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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78052 Find in a Library
Title: Science vs Crime - The Evolution of the Police Lab
Author(s): E B Block
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 200
Sponsoring Agency: Cragmont Publications
San Francisco, CA 94107
Sale Source: Cragmont Publications
China Basin Building
161 Berry Street
Suite 6410
San Francisco, CA 94107
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book traces the history of scientific crime detection from its inception in ancient Egypt to today's highly refined technology.
Abstract: Criminalistics is based upon the application of techniques from the physical sciences and psychology to the problems of identification and apprehension of criminals. This book explores the history and development of criminalistics, discusses the works of its early and modern practitioners, and examines such aspects as the use of fingerprints, hair, bullets, blood, handwriting, splinters of glass, and dust to identify criminals and bring them to justice. The work of the early criminalistic pioneers is described. These include the works of Dr. Hans Gross, often called the father of criminalistics; Alphonse Bertillon, who developed a method of identification of repeat offenders by using recorded body measurements of known criminals; Luke S. May, often called 'America's Sherlock Holmes' by virtue of his unusual feats of crime detection utilizing chemistry, ballistics, physics, biology, and other sciences; and Dr. Edmund Locard who pioneered the classification and identification of dust as a tool of modern scientific detection. The cases of the murders of Miriam Green in 1946 and of Mrs. Crippen in 1910 are used to illustrate the development of modern forensic science and the close relationship between physicians and the science of crime detection. Attention is also directed to the techniques used to identify art forgeries, to the development of the lie detector, and the use of voiceprints as tools of modern crime detection. An index is appended.
Index Term(s): Crime detection; Crime laboratories; Fingerprint units
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