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In modern use, the term forensics in the place of forensic science can be considered correct, as the term forensic is effectively a synonym 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. The ancient world lacked standardized forensic practices, which aided criminals in escaping punishment.

Criminal investigations and trials heavily relied on forced confessions and witness testimony. However, ancient sources do contain several accounts of techniques that foreshadow concepts in forensic science that were developed centuries later.

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Song Ci ruled regulation about autopsy report for court, [8] how to protect the evidence in the examining process, the reason why workers must show examination to public impartiality. 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 everyone to bring his sickle to one location.

He realized it was a sickle by testing various blades on an animal carcass and comparing the wound. Flies, attracted by the smell of blood, eventually gathered on a single sickle. In light of this, the murderer confessed.


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For example, the book also described how to distinguish between a drowning water in the lungs and strangulation broken neck cartilage , along with other evidence from examining corpses on determining if a death was caused by murder, suicide or an 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.

In ancient India , [14] some suspects were made to fill their mouths with dried rice and spit it back out. Similarly, in ancient China , those accused of a crime would have rice powder placed in their mouths. It is thought that these tests had some validity [ citation needed ] 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.

In 16th-century Europe, medical practitioners in army and university settings began to gather information on the cause and manner of death. Two examples of English forensic science in individual legal proceedings demonstrate the increasing use of logic and procedure in criminal investigations at the time. In , in Lancaster , John Toms was tried and convicted for murdering Edward Culshaw with a 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 , 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 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. A method for detecting arsenious oxide, simple arsenic , in corpses was devised in by the Swedish chemist, Carl Wilhelm Scheele.

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 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 and hydrochloric acid. While he was able to detect arsenic as yellow 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.

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He combined a sample containing arsenic with sulfuric acid and arsenic-free zinc , resulting in 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. He first described this test in The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal in Henry Goddard at Scotland Yard pioneered the use of bullet comparison in 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.

The French police officer Alphonse Bertillon was the first to apply the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement, thereby creating an identification system based on physical measurements. Before that time, criminals could only be identified by name or photograph. Bertillon created many other forensics techniques, including forensic document examination , the use of galvanoplastic compounds to preserve footprints , ballistics , and the dynamometer , used to determine the degree of force used in breaking and entering. Although his central methods were soon to be supplanted by fingerprinting , "his other contributions like the mug shot and the systematization of crime-scene photography remain in place to this day.

Sir William Herschel was one of the first to advocate the use of fingerprinting in the identification of criminal suspects. While working for the Indian Civil Service , he began to use thumbprints on documents as a security measure to prevent the then-rampant repudiation of signatures in In 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 , Dr. Henry Faulds , a Scottish surgeon in a Tokyo hospital, published his first paper on the subject in the scientific journal Nature , 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. Faulds wrote to 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 , 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 , an Argentine chief police officer, created the first method of recording the fingerprints of individuals on file. In , after studying Galton's pattern types, Vucetich set up the world's first fingerprint bureau. In that same year, Francisca Rojas of 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 , India, in , after the Council of the Governor General approved a committee report that fingerprints should be used for the classification of criminal records. 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. Sir Edward Richard Henry subsequently achieved improvements in dactyloscopy. In the United States, Dr. Henry P.

Faurot, an expert in the Bertillon system and a fingerprint advocate at Police Headquarters, introduced the fingerprinting of criminals to the United States. The Uhlenhuth test , or the antigen—antibody precipitin test for species, was invented by Paul Uhlenhuth in and could distinguish human 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.


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Forensic DNA analysis was first used in It was developed by Sir Alec Jeffreys , who realized that variation in the genetic code 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 , in A 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 , 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, aged from 17 to 34, of the town were collected.

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They all were compared to semen samples from the crime. A friend of Colin Pitchfork was heard saying that he had given his sample to the police claiming to be Colin. Colin Pitchfork was arrested in and it was found that his DNA profile matched the semen samples from the murder. Because of this case, DNA databases were developed. These searchable databases are used to match crime scene DNA profiles to those already in a database.

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 during their pursuit of the mysterious Jack the Ripper , who had killed a number of prostitutes in the s. 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. 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. Whitechapel was close to the London Docks , [46] and usually such boats docked on Thursday or Friday and departed on Saturday or Sunday.

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. Handbook for Coroners, police officials, military policemen was written by the Austrian criminal jurist Hans Gross in , 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. This Institute was followed by many similar institutes all over the world. Edmond Locard , became known as the " Sherlock Holmes of France ".

He formulated the basic principle of forensic science: "Every contact leaves a trace", which became known as Locard's exchange principle. In , he founded what may have been the first criminal laboratory in the world, after persuading the Police Department of Lyon France to give him two attic rooms and two assistants. Symbolic of the new found prestige of forensics and the use of reasoning in detective work was the popularity of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes , written by Arthur Conan Doyle 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 such as shoe and tire impressions, as well as fingerprints, ballistics and handwriting analysis , now known as questioned document examination. 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 for blood residue analysis as well as toxicology examination and determination for poisons. He used ballistics by measuring bullet calibres and matching them with a suspected murder weapon. Hans Gross applied scientific methods to crime scenes and was responsible for the birth of criminalistics. Edmund Locard 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".

Success in this field requires experience, creative thinking, logic, and the correct application of the science and the scientific method. Emphasizing the necessary thought processes for applying science to the investigation, this text covers:. The final section examines fire scenes, quality assurance issues, and methods for collecting and preserving various evidence types not covered in other chapters.

The delicate balance among logic, science, and investigative activity must be understood in order to successfully work a crime scene. With computer and Internet usage only increasing, and subsequent attacks increasing as well, digital forensics has become a valuable tool in modern crime solving. Forensic science is used for helping investigators solve cases. These cases can be either civil or criminal in nature. For criminal justice, forensic science gives invaluable, unbiased information from crime scenes. Several sciences can be applied for different cases, including biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and computer science.

Forensic science can be used for identifying DNA from samples collected from the scene of a crime. Sources of DNA might include hair, sweat, tissue, vomit, feces, fingernail clippings or scrapings, saliva and other body fluids. Even just a few cells can provide a DNA profile that could be used to identify or exonerate suspects in a crime. This type of evidence is called biological evidence.

All evidence from a crime scene must be carefully preserved and stored. This is even more important for DNA, which can degrade if exposed to sunlight or if it is not kept cold, and could be easily contaminated if not stored properly. DNA can also be used to connect victims to any relatives.

Forensic science is also used for determining whether illegal or prescription drugs were related to a crime. Forensic scientists help determine the type of substance found at a crime scene. Forensic science helps determine methods, weapons, materials and other useful information to help solve crimes or legal disputes. Forensic analysis techniques to solve crimes consist of several steps to ensure any evidence collected from a crime scene is preserved and protected.

One important forensic technique is to protect a crime scene. Taking great care to prevent any contamination of a crime scene is absolutely essential.

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Investigators therefore should not eat, smoke or litter around a crime scene; any of these activities could ruin extremely important physical evidence. This is especially true for any biological evidence as DNA from biological samples is easily contaminated. Even recording whether the location of a crime is dry or wet matters for forensic analysis. Preserving the chain of custody at the scene of a crime is another forensics technique. Everything must be documented from the crime scene, including who was present and who held any evidence. Recording data is also a crucial type of forensic analysis technique used to solve crimes.

Using impression and pattern evidence is a powerful forensic technique that aids in determining several crime scene potentialities.

Crime Scene Forensics: A Scientific Method Approach

By using impression evidence, forensic scientists can determine the type of weapon that may have been used in a crime. Impression evidence refers to any impression that may be made on evidence, such as imprints on a used bullet. Pattern evidence gives data about something inside an impression. A good example of this would be a footprint that could lead to discovering what kind of shoe a suspect might have worn. Fingerprints can also be examined as a type of impression evidence. These kinds of evidence require highly specific measurements for proper analysis. Trace evidence is another type of evidence used in forensic analysis techniques.

Trace evidence refers to any items that can give information about the location of a crime scene, for a victim or a suspect. Trace evidence can be gathered from clothing fibers, residues, soil, hair and any other substance that might link suspects and victims. Forensic scientists must use stringent scientific methods in their forensic analysis techniques for cases.