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Importance of Fingerprints in Criminal Investigations

On the basis of this evidence against her, the woman was forced to confess that she had killed her own two sons.

Within a few years, scientists began developing more accurate methods for classifying fingerprints. By the early 1900's, each print was being classified according to its own characteristic pattern. In this way, the individual pattern of each fingerprint became a fool-proof guideline for tracking down criminals. By the 1920's, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had become interested in the use of fingerprints for the "identification of criminals." J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI at that time, was an important figure in the development of the use of fingerprints in criminal investigations.

Although fingerprinting has been around for nearly one hundred years, the use of computers in solving criminal cases did not begin until about two decades ago. Before that time, the use of computers in law enforcement was not practical. This was because the early computers were both very large and very expensive. In the early 1970s, however, microcomputers were introduced into American society. These computers were much smaller and much cheaper, yet they were able to do almost as much work as the larger ones. With the introduction of microcomputers, the use of computers quickly spread among American businesses and homes as well as among criminal investigators. Before the rise of the microcomputer, investigators were extremely l


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Importance of Fingerprints in Criminal Investigations. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:58, October 26, 2014, from
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