New Experiment (just for fun)

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Steve Everist
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by Steve Everist »

John Vanderkolk wrote: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:10 pm Charlotte Bronte was a fan of Thomas Bewick and his wood carvings of birds.

Bewick also had the fingerprint wood carving often mentioned in fingerprint history.

"Thomas Bewick’s History of British Birds, mentioned in Jane Eyre, was owned by Yorkshire philanthropist believed to have supported Brontë family", ...."A rare first edition of Thomas Bewick’s History of British Birds belonging to Frances Currer, the woman believed to have inspired Charlotte Brontë’s pseudonym of Currer Bell, has come to light."

Charlotte Bronte wrote under the pen name Currer Bell.
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Steve E.
josher89
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by josher89 »

Alright, time for another one.

What were the two reasons given for fingerprint experts to have contradictory testimony in the Hall-Mills case in New Jersey? I'll give hints if no one can respond in the next day or two...

I'm purposely leaving out the year of this trial for now.
"...he wrapped himself in quotations—as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors." - R. Kipling, 1893
Ernie Hamm
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by Ernie Hamm »

The Hall-Mills case is cited as the first erroneous identification case and involved two recognized authorities in the field in the early-1920's, Joseph Faurot (Prosecution) and J.H. Taylor (Defense). You wanted two points associated with the incident and one would have been the erroneous identification accusation and the other other could have been an alternate accusation of fabricated evidence of a valid identification.

The defendant was acquitted and the murders remained unsolved.

I post this on information exchanged with a colleague many years ago.
Dr. Borracho
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by Dr. Borracho »

From http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/law-mag ... trial-1926,
. . .

On Saturday morning, September 16, 1922, a young couple strolling on a lovers' lane on the outskirts of New Brunswick, New Jersey, discovered two bodies. A woman's head lay on a man's right arm, her hand on his knee, a scarf over her throat. The man's business card leaned against his foot. . . .The man was the Reverend Edward W. Hall, rector of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist.

. . .

At midnight on July 28, Frances Hall was arrested and arraigned. Over the next month, several hearings, each with more than 50 witnesses, produced enough testimony to convince the grand jury to indict not only her but her brothers Willie and Henry Stevens

. . .

For the prosecution, a fingerprint expert testified that Reverend Hall's business card bore Willie Stevens' fingerprint, despite the fact that it had been handled by police and reporters and the curious, had developed "flyspecks," and after three years had languished in the possession of the editor of the Daily Mirror.

. . .

Three fingerprint experts could find no resemblance between the smudge on the card and Willie Stevens' prints. The detective who received the card in 1922 said he had put his initials on it then, but the card in evidence showed no initials.

. . .
It would seem there were a number of questions about the alleged fingerprint. But in the overall story of the case, there was plenty of other challenged evidence. In the end, all were acquitted.

I'm pretty sure the crime scene, the fingerprint, and the investigation would be handled differently today. At least, I would hope so.
"The times, they are a changin' "
-- Bob Dylan, 1964
Ernie Hamm
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by Ernie Hamm »

Portions of my response can be found at the following: http://www.fprints.nwlean.net/

Look under "Hall-Mills".
josher89
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by josher89 »

This is from the book "The Finger Print Instructor" written by Frederick Kuhne. My copy is the Third Edition, published in 1942. As an aside, I think Mr. Kuhne really hated handwriting analysts; throughout the introduction, he's slamming them left and right!

Anyway, his reasons for the contradictory testimony were thus:

"The elasticity of a qualified expert's imagination for personal fame or notoriety, or the employment of a person who may have taken up the study of finger prints, but who lacks the practical experience required to qualify as an expert."

A bit earlier in the introduction, he says this, "The testimony of a finger print expert is not subject to contradiction by another finger print expert, for the reason that the print os from the person; while in cases of testimony by handwriting experts there is always a possibility of contradiction, because the identification of handwriting is merely the opinion of a person who has made a study of detecting similarities in the formation of letters; and another expert, who is just as competent, might not agree with the conclusions of the first expert, thus giving cause for doubt."

Oh, how far we've come. I changed my signature to include a snippet of this introduction...just for fun!
"...he wrapped himself in quotations—as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors." - R. Kipling, 1893
Dr. Borracho
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by Dr. Borracho »

josher89 wrote: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:58 am This is from the book "The Finger Print Instructor" written by Frederick Kuhne. My copy is the Third Edition, published in 1942. As an aside, I think Mr. Kuhne really hated handwriting analysts; throughout the introduction, he's slamming them left and right!
Handwriting identification preceded fingerprint identification. Apparently, some of the handwriting experts felt threatened by the new science of fingerprints and took an adversarial position. Milton Carlson was a leader in the attacks. See his articles in 1925 issues of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. (You might have to scroll up just slightly after clicking and opening the links below).

https://books.google.com/books?id=aScDA ... ry&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=49oDA ... ry&f=false

Those attacks and others in the late 1920's would have contributed to Frederick Kuhne's antipathy for handwriting analysts. Thank goodness we get along better today!
"The times, they are a changin' "
-- Bob Dylan, 1964
josher89
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by josher89 »

Thought I'd give this a bump for a Friday.

What popular TV series of the 60s had its lead facing execution but fingerprints saved the day?

Bonus for year and episode...
"...he wrapped himself in quotations—as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors." - R. Kipling, 1893
John Vanderkolk
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by John Vanderkolk »

Bonanza, Little Joe Cartwright, "Mark of Guilt." Hop Sing knew all about fingerprints from China. Fingerprint of suspect was in wet paint on murder weapon, a board. Hop Sing made the ident and saved Little Joe!
josher89
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by josher89 »

Ding Ding Ding!

For those that are interested, it's actually a good episode and can usually be found online. Just google Mark of Guilt and you should find it. Hop Sing even renders an exclusion decision in the episode!
"...he wrapped himself in quotations—as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors." - R. Kipling, 1893
josher89
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by josher89 »

This might go very quickly, or it might go unanswered...

...Whose fingerprint(s) can be found on the top of the pages in the NIJ Fingerprint Sourcebook? Another point for whose are on the cover!
"...he wrapped himself in quotations—as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors." - R. Kipling, 1893
Bill Schade
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by Bill Schade »

Francis Rojas
Dactyl10
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by Dactyl10 »

Pretty sure it's not Francisca Rojas. I am going to guess it's Sir Edward Richard Henry's print. The Sourcebook lists a cover photo credit attribution to a volume 1 Fingerprint Magazine issue from 1919. Looked at that issue on line and found an article about E. R. Henry. Did not find his inked prints anywhere to confirm however. Oh, and the print on the top of every page in the Sourcebook is the same print on both the index and thumb of the handprint on the cover!
Bill Schade
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by Bill Schade »

Good Job

I wasn't calling an ID
I was providing an Investigative Lead :lol:
josher89
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Re: New Experiment (just for fun)

Post by josher89 »

Sent in by a reader! Name the building and location. Extra points if you can ID it!
wjcpYX6_1.jpg
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"...he wrapped himself in quotations—as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors." - R. Kipling, 1893
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