| 44 BC
||Death of an emporer
Julius Caesar is assassinated. Following this event, a physician performed an autopsy, and determined that of the 23 wounds found on the body, only one was fatal.
||Who determines cause of death(400s)
Germanic and Slavic societies made law that medical experts must be the ones to determine cause of death in crimes.
||Use of fingerprints for the first time (600s)
Fingerprints first used to determine identity. Arabic merchants would take a debtor's fingerprint and attach it to the bill.
||First forensic science book
First forensic science manual published by the Chinese. This was the first known record of medical knowledge being used to solve criminal cases.
||Reporting cases (1600s)
First pathology reports published.
||Physical evidence used in criminal case
First recorded instance of physical matching of evidence leading to a murder conviction (John Toms, England). Evidence was a torn edge of newspaper in a pistol that matched newspaper in his pocket.
German chemist Valentin Ross developed a method of detecting arsenic in a victim's stomach, thus advancing the investigation of poison deaths.
||More physical evidence discovered to work in forensics
Clothing and shoes of a farm laborer were examined and found to match evidence of a nearby murder scene, where a young woman was found drowned in a shallow pool.
||Chemical testing utilized
James Marsh, an English chemist, uses chemical processes to determine arsenic as the cause of death in a murder trial.
||First uses of photos in identification (1854-59 )
San Francisco uses photography for criminal identification, the first city in the US to do so.
||Fingerprints found to be unique
Henry Faulds and William James Herschel publish a paper describing the uniqueness of fingerprints. Francis Galton, a scientist, adapted their findings for the court. Galton's system identified the following patterns: plain arch, tented arch, simple loop, central pocket loop, double loop, lateral pocket loop, plain whorl, and accidental.
||Sherlock Holmes and the coroner
Coroner's act established that coroners' were to determine the causes of sudden, violent, and unnatural deaths. Arthur Conan Doyle also publishes the first Sherlock Holmes story.
||Fingerprint ID used in crime
Juan Vucetich, an Argentinean police officer, is the first to use fingerprints as evidence in a murder investigation. He created a system of fingerprint identification, which he termed dactyloscopy.
||Criminal features reduced to numerical measurements
Anthropometry, a system using various measurements of physical features and bones, used throughout the US and Europe. Using the system, a criminal's information could be reduced to a set of numbers.
||Investigations into blood markers
Human blood grouping, ABO, discovered by Karl Landsteiner and adapted for use on bloodstains by Dieter Max Richter.
||Fingerprint ID more common
Galton-Henry system of fingerprint identification officially used by Scotland Yard, and is the most widely used fingerprinting method to date.
||First fingerprint prisoner ID used
NY state prison system implemented fingerprint identification.
||Learning about forensics
First school of forensic science founded by Rodolphe Archibald Reiss, in Switzerland.
||Hair now used in forensics
Victor Balthazard and Marcelle Lambert publish first study on hair, including microscopic studies from most animals. First legal case ever involving hair also took place following this study.
||Guns are unique
Victor Balthazard realizes that tools used to make gun barrels never leave the same markings, and individual gun barrels leave identifying grooves on each bullet fired through it. He developed several methods of matching bullets to guns via photography.
||Crime labs built
First police crime lab established in Los Angeles.
Prototype polygraph, which was invented by John Larson in 1921, developed for use in police stations.
||Crime experts build lab
FBI establishes its own crime laboratory, now one of the foremost crime labs in the world. This same year, a chair of legal medicine at Harvard was established.
||Voice recording, used as evidence (1960s)
A sound spectrograph discovered to be able to record voices. Voiceprints began to be used in investigations and as court evidence from recordings of phones, answering machines, or tape recorders.
||First national crime system
FBI established the National Crime Information Center, a computerized national filing system on wanted people, stolen vehicles, weapons, etc.
||Advances in residue detection
Technology developed at Aerospace Corporation in the US to detect gunshot residue, which can link a suspect to a crime scene, and can show how close that suspect was to the gun.
||Advanced manual fingerprints
First fingerprint reader installed at the FBI
||Auto fingerprint system first used
Royal Canadian Mounted Police implement first automatic fingerprint identification system.
||DNA technique for unique ID
DNA fingerprinting techniques developed by Sir Alec Jeffreys.
||Advances in DNA lead to conviction (1983-86)
DNA fingerprinting led to conviction of Colin Pitchfork in the murder of two teenage girls. This evidence cleared the main suspect in the case, who likely would have been convicted without it.
||DNA catches the criminal
Tommy Lee Andrews convicted of a series of sexual assaults, using DNA profiling.
||DNA evidence certified
National Academy of Sciences announces DNA evidence is reliable.
||Faster fingerprint IDs
FBI establishes the integrated automated fingerprint identification system, cutting down fingerprint inquiry response from two weeks to two hours.
||Faster DNA IDs
Technology speeds up DNA profiling time, from 6-8 weeks to between 1-2 days.
||Footwear detection system
Britain's Forensic Science Service develops online footwear coding and detection system. This helps police to identify footwear marks quickly.
||Detection after cleaning
A way for scientists to visualize fingerprints even after the print has been removed is developed, relating to how fingerprints can corrode metal surfaces.
||Facial sketches matched to photos
Michigan state university develops software that automatically matches hand-drawn facial sketches to mug shots stored in databases.
||4 second dental match
Japanese researchers develop a dental x-ray matching system. This system can automatically match dental x-rays in a database, and makes a positive match in less than 4 seconds.