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Personal Identification

Law of Multiplicity of Evidence The greater the number of similarities and dissimilarities, the greater is the probability for the conclusion to be correct.

Early Method of identification


Alphonse Bertillion

Father of Personal Identification

1882, became head of the identification service in the office of the Prefect of Police Spread a new system of identification called anthropometry

Combined portrait parle with anthropometry


Anthropometry is a very old science which relates to the measurement of body dimensions. These may be:

lengths (e.g. the length of the thigh bone or femur),

breadths (e.g. the width across the shoulders, the biacromial breadth),

girths (e.g. waist circumference)

common measurements ( e.g. stature or height and mass or weight)

measurement of skinfold thickness at various sites on the body (e.g. at the back of the upper arm, tricep skinfold).

Portrait Parle

Literally means 'word picture'

Method of describing people verbally Included in Bertillion's identification system Foundation of present-day description of criminals and non-criminals

Will West and William West

US Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas Almost exact Bertillion measurements

History of Fingerprint

Picture writing of a hand with ridge patterns was discovered in Nova Scotia. In ancient Babylon, fingerprints were used on clay tablets for business transactions.

In ancient China, thumb prints were found on clay seals. They referred to it as Hua Chi (Ki and Io)
In 14th century Persia, various official government papers had fingerprints (impressions), and one government official, a doctor, observed that no two fingerprints were exactly alike.

Nehemiah Grew

Philosophical Transaction presented in Royal Society of London, England Described the ridges and pores of the hands and feet

Govard Bidloo

Studied sweat pores and ridges

Marcelo Malpighi

Father of Dactyloscopy
1686 Professor at University of Bolognia, Italy WrittenDeExternoTactusOrgano Discovery of Epidermis and Dermis layer

Malphigi layer

JCA Mayer

Anatomiche Kuphertafeln First to state that fingerprints are never duplicated in two persons

Johannes Purkinje

Professor at University of Breslau, Germany Established a classification system of fingerprints Identified 9 type of patterns

Did not associate fingerprints with identification

Herman Welcker

Took his own fingerprint twice with a lapse of 41 years and showed the ridge formation remains the same

William Herschel

Chief Magistrate of the Hooghly district in Jungipoor, India First to advocate the use of fingerprints as substitute for signature among Indian natives to avoid impersonation Based on superstition rather than personal identification

Rajyadhar Konai local businessman, first person that Herschel took the palm print of

Henry Faulds


British Surgeon-Superintendent of Tsukiji Hospital in Tokyo, Japan

Credited with first fingerprint identification of a greasy fingerprint left on an alcohol bottle Took up the study of "skin-furrows" after noticing finger marks on specimens of "prehistoric" pottery Published an article in the Scientific Journal, "Nature"

Fingerprint as means of personal identification

Use of printer's ink

Gilbert Thomson

U.S. Geological Survey in New Mexico Used his own thumb print on a document to prevent forgery First known use of fingerprints in the United States

Mark Twain

Samuel L. Clemens Life of the Mississippi

a murderer was identified by the use of fingerprint identification there was a dramatic court trial on fingerprint identification

Pudd'n Head Wilson

Francis Galton

First classification system Developed the Arch, Loop and Whorl patterns as general classification Identified 9 types of patterns

First to establish a Civil Bureau of Personal Identification

Minutia or Galton details Stated that the possibility of having two fingerprints alike is 1:64,000,000,000


Juan Vucetich

Argentine Police Official, began the first fingerprint files based on Galton pattern types System was accepted in most Spanish Speaking countries At first, included fingerprint with the Bertillon System files

First criminal fingerprint identification

Francis Rojas-murdered her two sons and cut her own throat (left a bloody mark at the post)

Haque and Bose

June 12, 1897 Council of the Governor General of India approved a committee report that fingerprints should be used for classification of criminal records

Calcutta Anthropometric Bureau became the world's first Fingerprint Bureau

Khan Bahadur Azizul Haque and Rai Hem Chandra Bose Indian fingerprint experts credited with primary development of the Henry System of fingerprint classification

Edward Richard Henry

Father of fingerprint
Developed the Henry System of Classification at Scotland Yard Accepted by almost all English-speaking countries

Published book "The Classification and Use of Fingerprints"

Edmond Locard

12 point system
Wrote that if 12 points (Galton's Details) were the same between two fingerprints, it would suffice as a positive identification