Inspector Eduardo Alvarez performed the first criminal fingerprint identification in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1892. He recognized Francisca Rojas as a mom who murdered her two boys and slashed her own neck in an attempt to pin the blame on someone else. The coroner's office had no choice but to accept his conclusion since there were no other suspects.
Rojas was an impoverished young mother of eight children who could not afford to feed them all. So she killed her two youngest sons by slitting their throats and then threw herself onto the blades to avoid punishment. But the police officers who investigated the case didn't believe her suicide excuse and said she must have had help from outside the house.
The oldest son told the investigators that his mom often talked about how much money she would get if she killed his father. Since he believed her, he also agreed to testify against her. However, the prosecutor refused to call him as a witness because he knew it would be too dangerous for him to leave his house under such circumstances.
After this incident, Inspector Alvarez started using fingerprints as evidence in cases where there were no witnesses or tangible proof other than the defendant's identity. This novel technique became very popular among Argentine prosecutors until it was adopted nationwide by 1931.
Francisca Rojas is said to be the world's first criminal convicted based on fingerprint evidence. Rojas, 27, killed her two children on June 29, 1892 in Necochea, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. She then took poison herself.
Rojas' husband had an argument with her the day before the murders and left home in anger. When he returned that night, he found his wife and children dead. The police suspected him of the crime but could not prove it. However, since he had a record of violence against his family, they thought him guilty even before he admitted it himself.
In 1998, Argentine forensic scientists believed they had identified another set of fingerprints in blood at the scene of the crime which were not those of Francisco Rojas. They concluded that these prints belonged to his son Jesus who was only four years old at the time of the murder. The boy lived until he was eight. In 2001, a court ordered new tests on several items including the printer used by the family to see if there were other prints besides those of Jesus. The results showed that there were indeed more than one set of prints at the crime scene which led to Francisca Rojas' conviction again.
This case shows how useful fingerprint evidence can be in convicting criminals.
Juan Vucetich, an Argentine top police officer, invented the first system of keeping fingerprints on file in 1892. The same year, Francisca Rojas was discovered at a residence with neck injuries, while her two boys were discovered dead with their throats slashed. Police theorized that she must have killed them first before being attacked.
Fingerprints were first used by law enforcement to identify victims of crime in Argentina. In 1893, police used Vucetich's method to match prints from the scene of the crime with those kept on file for another case. This woman had been arrested for theft but was able to prove that she lived in poverty so could not be held responsible for the crime. She was released without having to appear in court.
In 1914, the FBI was founded in Washington D.C. by Attorney General William M. Evarts to coordinate efforts between criminal justice agencies within the United States. One of its first tasks was to create a database of fingerprint images for each of the more than 1 million people already in its system.
The earliest known reference to using fingerprints as a means of identification came from an article by Sir Francis Galton, who proposed in 1901 that they could be used to identify individuals from photographs. However, it wasn't until 14 years later that this idea became a reality when Vucetich published his findings regarding fingerprints and crime.
In Argentina, fingerprints were used to identify a lady who murdered her two boys. 5. In the state of New York, the jail system implemented the first use of fingerprints for convicts in the United States. 6. In 1989, the FBI started using fingerprints to identify victims of crimes and suspects. 7. Fingerprints are also used by police to identify people who have been killed or injured in accidents where their identity is not known.
Fingerprint identification techniques include visual comparison of minutiae (such as crests and valleys on the surface of the skin) between the print taken from the crime scene and prints of everyone living in the house, even the pets. If no match is found at that location, the person's finger will need to be sent to another city or state for inclusion into law enforcement databases there. DNA evidence has since replaced fingerprinting for most investigations.
Why do detectives ask about missing persons cases? The police may know something about someone who has gone missing. For example, they might know that someone was last seen in a particular area at a particular time. They might also know that someone disappeared without telling anyone where they were going. Detectives use this information to create a map showing where people have gone missing in their town or region. This is called a "map review."