If you have read Julius Caesar, then you must remember the part where after his assassination, one physician claimed that out of all the 23 wounds on his body, only one was fatal. This was the result of a forensic investigation of Caesar's murder. Surprised that the forensic science goes back so long? Well, the history of forensic science does go back to thousands of years (approximately 44 BC).
The term 'forensic' has been derived from the Latin word forensis which means 'of or before the forum'. In simple terms it means the process of applying scientific principles to legal questions. Forensic science has come a long way from the time when the Chinese used fingerprints in order to identify certain documents, to forensic experts using modern technology today to find out more about historical objects aged more than thousands of years old.
This field has become more popular due to some of the TV shows like 'Dexter', 'Bones' and so on. More and more people are studying hard to be an expert in this field, while there are some people who have already made a name for themselves in history. Would you like to know more about them? Then keep reading.
There are so many people who have made their name in forensic science, who have solved some of the most difficult crime cases in history and whose footsteps are being followed by hundreds of aspiring forensic experts. Here's a list of some of the scientists.
Henry C. Lee
Born in the year 1938, Henry C. Lee, was one of the most famous forensic experts. He had worked on more than 6000 cases. Some of the famous cases where he had assisted were that of the murder of a six year old beauty queen, JonBenet Ramsey, suicide of Vince Foster, murder of Laci Peterson and so on. Lee had also been accused of hiding evidence from the Phil Spector case. Right now, he is the faculty member at the University of New Haven and he is also serving as the chief emeritus of the Connecticut State Police.
Dr. Michael Baden
Dr. Baden had served as a consulting and leading pathologist in a number of cases such as the death of actor John Belushi, investigation of the remains of Czar Nicholas II, the last Russian monarch, investigation of the TWA Flight 800 crash and several more. His recent investigation was the autopsy of the death of actor David Carradine. He is also the host of the HBO show 'Autopsy'.
Clea Koff was just 23 years old when she was selected to join a team of 15 forensic experts to go to Rwanda in order to investigate the physical evidence of the war crimes. She is the founder of 'The Missing Persons Identification Resource Center' which helps families find out missing people in America. She had also written a book about her Rwanda experience and it is called The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo.
Joseph Bell was the one who had inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write about Sherlock Holmes. He was Queen Victoria's personal surgeon and also taught at the medical school of University of Edinburgh. He was the one who had inspired the beginning of some of the forensic techniques which are famous in the field of forensic science today.
I am sure you must have heard the phrase, "Every contact leaves a trace." This phrase was stated by Edmond Locard, who was also known as the Sherlock Holmes of France. He started his career as an assistant to Alexandre Lacassagne, a criminologist. He was also the one who started the first police laboratory in Lyons police department.
Sara Bisel is known for her work and investigation of Herculaneum, which was a town that had been destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Her works have been of a major help for the advancement of forensic anthropology. She is known for uncovering information about the past.
Here are some of the other famous scientists who have contributed a lot to forensics.
- Sir Alec Jeffreys
- William Bass
- William Maples
- Cyril Wecht
- Dr. Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunand.
Thanks to these science sleuths, crime busters had an edge over their quarry. As a result of their efforts, forensic science has become an effective tool in the crime investigator's arsenal.