Northwestern University Bulletin: Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory
1932 February 8
Northwestern University Bulletin: Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory
About This Item
Description: This special issue of the Bulletin (vol. XXXII, no. 24, Bulletin No. 4) features the Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, which was affiliated with Northwestern University in the early 20th century. Of special interest is the photograph of the Keeler Polygraph, whose technology was developed here.
A list of the various types of service which the Laboratory is prepared to render, with a description of some of its activities Northwestern University Bulletin is published weekly during the academic year at Chicago, Illinois. Entered as second Class Matter November 21, 1913, at the Postoffice at Chicago, Illinois, under Act of Congress of August 24, 1912. Accepted for mailing at special rates of postage provided fo r in Section 1103, Act of October 3. 1917, authorized on June 14, 1918. The Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, a corporation not for profit. organized in afiiliation with and administered under the direction of Northwestern University of Chicago, is prepared to render service to law-enforcement officers and peace agencies throughout the United States and Canada in connection with the study of the many different types of evidence which may figure in crimes of every variety. A list of some of the activities of our institution is printed below. The Laboratory, which is located at 469 East Ohio Street, Chicago ( telephone Superior 9455) is open daily except Sunday from 9 :00 A. M. to 5 :00 P. M. Its permanent staff, whose names appear elsewhere in this leaflet, has been selected with great care and comprises persons chosen for expert qualifications in their several fields. In addition, a consulting staff ( also listed) of persons equally qualified but not actually located at the Laboratory, is being built up. To these men are referred problems of unusual nature which do not arise with sufficient frequency to warrant the creation of full-time departments for their investigation. The services of the Laboratory are available without cost to peace officers of the Chicago district and may be engaged by individuals or authorities elsewhere at charges commensurate with the work involved. Staff members are prepared to appear at points distant from Chicago and offer testimony as to their findings in studies conducted at the Laboratory. In addition to conducting the examinations listed below, the Laboratory publishes, through Northwestern University Press, the American Journal of Police Science, a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the exposition of scientific methods of crime detection and other material of interest to person·s interested in law-enforcement. The only publication of its kind in the United States, it has won immediate recognition throughout this country and abroad. Sample copies of the magazine may be had upon request. Another activity of the Laboratory is the training in crime detection methods of persons already experienced in police work. One such course, covering thirty days, has already been held. Of this the National Com - mission of Law Observance and Enforcement (George W. Wickersham, Chairman) said in its report dated June 26, 1931, "Scientific to the last degree, it is establishing a precedent for which there is no equal in this country at the present time." Repetitions of this course will be carried out periodically. In addition, another thirty-day course to be offered to candidates for appointment as police officers will shortly be organized. It is also planned to conduct this one or more times annually. Descriptive circulars concerning the instruction offered in both courses may be had upon application. List of Laboratory Activities Follows: Automobile Tire Prints: Identification of by photography, the making of casts, etc. Blood: Identification of stains made by, and further classification as to whether stain is from blood of human being or other animal. Bombs: Identification of explosive employed; through study of fragments, etc. Bones: Determination as to whether these are from human beings or other animals. Also (in some cases) age, height, and sex of person from whom they came. Bullets: Identification of caliber, type, kind of powder by which fired, and type of weapon used. Also, in case of a suspected weapon, whether or not this actually fired the bullets in evidence. Casts: Of tool marks, teeth marks, or of entire objects reproductions of which might have value as evidence. Casts may be made of wounds of any part of a body and preserved to indicate the nature and extent of such wounds, also of the entire heads of unknown dead persons, and held for purposes of identification, etc. Codes : Letters or messages in code can be deciphered by those familiar with code systems, ( as is a number of our associate staff) . Deception: See special discussion of this subj ect. Dust: Analyses of dust from the clothing, from pockets of an automobile, or other sources, may yield valuable information concerning the habits of the person wearing the clothing, using the automobile, etc. Explosions: Examination of premises following explosions may yield evidence which will reveal the cause behind these. Feces: Examination of bowel movements of prisoners (feces) will reveal nature of food recently consumed and may be used to upset alibi statements. Fingernail Scrapings: When these are made from the nails of the victim of an attack or those of a suspect, they may show the presence of blood, hair, clothing fibres, or other material which will help solve the crime. Firearms: Examination of these will show whether they have been recently fired and if so, with what kind of powder. Fires: Study of premises may reveal evidence indicating the causes at work. Food: Examination of articles of food may reveal presence of poisons, harmful bacteria, etc. Gastric (Stomach) Contents: Examination of these may, as in the case of feces, help upset a suspect's alibi . Hair: Strands of hair from clothing, automobile fenders, etc., may be identified as similar to those from the heads of victims or suspects in crimes of various types. H andwritin_q: Specimens of handwriting may be identified as to the hand that wrote them, erasures and alterations revealed, etc. Inks: Study of the kind of ink used in a document may substantiate its authentici ty or prove it a forge ry. invisible Writing: Secret inks may be employed to write messages invisible to the naked eye between the lines of communications innocent in appearance. Such messages can be brought out by proper treatment. Jewels: Identification of fake jewels can be made by employing scientific methods involving chemical tests, microscopic examinations, the use of ultra-violet rays, etc. M ctals: Serial numbers stamped in metal, as in firearms, automobiles, etc., and subsequently erased, can be brought back by proper treatment. M oney: Counterfeits of both metallic and paper money can be identified by simple laboratory methods. Paper: Knowledge of paper making and the history of paper often makes it possible to pronounce a certain document genuine or forged. Parasites: Parasites found on the clothing of a body may be identified as of the same type as others present on the premises where a murder was committed, and so forth. Paternity (Fatherhood): In a certain percentage of cases it is possible to establish paternity by blood-grouping tests made upon parents and child. Poisoning: Chemical analyses of stomach contents, organs. etc., will reveal presence of poisons. Postage Stamps: These are frequently forged, but forgeries can be detected by proper methods. Postmarks: These may be forged in connection with fake alibis. They can be detected without difficulty. Powder Marh: On skin or clothing these may serve to identify the kind of powder used and distance at which a shot was fired. Printing: A study of this will reveal its approximate date as the varieties of type used are constantly changing. Thus the age of a printed document may be established. Seals, Embossed: These may be forged but the forgery can be detected. Seals, Wax: These may be forged or removed and replaced. Detection is possible in both cases. Seminal Stains: These may readily be identified on clothing in rape cases. Shells, empty, fir ed: These can be identified as to the particular arm in which they were fired, etc. Shoe Prints: These may photographed and casts made of them which will show every abnormality present in the soles of the shoes which caused them. Thus the suspect may be convicted by identifying certain prints as having been made by shoes worn by him. Soil: Soil adhering to shoes, clothing, etc., will help identify the locality through which the wearer has recently passed, and thus to confirm or upset an alibi. Spots and Stains: These may be found on materials of all sorts. Analyses will usually reveal their nature, which may have an important bearing in the case. Stamps, Rubber: These may be forged but the forgery can be identified. Teeth Marks: These may be found in food, on human bodies, etc. Molds may be taken of them whereby the teeth ·of the person causing them can later be identified, as the teeth of no two persons will leave precisely the same marks in an object bitten. Textiles: Fibres of different types of cloth can be identified under the microscope and may prove very important evidence in many kinds of cases. Tool Marks: Marks of jimmies or other tools on doors, etc., can be molded and the casts retained for future use. These will show any defects present in the tool used and may serve to identify the actual tool involved. Typewriting: This can be identified as to the make of machine employed and as to the particular machine of that make which wrote it. Alterations, erasures, etc., can be revealed. Urine: When this contains abnormal constituents it may serve to identify a given individual. 4S. Wads (from Guns) : These can be identified as to the factory which made them. This may be an important point in shooting cases. Deception: Our Psychological Department, which is directed by Mr. Leonarde Keeler, has so perfected the use of the instrument popularly known as the "lie-detector" that we have been able to build up around it a personnel service which various commercial institutions are finding extremely useful. This service consists of two classes. The first involves routine examinations of candidates for positions of trust. Each individual examined is questioned upon the lie-detector concerning important events in his past history. If he has ever been a defaulter, has served time in penal institutions, or has been discharged for dishonesty or incompetency, such facts are brought out. A report is then submitted to the prospective employer in which our findings are outlined and our recommendation as to the candidate's desirability offered. Various banks in Chicago are now using this service for every employee added to their rolls. Three former defaulters who would otherwise have been employed, have been rejected as a result of our examination which revealed their unsavory past histories. Our second class of service involves the examination on the liedetector of persons suspected of embezzlement, petty thievery, etc. All possible suspects in any individual instance are tested in succession ancl any who show records indicative of guilt or guilty knowledge of th e situation under investigation are retested until confessions are obtained. These are usually secured in some seventy-five per cent of instances in which the lie-detector record indicates guilt. So accurate are these records that, even though confessions are not obtained, employers are inclined to accept their verdict and discharge the persons involved. The use of the lie-detector is the antithesis of the third degree. It requires the complete cooperation of the individual under examination , without which no satisfactory record can be secured. As a result, no claims that confessions secured through it have been exacted by mental or physical brutality can be substantiated, as the subject must be relatively calm mentally and quiescent physically if a satisfactory record is to be obtained. Board of Directors President-B. A. Massee, V.-Pres., Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Co. , Chicago. Vice-President-W. A. Olson, Pres., Olson Rug Company, Chicago. Treasurer-Dana Pierce, Pres., Underwriters' Laboratories, Chicago. Secretary-John H. Wigmore, Professor of Law, Northwestern University, Chicago. Assistant Secretary-Newman F. Baker, Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern University, Chicago. James P. Simonds, Professor of Pathology, Northwestern University, Chicago. Fred W. Sargent, Pres., Chicago and Northwestern Railway, Chicago. Frederick B. Crossley, Librarian and Professor of Law, Northwestern University, Chicago. A. R. Hatton, Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University, Chicago. Henry B. Chamberlin, Operating Director, Chicago Crime Commission. Leon Green, Dean of Law School, Northwestern University, Chicago. Full-Time Staff Managing Director-Calvin Goddard, Professor of Police Science, Northwestern University. Assistant Director-Clarence W. Muehlberger, Asst. Professor of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Northwestern University. Firearm Identification-Seth Wiard, Instructor in Police Science, Northwestern University. Firearm Identification- Allen P. Wescott, Asst. Instructor in Police Science, Northwestern University. Psychology and Deception Tests- Leonarde Keeler, Research Assistant in Physiology, Northwestern University. Psychology and Deception Tests-Charles McCormick Wilson, Research Engineer, and Assistant, Dept. of Psychology, Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory. Questioned Documents-Katherine Applegate, Document Examiner, Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory. Photography-Charles A. Braun, Photographer, Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory. Photo-micrography-£. Carleton Hood, Research Assistant, Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory. Editorial Assistant- Adolph 0 . Knoll, Assistant Editor, American J ournal of Police Science. Translations-L. J. Kaempfer. Librarian- Maxine Johnson. Associate Staff Business Alice Manning Office Ruth S. Crowe Identification of Ancient Documents-Oliver R. Barrett, Chicago, Illinois. Criminal Law Administration C. Wayland Brooks, Asst. State's Attorney, Cook County, Iltinois. Medical Aspects of Crime-Herman N. Bundesen, Health Commissioner, Chicago. Dentistry in Identification-W. Irving Carlsen, Chicago. lncendiarism and Arson- E. L. Donovan , National Board of Fire Underwriters, Chicago. · Gems, Genuine and Spurious- R. C. Emmons, Associate Professor of Geology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. Bacteriology and Crime-A. I. Kendall, Professor of Research Bacteriology, Northwestern University, Chicago. Burglar Resisting Devices-H. B. Michael, Underwriters Laboratories, Chicago. Pathology and Legal Medicine- James P. Simonds, Professor of Pathology, Northwestern University, Chicago. Surveys of Police Activity-Bruce Smith, National Institute of Public Administration, New York. Psychology of ·witnesses-Emory J. Smith, Asst. Attorney General, State of Illinois, Chicago. Police Administration-August Vollmer, · Professor of Police Administration, University of California. Questioned Documents-Jay Fordyce Wood, Consultant, Chicago. Questioned Documents-Herbert J . Walter, Consultant, Chicago. Decoding of Code Messages-H. 0. Yardley, Worthington, Indiana. Explosions (Gas)-Augustus H. Gill, Professor of Technical Chemical Analysis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Keeler Polygraph, or "Lie Detector," the applications of which to crime detection are described in the foregoing pages. COMMENT BY THE NATIONAL COMMISSION OF LAW OBSERVANCE AND ENFORCEMENT ON THE SCIENTIFIC CRIME DETECTION LABORATORY The following excerpt is taken from Report No. 11 , entitled: Report on L awlessness in Law Enforcement, as issued by the National Commission on L aw Observance and Enforcement ( George W . Wickersham, Chairman). On pages 130 and 131, in a discussion of the "Third Degree," we find: "One counteractive force which may prove of benefit is the Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory of Chicago, a non-profit corporation affiliated with Northwestern University. Its managing director is Major Calvin Goddard. Its services are open to all police departments. The directors believe that scientific methods are the best remedy for the third degree and other brutal practices . In 1930 the Chicago police submitted sixty-seven cases of homicide by firearms, mainly involving the identification of bullets with the guns from which they were supposed to have been fired. The laboratory is equipped for handling all sorts of microscopic and chemical tests to detect forgeries, invisible writing, alterations of serial numbers on firearms, etc. The first number of the Journal of Scientific Crime Detection (American Journal of Police Science) was published by the laboratory in January, 1930, and the journal already has a considerable circulation . The presence in Chicago of this laboratory, with its many scientific facilities, ought in time to stimulate the local prosecuting attorneys and detectives to place an increasing reliance on the investigation of outside evidence of crimes "