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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles on Sherlock Holmes With Forensic Science

In the late 19th Century, the era of the great but fictitious detective Sherlock Holmes, the art and science of criminal investigation did not exist. Without forensic science, criminals could leave their bodily fluids, hair follicles, fibers, fatal bullets, shoe impressions, and fingermarks at crime scenes without fear of identification. Without toxicology and forensic pathology, homicidal poisonings went undetected, and, without handwriting identification, documents could be forged at will. Modern detectives not only have forensic science as an investigative tool, they have access to the polygraph, DNA, GPS, surveillance cameras, and social media. Notwithstanding all of this technology, a majority of crimes in the United States, for one reason or another, go unsolved. Perhaps we need more Sherlock Holmes-like detectives in our police departments.

Thornton P. Knowles

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