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Allan Pinkerton

He became the first detective of the Chicago Police Department in 1849/ America's most famous private investigator.

Alphonse Bertillon

Founder of criminalistics/ The founder of criminal identification by body measurement.


A system of criminal identification developed by Alphonse Bertillon based on 11 measurements of the human frame.

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which through judicial interpretation guide the actions of criminal investigations.

Bow Street Runners

An early group of English criminal investigators who operated from a court located on Bow Street in London.


The Criminal Investigation Department/ a team composed in 1877 of the Investigators of the Scotland Yard


The application of many fields of natural science to the detection of crime.


An investigative law-enforcement officer

Eugene Vidocq

Criminal turned Paris investigator/ Criminal turned Paris investigator/ A notorious thief-catcher and former convict. He based his operations in Paris and was active some 80 years after the death of Jonathan Wild. He and his team operated with the complete sanction of the police while Wild's did not.

Fourteenth Amendment

An 1868 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that, in time, applied due process requirements to state criminal cases.

Industrial Revolution

An economic phase characterized by intense industrial development in urban areas and related population shifts to the cities.



master criminal who then became London's most

Jonathan Wild

effective criminal investigator in the 1720s. Wild's actions made popular the logic of employing one who was a thief to catch a thief.

Metropolitian Police Act


English legislation that led to the development of the London Metropolitan Police.

Modus Operandi

The specific method of operation employed by a criminal during the commission of an offense, that is likely to be repeated to form an identifiable pattern.

Parliamentary Reward System

An early English practice in which officials were paid for the apprehension and prosecution of criminals, thus encouraging a high arrest and conviction rate.


An instrument that measures certain physiological changes of the body triggered by emotional responses to specific verbal questions; generally used to determine deception.

Portrait Parle

An early method of criminal identification in which the human head and facial features were described in a detailed manner.


An early method of criminal investigation and apprehension that was based on the premise that only a criminal could successfully apprehend another criminal.

Thomas Byrnes

American founder of criminal modus operandi/ Chief of detectives in New York City/ One of the most famous invesitgators of the 19th century

Will West Case


case in which two inmates so closely resembled each

other in physical characteristics that the traditional Bertillon method of identification was discredited.