Dr. Edmond Locard was a french criminalist who sometimes was even referred to as the "Sherlock Holmes of France." He had a niche in comparing science to law through his time as an expert. He went on to publish over 40 pieces of literature. During the first World War, Locard worked as a medical examiner for the French Secret Service examining the damages and stains of soldier's uniforms in order to determine the location and cause of deaths. In 1910, he was offered the opportunity to create his first evidence room by Lyon Police which later would be recognized as a laboratory. Dactylography is a study that deals with fingerprints.
He began by studying the pores and impressions of fingerprints. He states that 12 specific points on the fingerprints that can be matched would be enough to match an unknown print to a known print. In 1929, Locard then helped create the International Academy of Criminalistics in Switzerland. This building didn't last long due to the destruction that came with World War 2.
The 12 specific points are the dots, ridges, bifurcations, etc. mentioned in previous blogs. These can all prove to be unique as each person may have dots in different location of the print and lines may start or terminate at different points of the print. This theory shows that no 12 specified locations of a print are similar. Locard helped pioneer a new era of fingerprint determination and identification. People have continued to build off his theory as new fingerprint identification centers have opened up around the world which all use the 12 point indicator that Locard founded but didn't necessarily perfect. The IAFIS uses a similar system as they identify particular points of the fingerprint and keep a database for all fingerprints ever recorded which helps pinpoint suspects much quicker than finding a suspect and fingerprinting them because they are suspicious. This system will locate the suspect anywhere across the country.
Locard was a very famous scientist that may have been best known for Locard Exchange Principle theory which explains how trace evidence can be transferred through contact with an object. This can help determine how a small red fiber from a shirt ended up on a chair in a local restaurant. This fiber alone can help find the suspect.
Take a step back and think about it. You may be sitting down while reading this article in a chair or a couch. Believe it or not, your pants are having fibers fall of them and are resting on the seat. These fibers are not very visible but will remain there for a very long time unless vacuumed. Investigators are so easily able to retrieve this evidence by using tweezers or in some cases a vacuum which is effective but not necessarily the most effective method available. When a vacuum is used, it may be hard to sift through dirt and other particulates to pinpoint the fiber needed. Tweezers are effective when found at the scene of the crime because no fingerprints are involved in lifting the sample.
Forensic Science Central. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2014, from http://forensicsciencecentral.co.uk/edmondlocarm