Evidence of fingerprints
in early paintings & rock carvings mady by prehistoric humans.
Pre-historic picture writing of a hand with ridge patterns is discovered in Nova Scotia.
In ancient Babylon, fingerprints are used on clay tablets for business transactions.
In ancient China, thumb prints
are found on clay seals.
, an ancient Greek physician, observes that his patients'
increase when they tell him lies. This is supposed to be the first lie detection test
Ancient Roman physician ANTISTIUS
examines the dead body of Julius CAESAR
after his assassination and finds that there are 23 stab wounds
The only one wound that was fatal, was on the chest.
is first produced commercially as a result of refining ore in iron
and lead mining.
It will become the poison of choice for many over the succeeding centuries - especially Black Widows
, often called "inheritance powder
, an attorney in the Roman courts, shows that bloody palm prints
are meant to frame a blind man of his mother´s murder.
The Chinese book Hsi Duan Yu
(the Washing away of Wrong), describes how to distinguish drowning
, the first recorded application of medical knowledge
to the solution of crime
.The book becomes an official text for coroners
The great Italian surgeon Hugh of LUCCA
, famous for his anticipation of the antiseptic treatment of wounds, takes an oath as medicolegal expert of the city of Bologna
Bartolomeo da VARIGNANA
performs a medicolegal autopsy in a case of suspected murder of a nobleman called AZZOLINO
Constitutio Bambergensis Criminalis
appears in the diocese of the Bishop of Bamberg
. This book emphasizes the usefulness of physicians in legal cases involving infanticide
and bodily injury
Certain criminal laws
are issued by the Elector of Brandenburg.
Constitutio Criminalis Carolina
, also known as The Criminal Jurisdiction of Emperor Charles V. and the Holy Roman Empire
, issued by Charles V., for all lands included within his mighty empire. This Penal Code
is based on Constitutio Bambergensis Criminalis
, but far more extensive.
(1509-1590), the great French surgeon publishes "Reports in Court
", widely regarded as the first more sytematic treatise on legal medicine.
The first treatise on systematic document examination
is published by Francois DEMELLE.
Sir Thomas BROWNE
(1605-1682), an English physician, biologist, philosopher, and historian, for many a pioneering forensic archaeologist
, discovers adipocere
. In his book "HYDRIO-TAPHIA, Urne-Burial
" he publishes scientific reference to the fatty, waxy, soap-like substance derived from decayed human corpses buried in moist, air-free places.
, a professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna
, notes in his treaties; ridges, spirals and loops in fingerprints. He makes no mention of their value as a tool for individual identification.
A layer of skin is named after him; "Malpighi layer
", which is approximately 1.8mm thick.
, a 31 year old spinster tried at Oxford
for murdering her father with Arsenic. Found guilty and hanged.
Karl Wilhelm SCHEELE
(1742-1786) discovers that he could change arsenious oxide
to arsenious acid
, which in contact with zinc produces arsine. This discovery later plays a great part in the forensic detection of arsenic
In Lancaster UK, John Toms
is convicted of murder on the basis of the torn edge of a wad of newspaper in a pistol matching a remaining piece in his pocket. This was one of the first known documented uses of physical matching
Antoine François FOURCROY
(1755-1809), French chemist, while examining disinterred bodies from Cimitiére des Innocence (Cemetry of Innocent) in Paris describes adipocere.
Later, Antoine François FOURCROY and Michel Augustin THOURET
make the crucial finding that adipocere is chemically similar to soap,
In Lancaster UK, John Toms
is convicted of murder on the basis of the torn edge of a wad of newspaper in a pistol matching a remaining piece in his pocket. This was one of the first known documented uses of physical matching
, an English naturalist, uses engravings of his own fingerprints
to identify books he published.
Eugene Francois VIDOCQ , in return for a suspension of arrest and a jail sentence, makes a deal with the police to establish the first detective force, the Sureté of Paris.
Visit the Website of the Vidocq Society!
The first recorded use of question document analysis
occurrs in Germany. A chemical test for a particular ink dye is applied to a document known as the "Koenigin Handschrift".
Mathieu Bonaventure ORFILA
(1787-1853), professor of medicinal and forensic chemistry at Univ. of Paris
, publishes Traite des Poisons
. Considered the father of modern toxicology. Significant contributions to development of tests for the presence of blood in a forensic context. Credited as the first to attempt the use of a microscope in the assessment of blood and semen stains.
first describes senile ecchymoses
when he notes dark purple blotches and determines that they are due to the extravasation of blood into the dermal tissue.
John Evangelist PURKINJI
, a professor of anatomy at the University of Breslau
, publishes his thesis discussing 9 fingerprint patterns, but he too makes no mention of the value of fingerprints for personal identification.
(1768-1851) invents the polarizing light microscope, better known as Nicol Prism
Sir Robert CHRISTISON
(1797-1882) gives evidence in the trial of William BURKE
Sir Robert CHRISTISON
(1797-1882), Professor of Forensic Medicine at Edinburgh
publishes "Treatise on Poisons
", which for many years is regarded as the standard work on toxicology in the English language.
(1792-1880) first describes "pink teeth". Presumes, that they are pathognomonic of hanging
from bitter almonds
Lambert Adolphe Jacques QUÈTELET
, a Belgian statistician, provides the foundation for BERTILLON
’s work by stating his belief that no two human bodies were exactly alike.
Erhard Friedrich LEUCHS
describes the diastatic action of salivary ptyalin (amylase) on starch.
, one of Scotland Yard
's original Bow Street Runners, first uses bullet comparison
to catch a murderer. His comparison is based on a visible flaw in the bullet which was traced back to a mold.
English chemist James MARSH
(1794-1846) developes a test for the presence of arsenic in tissues. The "Marsh Test
" is very sensitive, detecting as little as 0.02 mg As.
(1812-1852) publishes the first reliable procedures for the microscopic detection of sperm. He also notes the different microscopic characteristics of various different substrate fabrics.
was conferred doctor of medicine in 1836, was a pupil of Charles-Prosper Ollivier d'ANGERS
(1796-1845), and after the death of d'ANGERS
took over a large part of his forensic practice.
Dr. John DAVY
(1790-1868) recounts experiments with dead soldiers
, using a mercury thermometer. One of the first attempts to determine time since death from fall in body temperature.
Mathieu Bonaventure ORFILA
(1787-1853), meantime Dean of the Paris medical faculty is summoned by the court in the LAFARGE
case. He applies the Marsh Test
correctly and finds arsenic in the corpse.
is sentenced to life imprisonment. After serving 10 years she is released by Napoleon III in 1850 and dies 1851, still declaring her innocence.
, on a business trip in Paris, falls ill after eating a cake sent to him by his wife. Back home, he dies on January 13, 1840. His young wife Marie, widow a second time already is arrested after arsenic is found in her husband´s stomach. Yet the Marsh Test
proved negative. An exhumation was order...
Edgar Allan POE
publishes "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", the first fictional detective story, starting the symbiotic interplay between the development of genuine Forensic Science and the development of the fictional detective or criminalist..
Britain passes the Arsenic Act
, in an attempt to control the availability of arsenic, wich is being commonly used
Jean Servais STAS
, a chemistry professor from Brussels
, and student of ORFILA
, is the first successfully to identify vegetable poisons in body tissue.
In a murder trial in 1850, the male victim shows clear chemical burns in his mouth, tongue, and throat. Jean Servois STAS
searches for three months for the agent, and eventually manages to isolate nicotine from the body tissues. Using ether as a solvent, which he then evaporates to isolate the drug, he finds the potent drug. It was, in fact, the murder weapon. The man's killer had extracted it from tobacco and force-fed it to the victim. With STAS's
testimony, the killer is convicted.
Ludwik Karol TEICHMANN
(1823-1895), Polish anatomist, attended medical school in Göttingen
, Germany, and after graduation remained there as prosector of anatomy. In an 1853 paper on the crystallization of certain organic compounds of the blood, he describes the preparation of microscopic crystals of hemin
. The simple, specific test developed by TEICHMANN
for the presence of blood in suspect stains on clothes and other items became widely used in forensic medicine.
An English physician, Richard Leach MADDOX
(1816-1902) , developes dry plate photography
, eclipsing M. DAGUERRE
’s wet plate on tin method. This makes practical the photographing of inmates for prison records.
Ambroise August TARDIEU
(1818-1879) first draws attention to petechial hemorrhages
occurring in asphyxial deaths
. Although proved wrong by modern research, this belief is so tenacious, that most forensic pathologists still find it difficult to jettison.
Sir William HERSHEL
, Chief Administrative Office, Bengal India, first uses fingerprints on native contracts.
The Dutch scientist J. (Izaak) Van DEEN
develops a presumptive test for blood
, a West Indian shrub.
The German scientist Christian Friedrich SCHÖNBEIN
first discovers the ability of hemoglobin to oxidize hydrogen peroxide making it foam. This results in first presumptive test for blood
write a classic paper on determination of time since death from fall in body temperature. Introducing many of the current concepts such as the initial temperature plateau, the core temperature, heat gradient and the effect of insulation.
Dr. Henry FAULDS
, British Surgeon-Superintendent of Tsukiji Hospital in Tokyo, takes up the study of "skin-furrows" after noticing finger marks on specimens of "prehistoric"pottery. A learned and industrious man, Dr. FAULDS not only recognizes the importance of fingerprints as a means of individualization, but devises a method of classification as well.
, microscopist to U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that markings of the palms of the hands and the tips of the fingers could be used for identification in criminal cases
. Although reported in the American Journal of Microscopy
and Popular Science
and Scientific American
, the idea is apparently never pursued from this source.
, a German pathologist, is one of the first to both study hair and recognize its limitations.
applies a mechanical device to measure changes in blood volume
to discover physiological changes associated with lying
Dr. Henry FAULDS forwards an explanation of his fingerprint classification system to Sir Charles DARWIN, who is too ill to be of assistance. DARWIN passes the material to his cousin Francis GALTON.
Dr. FAULDS publishes an article in the Scientific Journal "Nautre", discussing fingerprints as a means of personal identification, and the use of printers ink as a method for obtaining such fingerprints. He is the first to explicitly recognize the value of latent prints left at crime scenes.
BURMAN uses temperature graphs to determine time since death.
of the U.S. Geological Survey in New Mexico
, uses his own fingerprints on a document to prevent forgery. This is the first known use of fingerprints in the United States.
In Mark TWAIN
´s book, "Life on the Mississippi", a murderer is identified by the use of fingerprint identification.
In a later book by Mark Twain, "Pudd'n Head Wilson", there is a dramatic court trial on fingerprint identification.
, a French police employee, identifies the first recidivist based on his invention of anthropometry
Arthur Conan DOYLE
publishes the first Sherlock Holmes
story in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of London
WOMACK first uses Centigrade units to take body temperature to determine time of death.
, professor of forensic medicine at the University of Lyons, France, is the first to try to individualize bullets to a gun barrel. His comparisons at the time are based simply on the number of lands and grooves.
, and Argentine Police Official, makesthe first criminal fingerprint identification. He was able to identify a woman by the name of Rojas, who had murdered her two sons, and cut her own throat in an attempt to place blame on another.
Her bloody print was left on a door post, proving her identity as the murderer. Argentina is the first country to replace anthropometry with fingerprints.
, examining magistrate and professor of criminal law at the University of Graz, Austria, publishes Criminal Investigation, the first comprehensive description of uses of physical evidence in solving crime. Gross is also sometimes credited with coining the word criminalistics.
Sir Francis GALTON
, a British anthropologist and a cousin of Charles DARWIN
, publishes his book, "Fingerprints", establishing the individuality and permanence of fingerprints and a first classification system..
GALTON identifies the characteristics by which fingerprints can be identified (minutia), basically still in use today, and often referred to as GALTON´s Details.
is convicted of treason based on a mistaken handwriting identification by BERTILLON
Sir Edward Richard HENRY
developes the print classification system that would come to be used in Europe and North America. He publishes Classification and Uses of Finger Prints.
, a forensic chemist working in Berlin, Germany, takes photomicrographs of two bullets to compare, and subsequently individualize, the minutiae.
first discovers human blood groups
and is awarded the Nobel Prize
for his work in 1930. Max RICHTER
adapts the technique to type stains. This is one of the first instances of performing validation experiments specifically to adapt a method for forensic science. LANDSTEINER
´s continued work on the detection of blood, its species, and its type forms the basis of practically all subsequent work.
, a German immunologist, developes the precipiten test for species
. He is also one of the first to institute standards, controls, and QA/QC procedures. WASSERMANN
(famous for developing a test for syphilis) and SCHUETZE
independently discover and publish the precipiten test, but never receive due credit.
Sir Edward Richard HENRY
is appointed head of Scotland Yard
and forces the adoption of fingerprint identification
to replace anthropometry.
Henry P. DeFORREST
pioneers the first systematic use of fingerprints
in the United States by the New York Civil Service Commission
R. FISCHER describes the system of furrows on the red part of human lips - a fact which was later to form a basis for cheiloscopy.
Professor R.A. REISS
, professor at the University of Lausanne
, Switzerland, and a pupil of BERTILLON
, sets up one of the first academic curricula in forensic science. His forensic photography
department grows into Lausanne Institute of Police Science
The New York State Prison system
begins the first systematic use of fingerprints
in United States for criminal identification.
At Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary
, Kansas, Will WEST
, a new inmate, is initially confused with a resident convict William WEST
. They are later (1905) found to be easily differentiated by their fingerprints
and Rudolf ADLER
develop a presumptive test for blood based on benzidine, a new chemical developed by Merk
REVENSTORF conceives the idea that diatoms could be used as a test of distingishing antemortem from postmortem drowning.
publishes L'enquete criminelle et les methodes scientifique
, in which appears a passage that may have given rise to the forensic precept that “Every contact leaves a trace.”
uses geologic evidence in a criminal case for the first time
The Eva DISCH
In October 1904 a dirty handkerchief containing bits of coal, snuff, and grains of the mineral hornblend was found at the murder scene of a seamstress named, Eva DISCH. A suspect was found who used snuff, and worked part-time at both a coal burning gas works and a quarry that had an abundance of the mineral hornblend in the rock that it produced. The suspect also had two layers of dirt in his pant cuffs. The lower layer matched the soil at the crime scene and the upper layer, characterized by a particular type of mica particle, matched the soil found on the path to the victim's home. When confronted with the evidence the suspect confessed. (Murray and Tedrow, 1991, p. 4)
American President Theodore ROOSEVELT
establishes the Federal Bureau of Investigation
firmly established forensic geology with the Margarethe FILBERT
The Margarethe FILBERT
, had been murdered near Rockenhausen, Bavaria and the district attorney was seeking information about some evidence. POPP
investigated the geological aspects of the case and found that the ground around the suspects home was covered with green goose droppings; the suspects farm fields contained soil containing fragments of porphyry, milky quartz, and mica; and the crime scene contained soil with angular red quartz and red iron-rich clay. The suspect's shoes had a layer of green goose droppings covered with grains of quartz and red clay. Even though the suspect claimed to have been in his fields at the time of the crime, there was no evidence of porphyry fragments, milky quartz or mica. (Murray and Tedrow, 1991, p.8)
, professor of forensic medicine at the Sorbonne, with Marcelle LAMBERT
, publishes the first comprehensive hair study, Le poil de l'homme et des animaux
. In one of the first cases involving hairs, Rosella ROUSSEAU
is convinced to confess to murder of Germaine BICHON
also uses photographic enlargements of bullets and cartridge cases to determining weapon type and is among the first to attempt to individualize a bullet to a weapon.
, successor to LACASSAGNE
as professor of forensic medicine at the University of Lyons
, France, establishes the first police crime laboratory
Albert S. OSBORNE
, an American and arguably the most influential document examiner, publishes Questioned Documents
develops another microscopic crystal test
for hemoglobin using hemochromogen crystals.
(1877-1966) demonstrates the value of poroscopy in the criminal trial of BOUDET
, professor of forensic medicine at the Sorbonne
, publishes the first article on individualizing bullet markings
J.J. THOMSON builds the first mass spectrometer known as the hyperbola spectrograph.
, professor at the Institute of Forensic Medicine
in Turin Italy, develops the first antibody test for ABO blood groups
. He first uses the test in casework to resolve a marital dispute. He publishes L’Individualità del sangue nella biologia, nella clinica, nella medicina, legale
, the first book dealing not only with clinical issues, but heritability, paternity, and typing of dried stains.
International Association for Criminal Identification
, (to become The International Association of Identification (IAI), is organized in Oakland, California.
, California first uses a vacuum apparatus to collect trace evidence.
first suggests 12 matching points as a positive fingerprint identification.
pioneers the use of botanical identification in forensic work.
Charles E. WAITE
is the first to catalog manufacturing data about weapons.
enunciates the Locard's Exchange Principle.
, one of the first American criminalists, pioneered striation analysis in tool mark comparison, including an attempt at statistical validation. In 1930 he published The identification of knives, tools and instruments, a positive science, in The American Journal of Police Science.
, with Charles E. WAITE
, Phillip O. GRAVELLE,
and John H FISHER
, perfect the comparison microscope for use in bullet comparison.
and Leonard KEELER
designed the portable polygraph.
of the Berkeley California Police Department combines measurements of blood pressure, pulse and respiration, correlating their changes with deception.
SCHULLER suggests that frontal sinuses can be used for identification.
, working at the Institute of Legal Medicine of the R. University of Messina
, Italy, developes the absorbtion-elution test for ABO blood typing of stains. Along with his mentor, Leone LATTES
, he also performs significant work on the absorbtion-inhibition technique.
In FRYE v. United States
, polygraph test results were ruled inadmissible. The federal ruling introduced the concept of general acceptance
and stated that polygraph testing did not meet that criterion.
, as chief of police in Los Angeles, California, implements the first U.S. police crime laboratory.
, a Japanese scientist, is credited with the first recognition of secretion of group-specific antigens into body fluids other than blood.
The case of SACCO & VANZETTI
, which took place in Bridgewater
, Massachusetts, is responsible for popularizing the use of the comparison microscope
for bullet comparison. Calvin GODDARD's
conclusions were upheld when the evidence was reexamined in 1961.
first detect the M, N, and P blood factors leading to development of the MNSs and P typing systems.
K. I. YOSIDA
, a Japanese scientist, conducts the first comprehensive investigation establishing the existence of serological isoantibodies
in body fluids other than blood.
's work on the St. Valentine’s day massacre
leads to the founding of the Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory
on the campus of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
AMERICAN JOURNAL of POLICE SCIENCE
is founded and published by staff of GODDARD's
Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory in Chicago
. In 1932
, it is absorbed by Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, becoming the Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science
Franz Josef HOLZER
, an Austrian scientist, working at the Institute for Forensic Medicine of the University of Innsbruck
, developes the absorbtion-inhibition ABO typing technique
that becomes the basis of that commonly used in forensic laboratories. It is based on the prior work of SIRACUSA
POOLE suggests that frontal sinus pattern is different even in identical twins, thus giving immense support to the idea of positive identification by frontal sinus pattern mooted a decade earlier by SCHULLER.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI
) crime laboratory is created.
of the Criminal Identification Laboratory, Mexico City Police Headquarters
introduces the "Dermal Nitrate
" or "diphenyl-amine test
" in the US to detect Gunshot Residues
, a Dutch physicist, invents the first interference contrast microscope
, a phase contrast microscope, an achievement for which he wins the Nobel prize in 1953
Franz Josef HOLZER
publishes the first paper addressing the usefulness of secretor status
for forensic applications.
, at the University Institute for Legal Medicine and Scientific Criminalistics in Jena
, Germany, developes the chemiluminescent reagent luminol
as a presumptive test for blood.
assumes leadership of the criminology program
at the University of California at Berkeley
. In 1945, he formalizes a major in technical criminology.
M. POLONOVSKI and M. JAYLE first identify haptoglobin.
and A.S. WIENER
first describe Rh blood groups.
, a chemist with the Ethyl Corporation
, is probably the first to analyze ignitable fluid
. He uses a vacuum distillation
of Bell Labs
initiates the study voiceprint identification
. The technique is refined by L.G. KERSTA
, working at the Legal Medicine Unit at the University of Copenhagen
, developes the acid phosphatase test for semen
MOURANT first describes the Lewis blood group system.
R.R. RACE first describes the Kell blood group system.
M. CUTBUSH, and colleagues first describe the Duffy blood group system.
, chief of police of Berkeley
, California, establishes the School of Criminology
at the University of California at Berkeley. Paul KIRK
presides over the major of criminalistics within the school.
, founder of the first Swiss criminalistics laboratory, developes the tape lift method
of collecting trace evidence.
The American Academy of Forensic Science
) is formed in Chicago, Illinois. The group also begins publication of the Journal of Forensic Science
F. H. ALLEN and colleagues first describe the Kidd blood grouping system.
publishes Crime Investigation
, one of the first comprehensive criminalistics and crime investigation texts that encompass theory in addition to practice.
James WATSON and Francis CRICK publish landmark paper identifying the structure of DNA.
R. F. BORKENSTEIN
, captain of the Indiana State Police
, invents the Breathalyzer
for field sobriety testing.
publishes careful and detailed measurements of temperature
in control cases obtained from executed prisoners
. His papers are considered landmarks in determination of time since death
from body cooling.
GOLAY first shows WCOT (wall-coated open tubular) columns for Gas Chromatography to be theoretically ideal.
further publishes important papers on time since death.
A. S. WEINER
and colleagues introduce the use of H-lectin
to determine positively O blood type
FIDDES and PATTEN write a classic paper on determination of time since death from cooling.
HIRSHFELD first identifies the polymorphic nature of group specific component (Gc).
HARRISON and GILROY introduce a qualitative colorimetric chemical test to detect the presence of barium, antimony and lead on the hands of individuals who fired firearms.
, a Swiss scientist, adapts the Ouchterlony antibody-antigen diffusion test
for precipiten testing to determine species.
MARSHALL and co-workers write a series of papers on determination of time since death from postmortem cooling.
LUCAS, in Canada, describes the application of gas chromatography (GC) to the identification of petroleum products in the forensic laboratory and discusses potential limitations in the brand identity of gasoline.
Hungary becomes the first country in Europe
to carry out research in the subject of lip prints
D.A. HOPKINSON and colleagues first identify the polymorphic nature of erythrocyte acid phosphatase (EAP).
N. SPENCER and colleagues first identiy the polymorphic nature of red cell phosphogluco-mutase (PGM).
R. A. FILDES and H. HARRIS first identiy the polymorphic nature of red cell adenylate cyclase (AK).
Brian J. CULLIFORD
and Brian WRAXALL
develop the immuno-electrophoretic technique
for haptoglobin typing
The International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS) is formed. It is unique in that it is an association in name only. It has no members, no permanent secretariat and no budget.
, of the British Metropolitan Police Laboratory, initiates the development of gel-based methods
to test for isoenzymes
in dried bloodstains. He is also instrumental in the development and dissemination of methods for testing proteins
in both blood and other body fluids and secretions.
SPENCER and colleagues first identiy the polymorphic nature of red cell adenosine deaminase (ADA).
and T. SUZUKI
start a three year study, examining the lip prints
of 1364 persons at the Department of Forensic Odontology
at Tokyo University. They will come to the conclusion that lip prints are unique to each individual. The science of Cheiloscopy
gets an unprece-dented boost.
publishes The Examination and Typing of Bloodstains in the Crime Laboratory
, generally accepted as responsible for disseminating reliable protocols for the typing of polymorphic protein and enzyme markers to the United States and worldwide.
HOPKINSON and colleagues first identify the polymorphic nature of esterase D (ESD).
The detection of gunshot residue
(GSR) using scanning electron microscopy with electron dispersive X-rays (SEMEDX) technology is developed by J. E. WESSEL
, P. F. JONES
, Q. Y. KWAN
, R. S. NESBITT
and E. J. RATTIN
at Aerospace Corporation
and colleagues, working in Germany, first identify the polymorphic nature
of red cell glyoxylase
The Federal Rules of Evidence
, originally promulgated by the U.S. Supreme Court, are enacted as a congressional statute
. They are based on the relevancy standard in which scientific evidence that is deemed more prejudicial than probative may not be admitted.
in the United Kingdom first evaluate GC-MS for forensic purposes.
, a trace evidence examiner at the Saga Prefectural Crime Laboratory of the National Police Agency of Japan
, notices his own fingerprints developing on microscope slides while mounting hairs from a taxi driver murder case. He relates the information to co-worker Masato SOBA
, a latent print examiner. SOBA would later that year be the first to develop latent prints intentionally by “Superglue®” fuming.
The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophoto-meter (FTIR) is adapted for use in the forensic laboratory.
introduces the beginnings of its Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS
) with the first
computerized scans of fingerprints.
and Mark STOLOROW
develop the “multisystem
” method for testing the PGM, ESD, and GLO isoenzyme systems simultaneously. They also develop methods for typing blood serum proteins
such as haptoglobin and Gc.
discover a region of DNA
that does not hold any genetic information and which is extremely variable between individuals.
The Polymerase Chain Reaction
(PCR) is first conceived by Kerry MULLIS
, while he is working at Cetus Corporation
. The first paper on the technique was not published until 1985.
Sir Alec JEFFREYS a research fellow at the Lister Institute, Leicester University, discovers a method of identifying individuals from DNA - Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP). He dubs it 'DNA Fingerprinting' - a revolutionary new technique in Forensic Science, which is perhaps the greates single Forensic Discovery of the 20th Century.
Police and Criminal Evidence Act
) passed. This piece of legislation governs the handling of suspects
Police in the UK first use forensic DNA profiling.
discovers Polymerase Chain Reaction
(PCR) method of replicating particular regions of a DNA molecule.
The Human Genetics Group
at Cetus Corporation
, led by Henry ERLICH
, develops the PCR technique
for a number of clinical and forensic applications. This results in development of the first commercial PCR typing kit specifically for forensic use, HLA DQa (DQA1), about 2 years later.
In People v. PESTINIKAS
, Edward BLAKE
first uses PCR-based DNA testing
(HLA DQa) , to confirm different autopsy samples to be from the same person. The evidence is accepted by a civil court. This is also the first use of any kind of DNA testing
in the United States.
In the UK, police use DNA profiling in the celebrated PITCHFORK case
to clear a seventeen year old suspect of two rape-murders. Police collect blood samples from over 5,000 local men to identify the perpetrator, Colin PITCHFORK
Also in the UK, Robert MELIAS
is convicted of rape. He becomes the first person to be convicted of a crime on the basis of DNA evidence
is introduced for the first time in a U.S. criminal court. Based on RFLP analysis
performed by Lifecodes, Tommy Lee ANDREWS
is convicted of a series of sexual assaults in Orlando
New York v. CASTRO
is the first case in which the admissibility of DNA
is seriously challenged. It sets in motion a string of events that culminate in a call for certification, accreditation, standardization, and quality control guidelines for both DNA laboratories and the general forensic community.
LEWELLEN, McCURDY, HORTON, and ASSELIN, LESLIE, McKINLEY publish milestone papers introducing a novel procedure for the analysis of drugs in whole blood by homogeneous enzyme immunoassay (EMIT).
In the USA, Gary DOTSON
becomes the first person to have a conviction overturned on the basis of DNA evidence. DOTSON
has served 8 years of a 25-50 year sentence for rape.
The Federal Government and several States and Territories begin developing regulatory standards for DNA collection and handling
Australia's first court case involving DNA evidence
. In an ACT court, Desmond APPLEBEE
is convicted of three counts of sexual assault. APPLEBEE
changes his defense from "I wasn't there" to "the woman consented" after a blood sample matches him to DNA extracted from blood and semen on the victim's clothes.
, police secure the conviction of George KAUFMAN
who raped sixteen women over a four year period in Melbourne's
south eastern suburbs. Confronted with DNA evidence, KAUFMAN
and colleagues publish the first paper suggesting the D1S80 locus
(pMCT118) for forensic DNA analysis. D1S80 is subsequently developed by Cetus (subsequently Roche Molecular Systems
) corporation as a commercially available forensic DNA typing system.
Walsh Automation Inc.
, in Montreal, launches development of an automated imaging system called the Integrated Ballistics Identification System
, or IBIS
, for comparison of the marks left on fired bullets, cartridge cases, and shell casings. This system is subsequently developed for the U.S. market in collaboration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
In response to concerns
about the practice of forensic DNA analysis
of the results, the National Research Council Committee on Forensic DNA
I) publishes DNA Technology in Forensic Science.
, professor at Baylor University in Texas
, and colleagues publish the first paper suggesting the use of short tandem repeats
for forensic DNA analysis. Promega Corporation
and Perkin-Elmer Corporation
in collaboration with Roche Molecular Systems
independently develop commercial kits for forensic DNA STR typing
contracts with Mnemonic Systems
to develop Drugfire
, an automated imaging system to compare marks left on cartridge cases and shell casings. The ability to compare fired bullets
is subsequently added.
National Institute of Forensic Science
commences operations. Amongst its roles are the development of national standards of quality control and accreditation of forensic laboratories throughout Australia.
In DAUBERT et al. v. Merrell DOW
, a U.S. federal court relaxes the FRYE standard
for admission of scientific evidence and conferre on the judge a “gatekeeping
” role. The ruling cites Karl POPPER'
s views that scientific theories are falsifiable as a criterion for whether something is “scientific knowledge” and should be admissible.
Roche Molecular Systems
(formerly Cetus) releases a set of five additional DNA markers
(“polymarker”) to add to the HLA-DQA1 forensic DNA typing system.
The world's first national DNA database
commences operations in the UK on 10 April 1995.
In response to continued concerns about the statistical interpretation of forensic DNA evidence, a second National Research Council Committee on Forensic DNA
(NRC II) is convened and publishes The Evaluation of Forensic DNA Evidence
is convicted of the rape and murder of a woman at South Australia's Edinburgh Air Force base 14 years earlier. After DNA profiling matches him to semen found on the dead woman, WINTERS
introduces computerized searches of the AFIS fingerprint database
. Live scan and card scan devices allow interdepartmental submissions.
In the USA, mitochondrial DNA evidence
is used in a court for the first time. Paul WARE
is convicted of the rape and murder of a four year old girl after mitochondrial DNA profiling matches him to a hair found on the body of the child.
Police services endorse the establishment of a national criminal DNA database
and form a working party.
In the USA, the FBI
sets up the National DNA Index System
, enabling city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies to compare DNA profiles electronically.
upgrades its computerized fingerprint database
and implements the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System
), allowing paperless submission, storage, and search capabilities directly to the national database maintained at the FBI.
A Memorandum of Understanding
is signed between the FBI
, allowing the use of the National Integrated Ballistics Network
), to facilitate exchange of firearms data between Drugfire
In the UK, the Forensic Science Service
announces that the number of DNA profiles of suspects and convicted criminals on the national DNA database
has reached one million or roughly one third of the estimated criminally active population.