U.K.: Hyperion. 2001.
256pp. Illustrated, Bibliography, Index. [Police and Forensic Science]
It is almost impossible to imagine that prior to the 20th century, there was no reliable way to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent. All that changed in Britain in 1905, when the bloody bodies of an elderly couple were discovered in their shop. A solitary fingerprint was the only piece of evidence. For fifteen years, Dr. Henry Faulds had been trying to convince Scotland Yard to adopt his system of identification. But when an elite society scientist, Francis Galton, stumbled across Faulds's idea and claimed it as his own, his lofty status quickly convinced Scotland Yard to attempt prosecuting its first murder case using fingerprint evidence. There was one problem, though. Henry Faulds was on the side of the defense. The very father of fingerprinting said that the fingerprint found at the scene did not belong to the accused.