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!