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Wade Knaap (11)
Chapter 16

Chapter 16 (Fingerprint).docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Forensic Science
Wade Knaap

FingerprintingThe first systematic attempt at personal identification was devised by French police expert Alphonse Bertillon 1883 The Bertillon system relied on detailed description portrait parle of the subject combined with fulllength and profile photographs and a system of precise body measurements known as anthropometry Portrait parle A verbal description of a perpetrators physical characteristics and dress provided by an eyewitnessAnthropometry A system of identification of individuals by measurement parts of the bodyUse of anthropometry as a method rested on premise that the dimensions of the human bone system remained fixed from age 20 till deathSkeleton sizes were thought to be extremely diverse that no two individuals could have the same measurementsBertillon recommended routine taking of eleven measurements of the human anatomy These included height reach width of head and length of left footThis method was considered most accurate for two decadesPolice began to appreciate and accept the system of identification based on the classification of finger ridge patterns known as fingerprintsWilliam Herschel started practice of requiring Indians fingerprintsHenry Fauld suggested that skin ridge patterns could be important for identification of criminals His offer was rejected with Bertillon system but was reversed laterFrancis Galton published book Finger Prints and suggested assigning them to three pattern types loops arches and whorls Book stated that no two prints were identical and a persons prints remained unchanged from year to yearToday most Englishspeaking countries use some version of Sir Edward Richard Henrys classification system to file fingerprintsBertillon system not good when Will West and William west could not be distinguished in prison because of same body measurementsFBI has the largest collection of fingerprints in the worldThe individuality of a fingerprint is not determined by its general shape or pattern but by a careful study of its ridge characteristics minutiae Ridge characteristics minutiae Ridge endings bifurcations enclosures and other ridge details which must match in two fingerprints in order for their common origin to be established
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