By Olivia Judson
1 In 1905, two brothers, Alfred and Albert Stratton, were found guilty of murdering a shopkeeper and his wife in Deptford, a town outside London. The evidence? A thumbprint at the scene of the crime. The brothers were hanged.
2 The Stratton trial was the first time in Western jurisprudence that fingerprint evidence had been presented in a murder case. As such, it was a triumph for Charles Darwin's cousin Francis Galton. Galton had spent years collecting fingerprints, studying and classifying their patterns of loops, arches, and whorls. It was he who had not just speculated, but demonstrated that fingerprints are a reliable way of telling one person from another, and persuaded the police that they could be used to solve crimes.
NATURAL HISTORY – December 2008/January 2009
According to the information in the article, Alfred and Albert Stratton
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