Crime Scene Investigation in the Past

by Ryu

There is nothing “new” or “forensic” about solving crime.

Crime has been occuring since the first law was written. The Romans fought crime, the Greeks before them, and the Babylonians before them.

All had their methods. These means were less “scientific” than today, but much of modern science itself is a fraud. No one getting a paycheck is detached or objective.

There is an entire body of crime scene investigation literature that predates the modern era.


In homicide, we always start with victimology. It is tradition because it works. The first detectives did this also.

First, establish a timeline. What was the victim doing in the last 72 hours?

Did he have any enemies? Did any family members have life insurance out on him? Question coworkers and friends. Check into his mail and financial background.

If there is a body, a doctor can determine cause of death. If there is no body, we form a search party and find it. Dogs have been trained to find bodies even before our time period.

Locate the murder weapon. Look in the obvious places. Then, connect the weapon, victim and suspect. The process is straightforward, though most detectives like to blacken their art to increase their own presige and fatten their paycheck.l

As has been demonstrated, most of above was possible in any time period. No high technology necessary. No electricity, cars or internet required.

In fact, it was often easier to solve homicide in the past, as people knew and watched each other more. In 1960, the US homicide clearance rate was 95%.

The number one factor which determines whether or not a case will be solved: did the suspect know the victim? If so, the case will very likely be solved. Today, that’s about 100%.


The purpose of this post is to illustrate a point: there never has been a “perfect” murder.

It is not well to look down on earlier times as “primitive.” Especially considering how our own era will be primitive compared to the year 2200.

2 Comments to “Crime Scene Investigation in the Past”

  1. ‘Modern science is a fraud’ what do you mean?

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