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1900-1920: U.S. – Mail-order confidence men flourished

1900-1910: U.S. – Major increase in murder rate

1901: President William McKinley assassinated

1903: Serbia – King and Queen assassinated

1907: Black Hand terrorist groups operated in several large U.S. cities

1908: Portugal – King Carlos I assassinated
------ Belle Gunness Case – U.S. – Mass Murder

1909: Joe Petrosino Case – Sicily – Murder
------ Oscar Slater Case – Scotland – Murder

1910-1914: The Chicago Vice Commission in operation

1910: Cora Crippen Case – England – Murder

1911: William J. Burns solved the Los Angeles Times bombing case

1912: Becker-Rosenthal Case – U.S. – Murder

1913: Ludlow Colorado mine strike
------ ”Yellow Kid” Weil at the top of his career as a con man
------ Leo Frank Case – U.S. – Murder

1914: Austro-Hungarian Archduke and his wife were assassinated

1918-1928: Wave of automobile theft in the U.S.

1919: Chicago Race Riots

Forensic Science

1900: Daniel T. Ames published the first book on questioned documents
------ American physician wrote article in Buffalo Medical Journal re barrel marks on bullets
------ Englishman Sir Richard Henry devised a system of classifying fingerprints. In 1901 he published his book, Classification and Uses of Fingerprints.
------ Rice – Hendon Case – U.S. – questioned documents

1901: German Paul Uhlenhuth distinguished human from animal blood
------ German Karl Landsteiner discovered that blood can be grouped

1902: German Max Richter grouped dried bloodstains
------ First U.S. case allowing the comparison of questioned and test bullets
------ Alphonse Bertillon took the first photograph of a latent fingerprint
------ John Glaister, Professor of forensic medicine, Glasgow University, published the classic Medical Jurisprudence and Forensic Toxicology
------ American Robert Wood demonstrated the criminalistic use of the ultraviolet light

1903: London – A law required city hospitals to furnish coroners with pathology services
------ Swiss Rudolph Reiss published, Judicial Photography

1904: U.S. – fingerprinting was adopted at Sing Sing and three other penitentiaries
------ St. Louis became the first U.S. police department to use fingerprinting
------ Lucie Berlin Case – U.S. – forensic serology
------ John Wigmore, Dean of Northwestern University Law School, published, Wigmore on Evidence
------ NYPD Sergeant Joseph Faurot was sent to Scotland Yard to learn about fingerprinting
------ The chief of Colorado Springs police department made an attempt to ID a body by its teeth

1905: Dr. Paul Brouardel was the leading forensic pathologist in France
------ Alfred Stratton Case – England – fingerprints

1906: Dr. George Burgess Magrath was appointed Medical Examiner in Boston
------ Russia, Norway, and Sweden changed from Bertillonage to fingerprinting
------ England – a bite mark identification was made from a piece of cheese left at crime scene

1908: Italy – Dr. Ottologhi founded the scientific police school of Rome
------ England – Bernard Spilsbury was appointed senior pathologist at St. Mary’s Hospital
------ Margarethe Filbert Case – Germany – forensic serology

1909: A San Diego Dentist identified a murder victim from dental remains
------ Pallot Case – France – criminalistics
------ Germaine Bichon Case – France – hair clue

1910: Frenchman Edmond Locard started a police lab in Lyons, France. It became the Institute of Criminalistics, University of Lyons
------ American Albert S. Osborn published the first authoritative text on questioned documents
------ By now almost every country in the world (except France) had given up Bertillonage in favor of fingerprinting
------ American Dr. Alexander Gettler became a famous toxicologist at Bellevue Hospital, NYC
------ Frenchman Victor Balthazard published a text on human and animal hair
------ Frederick A. Brayley published the first American book on fingerprints

1911: U.S. – The Jennings fingerprint case in Chicago. Fingerprint evidence accepted by court

1912: Hans Gross opened one of the first European criminalistic institutes at the University of Graz in Austria
------ Dr. Victor Balthazard began comparing and photographing bullets in France

1913: German criminalist August Bruning solved a burglary case using tool mark and trace evidence
------ U.S. – A federal law made handwriting samples admissible in federal court

1914: Alphonse Bertillon died and fingerprints were officially adopted in France

1915: German forensic scientist Robert Heindl started a police lab at Dresden
------ American William Marston began studying the effects of lying on blood pressure
------ George Joseph Smith Case – England – forensic medicine
------ Italian Leone Lattes began grouping dried bloodstains – advancing the work of Max Richter
------ U.S. – the Institute of Applied Science was founded in Chicago by T. Dickerson Cooke
------ The Charlie Stielow murder case involving firearms identification and Charles Waite, the American ballistic pioneer.

1916: Frederick Kuhne published the first authoritative American book on fingerprinting
------ A Berkeley, California criminalist was the first American to use a vacuum cleaner to collect dust from a suspect’s clothes
------ American Charles E. Waite began collecting data on all firearms made in the U.S.
------ The first U.S. case where a corpse was identified by reconstructing a face from its skull

1918: Dr. Charles Norris was appointed the first Chief Medical Examiner of NYC

1919: Edward Oscar Heinrich set up the first crime laboratory in the U.S.

Law Enforcement

1905: The Pennsylvania State Police were created

1906: The Philadelphia Police Department began using motorcycles

1907: Bugging devices had been developed and were being sold to private and public police
------ NYPD was first American police agency to use police dogs

1908: The Bureau of Investigation was created as a Justice Department investigative agency
------ The jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service was restricted

1909: August Vollmer was appointed chief of police, Berkeley Police Department

1911: Denmark – The first uniformed policewoman was hired

1914: The Berkeley Police Department formed the first juvenile division in the U.S.

1915: U.S. – by this time there were 204 police departments in the country under civil service

1917: The Berkeley Police Department equipped its entire patrol with automobiles

Criminal Law

1910: Gambling was prohibited in Nevada
------ Congress passed the Mann Act

1914: Congress passed strict immigration laws

Crime Prevention and Private Security

1900: Brinks Company had a fleet of 85 wagons

1909: Baker Industries entered the fire control and burglary detection business
------ Raymond Schindler started an investigative agency in NYC
------ William J. Burns started his detective agency in Chicago

1913: Burns Agency opened an office in London

1914: There were about 13,000 railroad police in the U.S.

1916: William J. Burns was convicted of illegal entry in connection with a NYC wiretap

This page was last updated on: Monday, January 14, 2008

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A. James Fisher
Dept. of Political Science & Criminal Justice, 146 Hendricks Hall
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA 16444
e-mail: jfisher@edinboro.edu blog: http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com