter of Earth (comparable to the width of Australia (continent), Australia), it is the largest natural satellite in the Solar System relati ...

footprint
s,
ballistics Ballistics is the field of mechanics Mechanics (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in South ...
, and the
dynamometer A dynamometer or "dyno" for short, is a device for simultaneously measuring the torque In physics and mechanics, torque is the rotational equivalent of linear force In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμ ...

dynamometer
, used to determine the degree of force used in
breaking and entering Burglary, also called breaking and entering and sometimes housebreaking, is illegally entering a building or other areas to commit a crime. Usually that offence is theft Theft is the taking of another person's property or Service (economics ...
. Although his central methods were soon to be supplanted by
fingerprinting A fingerprint is an impression left by the friction ridge The dermis or corium is a layer of skin between the epidermis (skin), epidermis (with which it makes up the cutis (anatomy), cutis) and subcutaneous tissues, that primarily consists ...
, "his other contributions like the
mug shot A mug shot or mugshot (an informal term for police photograph or booking photograph) is a Portrait photography, photographic portrait of a person from the shoulders up, typically taken after a person is arrested. The original purpose of the mug s ...
and the systematization of crime-scene photography remain in place to this day."


Fingerprints

Sir
William Herschel Sir Frederick William Herschel (; german: Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel; 15 November 1738 – 25 August 1822) was a German-born British astronomer An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a spe ...
was one of the first to advocate the use of fingerprinting in the identification of criminal suspects. While working for the
Indian Civil Service The Indian Civil Service (ICS), officially known as the Imperial Civil Service, was the higher civil service of the British Empire in British India during British Raj, British rule in the period between 1858 and 1947. Its members ruled over mor ...
, he began to use thumbprints on documents as a security measure to prevent the then-rampant repudiation of signatures in 1858. In 1877 at Hooghly (near Kolkata), Herschel instituted the use of fingerprints on contracts and deeds, and he registered government pensioners' fingerprints to prevent the collection of money by relatives after a pensioner's death. In 1880, Dr.
Henry Faulds Image:Henry Faulds2.jpg, Henry Faulds Henry Faulds (1 June 1843 – 24 March 1930) was a British doctor, missionary and scientist who is noted for the development of fingerprinting. Early life Faulds was born in Beith, North Ayrshire, into a famil ...

Henry Faulds
, a Scottish surgeon in a
Tokyo Tokyo (Japanese language, Japanese: , ''Tōkyō'' ), historically known in the west as Tokio and officially the Tokyo Metropolis (, ''Tōkyō-to''), is capital of Japan, the capital and most populous Prefectures of Japan, prefecture of Japan ...

Tokyo
hospital, published his first paper on the subject in the scientific journal ''
Nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter an ...
'', discussing the usefulness of fingerprints for identification and proposing a method to record them with printing ink. He established their first classification and was also the first to identify fingerprints left on a vial. Returning to the UK in 1886, he offered the concept to the
Metropolitan Police The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police (and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard), is the territorial police force A territorial police force is a poli ...
in London, but it was dismissed at that time. See also this on-line article on Henry Faulds: Faulds wrote to
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

Charles Darwin
with a description of his method, but, too old and ill to work on it, Darwin gave the information to his cousin,
Francis Galton Sir Francis Galton, FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Family R ...

Francis Galton
, who was interested in anthropology. Having been thus inspired to study fingerprints for ten years, Galton published a detailed statistical model of fingerprint analysis and identification and encouraged its use in forensic science in his book ''Finger Prints''. He had calculated that the chance of a "false positive" (two different individuals having the same fingerprints) was about 1 in 64 billion.
Juan Vucetich Juan Vucetich Kovacevich (; born Ivan Vučetić, ; July 20, 1858 – January 25, 1925) was a Croatian-Argentine anthropologist and police official who pioneered the use of fingerprinting. Biography Vucetich was born in Hvar (city), Hvar in ...

Juan Vucetich
, an Argentine chief police officer, created the first method of recording the fingerprints of individuals on file. In 1892, after studying Galton's pattern types, Vucetich set up the world's first fingerprint bureau. In that same year, Francisca Rojas of
Necochea Necochea is a port and beach city in the southwest of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. The city is located on the Atlantic coast, along the mouth of the Quequén Grande River, from Buenos Aires and southwest of Mar del Plata. The city proper h ...

Necochea
was found in a house with neck injuries whilst her two sons were found dead with their throats cut. Rojas accused a neighbour, but despite brutal interrogation, this neighbour would not confess to the crimes. Inspector Alvarez, a colleague of Vucetich, went to the scene and found a bloody thumb mark on a door. When it was compared with Rojas' prints, it was found to be identical with her right thumb. She then confessed to the murder of her sons. A Fingerprint Bureau was established in Calcutta (
Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...
), India, in 1897, after the Council of the Governor General approved a committee report that fingerprints should be used for the classification of criminal records. Working in the Calcutta Anthropometric Bureau, before it became the Fingerprint Bureau, were Azizul Haque and
Hem Chandra Bose Rai Bahadur Hem Chandra Bose ( bn, হেমচন্দ্র বোস) with Azizul Haque, the two Indian employees of the Calcutta Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital of the India ...
. Haque and Bose were Indian fingerprint experts who have been credited with the primary development of a fingerprint classification system eventually named after their supervisor, Sir Edward Richard Henry. The
Henry Classification System The Henry Classification System is a long-standing method by which fingerprints are sorted by physiological characteristics for one-to-many searching. Developed by Sir Hem Chandra Bose, Qazi Azizul Haque and Edward Henry in the late 19th century ...
, co-devised by Haque and Bose, was accepted in England and Wales when the first United Kingdom Fingerprint Bureau was founded in
Scotland Yard Scotland Yard (officially New Scotland Yard) is a metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' ...

Scotland Yard
, the
Metropolitan Police The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police (and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard), is the territorial police force A territorial police force is a poli ...
headquarters, London, in 1901. Sir Edward Richard Henry subsequently achieved improvements in dactyloscopy. In the United States, Dr. Henry P. DeForrest used fingerprinting in the New York Civil Service in 1902, and by December 1905,
New York City Police Department The New York City Police Department (NYPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, is the primary law enforcement 'Law enforcement'' is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the ...
Deputy Commissioner Joseph A. Faurot, an expert in the system and a fingerprint advocate at Police Headquarters, introduced the fingerprinting of criminals to the United States.


Uhlenhuth test

The
Uhlenhuth testThe Uhlenhuth test, also referred to as the antigen–antibody precipitin test for species, is a test which can determine the species of a blood sample. It was invented by Paul Uhlenhuth in 1901, based on the discovery that the blood of different spe ...
, or the antigen–antibody
precipitin A precipitin is an antibody which can precipitate out of a solution upon antigen binding. Precipitin reaction The precipitin reaction provided the first Quantification (science), quantitative assay for antibody. The precipitin reaction is based upo ...
test for species, was invented by
Paul Uhlenhuth Paul Theodor Uhlenhuth (7 January 1870 in Hanover – 13 December 1957 in Freiburg im Breisgau) was a German bacteriologist and immunologist, and Professor at the University of Strasbourg (1911–1918), at the University of Marburg (1918–1923) ...
in 1901 and could distinguish human
blood Blood is a body fluid Body fluids, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers t ...

blood
from animal blood, based on the discovery that the blood of different species had one or more characteristic proteins. The test represented a major breakthrough and came to have tremendous importance in forensic science. The test was further refined for forensic use by the Swiss chemist Maurice Müller in the 1960s.


DNA

Forensic
DNA analysis Genetic testing, also known as DNA testing, is used to identify changes in DNA sequence or chromosome structure. Genetic testing can also include measuring the results of genetic changes, such as RNA analysis as an output of gene expression, or th ...
was first used in 1984. It was developed by Sir
Alec Jeffreys Sir Alec John Jeffreys, (born 9 January 1950) is a British geneticist known for developing techniques for genetic fingerprinting and DNA profiling which are now used worldwide in forensic science to assist police detective work and to resolv ...

Alec Jeffreys
, who realized that variation in the genetic sequence could be used to identify individuals and to tell individuals apart from one another. The first application of DNA profiles was used by Jefferys in a double murder mystery in the small English town of
Narborough, Leicestershire Narborough is a large village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and coun ...
, in 1985. A 15-year-old school girl by the name of Lynda Mann was raped and murdered in Carlton Hayes psychiatric hospital. The police did not find a suspect but were able to obtain a semen sample. In 1986, Dawn Ashworth, 15 years old, was also raped and strangled in the nearby village of Enderby. Forensic evidence showed that both killers had the same blood type. Richard Buckland became the suspect because he worked at Carlton Hayes psychiatric hospital, had been spotted near Dawn Ashworth's murder scene and knew unreleased details about the body. He later confessed to Dawn's murder but not Lynda's. Jefferys was brought into the case to analyze the semen samples. He concluded that there was no match between the samples and Buckland, who became the first person to be exonerated using DNA. Jefferys confirmed that the DNA profiles were identical for the two murder semen samples. To find the perpetrator, DNA samples from the entire male population, more than 4,000 aged from 17 to 34, of the town were collected. They all were compared to semen samples from the crime. A friend of
Colin Pitchfork Colin Pitchfork (born 23 March 1960) is a British double child-murderer and rapist. He was the first person convicted of rape and murder using DNA profiling DNA profiling (also called DNA fingerprinting) is the process of determining an in ...
was heard saying that he had given his sample to the police claiming to be Colin. Colin Pitchfork was arrested in 1987 and it was found that his DNA profile matched the semen samples from the murder. Because of this case, DNA databases were developed. There is the national (FBI) and international databases as well as the European countries (ENFSI : European Network of Forensic Science Institutes). These searchable databases are used to match crime scene DNA profiles to those already in a database.


Maturation

By the turn of the 20th century, the science of forensics had become largely established in the sphere of criminal investigation. Scientific and surgical investigation was widely employed by the
Metropolitan Police The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police (and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard), is the territorial police force A territorial police force is a poli ...
during their pursuit of the mysterious
Jack the Ripper Jack the Ripper was an unidentified serial killer A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people,A serial killer is most commonly defined as a person who kills three or more people for psychological gratification ...
, who had killed a number of women in the 1880s. This case is a watershed in the application of forensic science. Large teams of policemen conducted house-to-house inquiries throughout Whitechapel. Forensic material was collected and examined. Suspects were identified, traced and either examined more closely or eliminated from the inquiry. Police work follows the same pattern today. Canter, David (1994), ''Criminal Shadows: Inside the Mind of the Serial Killer'', London: HarperCollins, pp. 12–13, Over 2000 people were interviewed, "upwards of 300" people were investigated, and 80 people were detained. The investigation was initially conducted by the
Criminal Investigation Department The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is the branch of a police force to which most plainclothes detectives A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency A law enforcement agency (LEA), in American English ...
(CID), headed by Detective Inspector
Edmund Reid Detective Inspector Edmund John James Reid (21 March 1846 – 5 December 1917) was the head of the Criminal Investigation Department, CID in the Metropolitan Police's H Division at the time of the Whitechapel murders of Jack the Ripper in 188 ...
. Later, Detective Inspectors
Frederick Abberline Frederick George Abberline (8 January 1843 – 10 December 1929) was a British chief inspector Chief inspector (Ch Insp) is a Police ranks of the United Kingdom, rank used in police forces which follow the British police, British model. In coun ...

Frederick Abberline
,
Henry Moore Henry Spencer Moore (30 July 1898 – 31 August 1986) was an English artist. He is best known for his semi- abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art. As well as sculpture, Moore produced m ...
, and Walter Andrews were sent from Central Office at
Scotland Yard Scotland Yard (officially New Scotland Yard) is a metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' ...

Scotland Yard
to assist. Initially, butchers, surgeons and physicians were suspected because of the manner of the mutilations. The alibis of local butchers and slaughterers were investigated, with the result that they were eliminated from the inquiry. Some contemporary figures thought the pattern of the murders indicated that the culprit was a butcher or cattle drover on one of the cattle boats that plied between London and mainland Europe. Whitechapel was close to the
London Docks The London Docks were one of several sets of docks in the historic Port of London. They were constructed in Wapping, downstream from the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counti ...
, and usually such boats docked on Thursday or Friday and departed on Saturday or Sunday. The cattle boats were examined, but the dates of the murders did not coincide with a single boat's movements, and the transfer of a crewman between boats was also ruled out. At the end of October, Robert Anderson asked police surgeon Thomas Bond to give his opinion on the extent of the murderer's surgical skill and knowledge. The opinion offered by Bond on the character of the "Whitechapel murderer" is the earliest surviving offender profile.Canter, pp. 5–6 Bond's assessment was based on his own examination of the most extensively mutilated victim and the
post mortem An autopsy (post-mortem examination, obduction, necropsy, or autopsia cadaverum) is a surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse by dissection Dissection (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language b ...
notes from the four previous canonical murders.Letter from Thomas Bond to Robert Anderson, 1888, HO 144/221/A49301C, quoted in Evans and Skinner, ''The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook'', pp. 360–362 and Rumbelow, pp. 145–147 In his opinion the killer must have been a man of solitary habits, subject to "periodical attacks of homicidal and erotic
mania Mania, also known as manic syndrome, is a mental Mental may refer to: * of or relating to the mind Films * Mental (2012 film), ''Mental'' (2012 film), an Australian comedy-drama * Mental (2016 film), ''Mental'' (2016 film), a Bangladeshi roman ...

mania
", with the character of the mutilations possibly indicating "
satyriasis Hypersexuality is extremely frequent or suddenly increased libido. It is controversial whether it should be included as a clinical diagnosis used by mental healthcare professionals. Nymphomania and satyriasis were terms previously used for th ...
". Bond also stated that "the homicidal impulse may have developed from a revengeful or brooding condition of the mind, or that religious mania may have been the original disease but I do not think either hypothesis is likely". ''Handbook for Coroners, police officials, military policemen'' was written by the
Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationality law * Something associated with the country Austria, for example: ** Austria-Hungary ** Austr ...
criminal jurist
Hans Gross Hans Gustav Adolf Gross or Groß (26 December 1847 – 9 December 1915) was an Austrian criminal jurist and criminologist, the "Founding Father" of criminal profiling. A criminal jurist, Gross made a mark as the creator of the field of criminali ...

Hans Gross
in 1893, and is generally acknowledged as the birth of the field of criminalistics. The work combined in one system fields of knowledge that had not been previously integrated, such as psychology and physical science, and which could be successfully used against crime. Gross adapted some fields to the needs of criminal investigation, such as crime scene photography. He went on to found the Institute of Criminalistics in 1912, as part of the University of Graz' Law School. This Institute was followed by many similar institutes all over the world. In 1909,
Archibald Reiss Rodolphe Archibald Reiss (8 July 1875 – 7 August 1929) was a German-Swiss criminology Criminology (from Latin , "accusation", and Ancient Greek , ''-logia'', from λόγος ''logos'' meaning: "word, reason") is the study of crime and Devian ...

Archibald Reiss
founded the ''Institut de police scientifique'' of the , the first school of forensic science in the world. Dr.
Edmond Locard Dr. Edmond Locard (13 December 1877 – 4 May 1966) was a French criminologist, the pioneer in forensic science who became known as the "Sherlock Holmes of France". He formulated the basic principle of forensic science: "Every contact leaves a ...
, became known as the "
Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes () is a fictional detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes ...

Sherlock Holmes
of
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
". He formulated the basic principle of forensic science: "Every contact leaves a trace", which became known as
Locard's exchange principle In forensic science Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (gen ...
. In 1910, he founded what may have been the first criminal laboratory in the world, after persuading the Police Department of
Lyon Lyon or Lyons (, , ; frp, Liyon, ) is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, ...

Lyon
(France) to give him two attic rooms and two assistants. Symbolic of the newfound prestige of forensics and the use of reasoning in detective work was the popularity of the fictional character
Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes () is a fictional detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes ...

Sherlock Holmes
, written by
Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes in 1887 for ''A Study in Scarlet'', the first of four novels and fifty-six short stories about Hol ...
in the late 19th century. He remains a great inspiration for forensic science, especially for the way his acute study of a crime scene yielded small clues as to the precise sequence of events. He made great use of
trace evidence Trace evidence is created when objects make contact. The material is often transferred by heat or induced by contact friction. The importance of trace evidence in criminal investigations was shown by Dr. Edmond Locard in the early 20th century. S ...
such as shoe and tire impressions, as well as fingerprints,
ballistics Ballistics is the field of mechanics Mechanics (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in South ...
and
handwriting analysis Graphology is the analysis of the physical characteristics and patterns of handwriting with attempt to identify the writer, indicate the psychological state at the time of writing, or evaluate personality characteristics. No scientific evidence ...
, now known as
questioned document examination In forensic science, questioned document examination (QDE) is the examination of document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fiction ...
. Such evidence is used to test theories conceived by the police, for example, or by the investigator himself. All of the techniques advocated by Holmes later became reality, but were generally in their infancy at the time Conan Doyle was writing. In many of his reported cases, Holmes frequently complains of the way the crime scene has been contaminated by others, especially by the police, emphasising the critical importance of maintaining its integrity, a now well-known feature of crime scene examination. He used
analytical chemistry Analytical chemistry studies and uses instruments and methods used to separate, identify, and quantify matter. In practice, separation, identification or quantification may constitute the entire analysis or be combined with another method. Sepa ...
for blood residue analysis as well as
toxicology Toxicology is a scientific discipline Discipline is action ACTION is a bus operator in Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the Federation of Australia, federation of the colonies of Austral ...

toxicology
examination and determination for poisons. He used
ballistics Ballistics is the field of mechanics Mechanics (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in South ...
by measuring bullet and matching them with a suspected murder weapon.


Late 19th – early 20th century figures

Hans Gross applied scientific methods to crime scenes and was responsible for the birth of criminalistics.
Edmond Locard Dr. Edmond Locard (13 December 1877 – 4 May 1966) was a French criminologist, the pioneer in forensic science who became known as the "Sherlock Holmes of France". He formulated the basic principle of forensic science: "Every contact leaves a ...
expanded on Gross' work with Locard's Exchange Principle which stated "whenever two objects come into contact with one another, materials are exchanged between them". This means that every contact by a criminal leaves a trace. Alexander Lacassagne, who taught Locard, produced autopsy standards on actual forensic cases. Alphonse Bertillon was a French criminologist and founder of Anthropometry (scientific study of measurements and proportions of the human body). He used anthropometry for identification, stating that, since each individual is unique, by measuring aspects of physical difference there could be a personal identification system. He created the Bertillon System around 1879, a way of identifying criminals and citizens by measuring 20 parts of the body. In 1884, over 240 repeat offenders were caught using the Bertillon system, but the system was largely superseded by fingerprinting. Frances Glessner Lee, known as "the mother of forensic science", was instrumental in the development of forensic science in the US. She lobbied to have coroners replaced by medical professionals, endowed the Harvard Associates in Police Science, and conducted many seminars to educate homicide investigators. She also created the
Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death are a series of nineteen (twenty were originally constructed) intricately designed dollhouse-style dioramas created by Frances Glessner Lee (1878–1962), a pioneer in forensic science. Glessner Lee used he ...
, intricate crime scene dioramas used to train investigators, which are still in use today.


20th century

Later in the 20th century several British pathologists, Mikey Rochman,
Francis Camps Francis Edward Camps, FRCP, FRCPath (28 June 1905 – 8 July 1972) was a famous English pathologist notable for his work on the cases of serial killer John Christie and suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams. Early life and training Camp ...
,
Sydney Smith Sydney Smith (3 June 1771 – 22 February 1845) was an English wit, writer and Anglican cleric. Early life and education Born in Woodford, London, Woodford, Essex, England, Smith was the son of merchant Robert Smith (1739–1827) and Maria Olier ...
and Keith Simpson pioneered new forensic science methods.
Alec Jeffreys Sir Alec John Jeffreys, (born 9 January 1950) is a British geneticist known for developing techniques for genetic fingerprinting and DNA profiling which are now used worldwide in forensic science to assist police detective work and to resolv ...

Alec Jeffreys
pioneered the use of
DNA profiling DNA profiling (also called DNA fingerprinting) is the process of determining an individual's DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear c ...
in forensic science in 1984. He realized the scope of DNA fingerprinting, which uses variations in the
genetic code The genetic code is the set of rules used by living cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in which a monk or rel ...

genetic code
to identify individuals. The method has since become important in forensic science to assist police detective work, and it has also proved useful in resolving paternity and immigration disputes. DNA fingerprinting was first used as a police forensic test to identify the rapist and killer of two teenagers, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, who were both murdered in
Narborough, Leicestershire Narborough is a large village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and coun ...
, in 1983 and 1986 respectively.
Colin Pitchfork Colin Pitchfork (born 23 March 1960) is a British double child-murderer and rapist. He was the first person convicted of rape and murder using DNA profiling DNA profiling (also called DNA fingerprinting) is the process of determining an in ...
was identified and convicted of murder after samples taken from him matched
semen Semen, also known as seminal fluid, is an organic fluid created to contain spermatozoon, spermatozoa. It is secreted by the gonads (sexual glands) and other sexual organs of male or hermaphrodite, hermaphroditic animals and can fertilization, f ...

semen
samples taken from the two dead girls. Forensic science has been fostered by a number of national and international forensic science learned bodies including the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, (founded 1959), then known as the Forensic Science Society, publisher of '' Science & Justice'';.
American Academy of Forensic Sciences The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is a society for forensic science professionals, and was founded in 1948. The society is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, USA. The AAFS is a multi-disc ...
(founded 1948), publishers of the '' Journal of Forensic Sciences''; the Canadian Society of Forensic Science (founded 1953), publishers of the '' Journal of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science''; the British Academy of Forensic Sciences (founded 1960), publishers of ''
Medicine, Science and the Law ''Medicine, Science and the Law'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed medical journal covering forensic medicine and forensic science, science. It was established in 1960 and was originally published by Sweet & Maxwell; it is now published by SAGE Publica ...
'', the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences (founded 1967), publishers of the ''Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences'', and the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (founded 1995).


21st century

In the past decade, documenting forensics scenes has become more efficient. Forensic scientists have started using laser scanners, drones and photogrammetry to obtain 3D point clouds of accidents or crime scenes. Reconstruction of an accident scene on a highway using drones involves data acquisition time of only 10–20 minutes and can be performed without shutting down traffic. The results are not just accurate, in centimeters, for measurement to be presented in court but also easy to digitally preserve in the long term. Now, in the 21st century, much of forensic science's future is up for discussion. The
National Institute of Standards and Technology The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abiotic component, non-living systems, in contrast to life science. It in turn has many branches, e ...
(NIST) has offered the community some guidelines upon which the science should build. NIST recommends that forensic science rethinks its system. If local laboratories abide by these guidelines, 21st century forensics will be dramatically different from what it has been up till now. One of the more recent additions by NIST is a document called NISTIR-7941, titled "Forensic Science Laboratories: Handbook for Facility Planning, Design, Construction, and Relocation". The handbook provides a clear blueprint for approaching Forensic Science. The details even include what type of staff should be hired for certain positions.


Subdivisions

* Art forensics concerns the art authentication cases to help research the work's authenticity. Art authentication methods are used to detect and identify forgery, faking and copying of art works, e.g. paintings. *
Bloodstain pattern analysis Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA) is the study and analysis of bloodstains at a known or suspected crime scene with the purpose of drawing conclusions about the nature, timing and other details of the crime. The patterns of the blood stain can hel ...
is the scientific examination of blood spatter patterns found at a crime scene to reconstruct the events of the crime. * Comparative forensics is the application of visual comparison techniques to verify similarity of physical evidence. This includes fingerprint analysis, toolmark analysis, and ballistic analysis. * Computational forensics concerns the development of algorithms and software to assist forensic examination. * Crime lab, Criminalistics is the application of various sciences to answer questions relating to examination and comparison of forensic genetics, biological evidence,
trace evidence Trace evidence is created when objects make contact. The material is often transferred by heat or induced by contact friction. The importance of trace evidence in criminal investigations was shown by Dr. Edmond Locard in the early 20th century. S ...
, impression evidence (such as fingerprints, Forensic footwear evidence, footwear impressions, and Forensic tire tread evidence, tire tracks), controlled substances,
ballistics Ballistics is the field of mechanics Mechanics (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in South ...
, firearm and toolmark examination, and other evidence in criminal investigations. In typical circumstances, evidence is processed in a crime lab. * Digital forensics is the application of proven scientific methods and techniques in order to recover data from electronic / digital media. Digital Forensic specialists work in the field as well as in the lab. * Ear print analysis is used as a means of forensic identification intended as an identification tool similar to fingerprinting. An earprint is a two-dimensional reproduction of the parts of the outer ear that have touched a specific surface (most commonly the helix, antihelix, tragus and antitragus). * Election forensics is the use of statistics to determine if election results are normal or abnormal. And also to look into and detect the cases concerning gerrymandering. * Forensic accounting is the study and interpretation of accounting evidence, financial statement namely: Balance sheet, Income statement, Cash flow statement. * Forensic aerial photography is the study and interpretation of aerial photographic evidence. * Forensic anthropology is the application of physical anthropology in a legal setting, usually for the recovery and identification of skeletonization (forensics), skeletonized human remains. * Forensic archaeology is the application of a combination of archaeological techniques and forensic science, typically in law enforcement. * Forensic astronomy uses methods from astronomy to determine past celestial constellations for forensic purposes. * Forensic botany is the study of plant life in order to gain information regarding possible crimes. * Forensic chemistry is the study of detection and identification of illicit drugs, accelerants used in arson cases, explosive and gunshot residue. * Fingerprint, Forensic dactyloscopy is the study of fingerprints. * Forensic document examination or
questioned document examination In forensic science, questioned document examination (QDE) is the examination of document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fiction ...
answers questions about a disputed document using a variety of scientific processes and methods. Many examinations involve a comparison of the questioned document, or components of the document, with a set of known standards. The most common type of examination involves handwriting, whereby the examiner tries to address concerns about potential authorship. * DNA profiling, Forensic DNA analysis takes advantage of the uniqueness of an individual's DNA to answer forensic questions such as DNA paternity testing, paternity/maternity testing and placing a suspect at a crime scene, e.g. in a rape investigation. * Forensic engineering is the scientific examination and analysis of structures and products relating to their failure or cause of damage. * Forensic entomology deals with the examination of insects in, on and around human remains to assist in determination of time or location of death. It is also possible to determine if the body was moved after death using entomology. * Forensic geology deals with
trace evidence Trace evidence is created when objects make contact. The material is often transferred by heat or induced by contact friction. The importance of trace evidence in criminal investigations was shown by Dr. Edmond Locard in the early 20th century. S ...
in the form of soils, minerals and petroleum. * Forensic geomorphology is the study of the ground surface to look for potential location(s) of buried object(s). * Forensic geophysics is the application of geophysical techniques such as radar for detecting objects hidden underground or underwater. * Forensic intelligence process starts with the collection of data and ends with the integration of results within into the analysis of crimes under investigation. * Forensic Interviews are conducted using the science of professionally using expertise to conduct a variety of investigative interviews with victims, witnesses, suspects or other sources to determine the facts regarding suspicions, allegations or specific incidents in either public or private sector settings. * Forensic histopathology is the application of histological techniques and examination to forensic pathology practice. * Forensic limnology is the analysis of evidence collected from crime scenes in or around fresh-water sources. Examination of biological organisms, in particular diatoms, can be useful in connecting suspects with victims. * Forensic linguistics deals with issues in the legal system that requires linguistic expertise. * Forensic meteorology is a site-specific analysis of past weather conditions for a point of loss. * Forensic microbiology is the study of the necrobiome. * Forensic nursing is the application of Nursing sciences to abusive crimes, like child abuse, or sexual abuse. Categorization of wounds and traumas, collection of bodily fluids and emotional support are some of the duties of forensic nurses. * Forensic odontology is the study of the uniqueness of dentition, better known as the study of teeth. * Forensic optometry is the study of glasses and other eyewear relating to crime scenes and criminal investigations. * Forensic pathology is a field in which the principles of
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
and
pathology Pathology is the study of the causesCauses, or causality, is the relationship between one event and another. It may also refer to: * Causes (band), an indie band based in the Netherlands * Causes (company), an online company See also * Cau ...
are applied to determine a cause of death or injury in the context of a legal inquiry. * Forensic podiatry is an application of the study of feet
footprint 's bootprint on the Moon The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. At about one-quarter the diameter of Earth (comparable to the width of Australia (continent), Australia), it is the largest natural satellite in the Solar System relati ...

footprint
or footwear and their traces to analyze scene of crime and to establish personal identity in forensic examinations. * Forensic psychiatry is a specialized branch of psychiatry as applied to and based on scientific criminology. * Forensic psychology is the study of the mind of an individual, using forensic methods. Usually it determines the circumstances behind a criminal's behavior. * Forensic seismology is the study of techniques to distinguish the seismic signals generated by underground nuclear explosions from those generated by earthquakes. * Forensic serology is the study of the body fluids. * Forensic social work is the specialist study of social work theories and their applications to a clinical, criminal justice or psychiatric setting. Practitioners of forensic social work connected with the criminal justice system are often termed Social Supervisors, whilst the remaining use the interchangeable titles forensic social worker, approved mental health professional or forensic practitioner and they conduct specialist assessments of risk, care planning and act as an officer of the court. * Forensic toxicology is the study of the effect of Hard and soft drugs, drugs and poisons on/in the human body. * Forensic video analysis is the scientific examination, comparison and evaluation of video in legal matters. * Mobile device forensics is the scientific examination and evaluation of evidence found in mobile phones, e.g. Call History and Deleted SMS, and includes SIM Card Forensics. * Trace evidence analysis is the analysis and comparison of trace evidence including glass, paint, fibres and hair (e.g., using micro-spectrophotometry). * Wildlife forensic science applies a range of scientific disciplines to legal cases involving non-human biological evidence, to solve crimes such as poaching, animal abuse, and trade in endangered species.


Questionable techniques

Some forensic techniques, believed to be scientifically sound at the time they were used, have turned out later to have much less scientific merit or none. Some such techniques include: * Comparative bullet-lead analysis was used by the FBI for over four decades, starting with the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963. The theory was that each batch of ammunition possessed a chemical makeup so distinct that a bullet could be traced back to a particular batch or even a specific box. Internal studies and an outside study by the United States National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences found that the technique was unreliable due to improper interpretation, and the FBI abandoned the test in 2005. * Forensic dentistry has come under fire: in at least three cases bite-mark evidence has been used to convict people of murder who were later freed by DNA evidence. A 1999 study by a member of the American Board of Forensic Odontology found a 63 percent rate of false identifications and is commonly referenced within online news stories and conspiracy websites. The study was based on an informal workshop during an ABFO meeting, which many members did not consider a valid scientific setting. * By the late 2000s, scientists were able to show that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, thus "undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases".Polloack, Andrew (17 August 2009)
" DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show"
. ''The New York Times''.


Litigation science

Litigation science describes analysis or data developed or produced ''expressly'' for use in a trial versus those produced in the course of independent research. This distinction was made by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals when evaluating the admissibility of experts. This uses demonstrative evidence, which is evidence created in preparation of trial by Lawyer, attorneys or paralegals.


Demographics

In the United States there are over 17,200 forensic science technicians, as of 2019.


Media impact

Real-life crime scene investigators and forensic scientists warn that popular television shows do not give a realistic picture of the work, often wildly distorting its nature, and exaggerating the ease, speed, effectiveness, drama, glamour, influence and comfort level of their jobs—which they describe as far more mundane, tedious and boring.Flavin, Brianna (quoting Brian McKenna, retired police Lieutenant and Crime Scene Investigator)
"How Accurate are Crime Shows on TV? Debunking 7 Common Myths,"
7 February 2017, ''Blog,'' School of Justice Studies, Rasmussen College, Inc., Oak Brook, IL, retrieved 31 May 2017
Stanton, Dawn (quoting Robert Shaler, Ph.D., prof. of biochemistry and molecular biology, dir., forensic science program, Pennsylvania State University, Penn. State Univ.. formerly at Pittsburgh Crime Laboratory, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, and Lifecodes Corp (nation's first forensic DNA laboratory))
"Probing Question: Is forensic science on TV accurate?,"
10 November 2009, Eberly College of Science, Pennsylvania State University, Penn. State Univ., retrieved 31 May 2017
Some claim these modern TV shows have changed individuals' expectations of forensic science, sometimes unrealistically—an influence termed the "CSI effect".Alldredge, Joh
"The 'CSI Effect' and Its Potential Impact on Juror Decisions,"
(2015) ''Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science'': Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 6., retrieved 31 May 2017
Further, research has suggested that public misperceptions about criminal forensics can create, in the mind of a juror, unrealistic expectations of forensic evidence—which they expect to see before convicting—implicitly biasing the juror towards the defendant. Citing the "CSI Effect," at least one researcher has suggested screening jurors for their level of influence from such TV programs


Controversies

Questions about certain areas of forensic science, such as fingerprint evidence and the assumptions behind these disciplines have been brought to light in some publications including the ''New York Post''. The article stated that "No one has proved even the basic assumption: That everyone's fingerprint is unique." The article also stated that "Now such assumptions are being questioned—and with it may come a radical change in how forensic science is used by police departments and prosecutors." Law professor Jessica Gabel said on NOVA that forensic science "lacks the rigors, the standards, the quality controls and procedures that we find, usually, in science." In the US, on 25 June 2009, the Supreme Court issued a 5-to-4 decision in ''Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts'' stating that crime laboratory reports may not be used against criminal defendants at trial unless the analysts responsible for creating them give testimony and subject themselves to cross-examination. The Supreme Court cited the National Academies of Sciences report ''Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States'' in their decision. Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia referred to the United States National Research Council, National Research Council report in his assertion that "Forensic evidence is not uniquely immune from the risk of manipulation." In the US, another area of forensic science that has come under question in recent years is the lack of laws requiring the accreditation of forensic labs. Some states require accreditation, but some states do not. Because of this, many labs have been caught performing very poor work resulting in false convictions or acquittals. For example, it was discovered after an audit of the Houston Police Department in 2002 that the lab had fabricated evidence which led George Rodriguez being convicted of raping a fourteen-year-old girl. The former director of the lab, when asked, said that the total number of cases that could have been contaminated by improper work could be in the range of 5,000 to 10,000. This could have been avoided if the lab had been accredited by organizations such as ASCLD/Lab, which require crime labs to undergo rigorous assessments to show that they are able to perform multiple tests accurately. Once they become accredited, they are periodically re-evaluated to ensure that the lab is still functioning at its best. Periodic evaluations of a lab's performance by an independent organization will help to prevent scandals from occurring in forensic science laboratories. Although forensic science has greatly enhanced the investigator's ability to solve crimes, it has limitations and must be scrutinized in and out of the courtroom to avoid the occurrence of wrongful convictions. Th
Innocence Project
data base of DNA exonerations shows that many wrongful convictions contained forensic science errors. As indicated by the National Academy of Sciences report cited ''Strengthening Forensic Sciences in the United States'', part of the problem is that many traditional forensic sciences have never been empirically validated; and part of the problem is that all examiners are subject to forensic confirmation biases and should be shielded from contextual information not relevant to the judgment they make. Many studies have discovered a difference in rape-related injuries reporting based on race, with white victims reporting a higher frequency of injuries than black victims.Baker RB, Fargo JD, Shambley-Ebron D, Sommers MS. A source of healthcare disparity: Race, skin color, and injuries after rape among adolescents and young adults. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 2010; 6: 144-150 However, since current forensic examination techniques may not be sensitive to all injuries across a range of skin colors, more research needs to be conducted to understand if this trend is due to skin confounding healthcare providers when examining injuries or if darker skin extends a protective element. In clinical practice, for patients with darker skin, one study recommends that attention must be paid to the thighs, labia majora, posterior fourchette and Fossa of vestibule of vagina, fossa navicularis, so that no rape-related injuries are missed upon close examination.


Forensic science and humanitarian work

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) uses forensic science for humanitarian purposes to clarify the fate of missing persons after armed conflict, disasters or migration, and is one of the services related to Restoring Family Links and Missing Persons. Knowing what has happened to a missing relative can often make it easier to proceed with the grieving process and move on with life for families of missing persons. Forensic science is used by various other organizations to clarify the fate and whereabouts of persons who have gone missing. Examples include the NGO Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, working to clarify the fate of people who disappeared during the period of the 1976–1983 military dictatorship. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) uses forensic science to find missing persons, for example after the conflicts in the Balkans. Recognising the role of forensic science for humanitarian purposes, as well as the importance of forensic investigations in fulfilling the state's responsibilities to investigate human rights violations, a group of experts in the late-1980s devised a UN Manual on the Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, which became known as the Minnesota Protocol. This document was revised and re-published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2016.


See also

*
American Academy of Forensic Sciences The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is a society for forensic science professionals, and was founded in 1948. The society is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, USA. The AAFS is a multi-disc ...
*
Archibald Reiss Rodolphe Archibald Reiss (8 July 1875 – 7 August 1929) was a German-Swiss criminology Criminology (from Latin , "accusation", and Ancient Greek , ''-logia'', from λόγος ''logos'' meaning: "word, reason") is the study of crime and Devian ...

Archibald Reiss
, founder of the first forensic school in the world at the University of Lausanne (1909) * Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners * Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences * Ballistic fingerprinting *
Bloodstain pattern analysis Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA) is the study and analysis of bloodstains at a known or suspected crime scene with the purpose of drawing conclusions about the nature, timing and other details of the crime. The patterns of the blood stain can hel ...
* Canadian Identification Society * Canadian Society of Forensic Science * Computer forensics * Crime * Crime science * Computational forensics * Diplomatics (Forensic paleography) *
Edmond Locard Dr. Edmond Locard (13 December 1877 – 4 May 1966) was a French criminologist, the pioneer in forensic science who became known as the "Sherlock Holmes of France". He formulated the basic principle of forensic science: "Every contact leaves a ...
, founder of the first forensic laboratory in the world (1910) * Epigenetics in forensic science * Evidence packaging * Fingerprint * Footprints * Forensic accounting * Forensic animation * Forensic anthropology * Forensic biology * Forensic chemistry * Forensic economics * Forensic engineering * Forensic entomology * Forensic facial reconstruction * DNA profiling, Forensic genetics * Forensic identification * Forensic linguistics * Forensic materials engineering * Forensic photography * Forensic polymer engineering * Forensic profiling * Forensic psychiatry * Forensic psychology * Forensic seismology * Forensic social work * Forensic video analysis * Glove prints * History of forensic photography * International Association for Identification * Marine forensics * Minnesota Protocol * Offender profiling * Outline of forensic science * Questioned document examination * Retrospective diagnosis * RSID (forensic), RSID * Scenes of Crime Officer *
Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes () is a fictional detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes ...

Sherlock Holmes
* Skid mark * Trace evidence * Profiling (information science) * University of Florida forensic science distance education program * Wildlife Forensic Science * Wilfrid Derome, founder of the first forensic laboratory in North America (1914)


References


Bibliography


Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
* Forensic Magazine
Forensicmag.com


an open access journal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.
Forensic sciences international
– An international journal dedicated to the applications of medicine and science in the administration of justice – – Elsevier
International Journal of Digital Crime and Forensics

"The Real CSI"
PBS Frontline (U.S. TV series), Frontline documentary, 17 April 2012. * Baden, Michael; Roach, Marion. ''Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers'', Simon & Schuster, 2001. . * Bartos, Leah
"No Forensic Background? No Problem"
''ProPublica'', 17 April 2012. * Guatelli-Steinberg, Debbie; Mitchell, John C
Structure Magazine no. 40, "RepliSet: High Resolution Impressions of the Teeth of Human Ancestors"
* * Holt, Cynthia
''Guide to Information Sources in the Forensic Sciences''
Libraries Unlimited, 2006. . * Jamieson, Allan; Moenssens, Andre (eds).

John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2009.
Online version
* Kind, Stuart; Overman, Michael. ''Science Against Crime'' Doubleday, 1972. . * Lewis, Peter Rhys; Gagg Colin; Reynolds, Ken. ''Forensic Materials Engineering: Case Studies'' CRC Press, 2004. * Nickell, Joe; Fischer, John F. ''Crime Science: Methods of Forensic Detection'', University Press of Kentucky, 1999. . * Owen, D. (2000). ''Hidden Evidence: The Story of Forensic Science and how it Helped to Solve 40 of the World's Toughest Crimes'' Quintet Publishing, London. . * Quinche, Nicolas, and Margot, Pierre, "Coulier, Paul-Jean (1824–1890): A precursor in the history of fingermark detection and their potential use for identifying their source (1863)", ''Journal of forensic identification'' (Californie), 60 (2), March–April 2010, pp. 129–134. * Silverman, Mike; Thompson, Tony. ''Written in Blood: A History of Forensic Science''. 2014. * *


External links

*
Forensic educational resources
{{Authority control Forensic science, Applied sciences Criminology Heuristics Medical aspects of death Chromatography