Solving crimes in the past

The usual way of finding someone guilty of a crime was to make them confess or to find an eyewitness.

 But there were some ways to find someone guilty such as:

  • A man who lived in a little village was murdered  in 1248. He was killed with a sickel (an object used to cut vegetables, it is similar to a rounded knife). The investigators decided collect all the sickles in the village and leave some flies near them. The result was the flies were around one sickel attracted by the smell of the blood that was there (the sickel was washed off). Finally the murderer cofessed.



  • Fingerprints: They were studied in 1686 by an Italian called Malpighi. Malpighi noted that every fingerprint was different to others. In 1892, Francis Galton invented a method of classifying fingerprints. Few years later police started using this method.


  • An Englishman called John Toms was acussed of murdering a man with a pistol. Toms was found guilty when a piece of newpaper that was found inside the pistol fitted perfectly with another piece which was in his pocket. Absent-minded!


Blow flies can help the police determine when someone was killed. Here you can see how flies find in few seconds blood from a dead body and why it is important for police. Flies can show where the body is and how long it took died.  Awesome!

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4 Responses to Solving crimes in the past

  1. Álvaro García di:

    Es una información muy interesante, aunque hace falta tirar del diccionario para algunos términos.

  2. patricia di:

    La única palabra que podría dar problemas la definí entre paréntesis. De todas formas lo tendré en cuenta. Gracias 🙂

  3. maria_freire.sau di:


    Those methods you describe can be very useful, as you mentioned, but not just if the murderer doesn´t confess, but also to prove that the confession is true(imagine that someone blames himself to protect another person), or if the accused is the real murder.

  4. patricia di:

    I know they are not perfect methods and that is the why they were used in past. Now there are a lot of ways to do it more reliable (this is my next post). Thank you 🙂

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