Alphonse Bertilon Essay

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Alphonse Bertillon Alphonse Bertillon was the first to truly create the scientific method of criminal identification. Born in 1853, Bertillon was from Paris France and came from a family of scientific background. His father, Dr. Louis Adolphe Bertillon, was a distinguished physician, statistician, and the vice president of the Anthropological society of Paris. Bertillon’s grandfather was also a well known naturalist and mathematician. (Ashbaugh, 1999). Bertillon was a poor student and lacked the talent of his father and grandfather to be successful in the science field. As a boy, Bertillon had heard his father and grandfather and other scientists discuss statistics and the hypothesis that no two people have identical physical…show more content…
He then sent several reports to the Prefect of Police but they turned him down. Then a new prefect police took office that was a friend of Bertillon’s father. The new prefect police finally allowed Bertillon to introduce anthropometry on an experimental basis for three months. Bertillon made his first identification on February 20, 1883, less than two weeks before his experiment was over. Bertillon success of anthropometry spread to other countries. Many countries set up anthropometry laboratories. However anthropometry would soon be replaced with a new identification method called fingerprints. Sir Francis Galton was invited to Paris so Bertillon could increase his knowledge of fingerprints. Bertillon felt that in the beginning that fingerprints were not very practical due to the lack of classification system. He eventually included fingerprints on the end of his anthropometry cards as a final check of identifications. Anthropometry was discarded in France and replaced by fingerprint identification upon Bertillon’s death in 1914. According to Jain Anil, fingerprint-based identification is the oldest method which has been successfully used in numerous applications and though Bertillon’s anthropometry raised many valid points in forensic science, it was discarded and replaced by the fingerprint identification method after Bertillon’s death 1914. Fingerprints, known for each person to have unique ones, are made of a series of ridges and furrows on the

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