Famous Crimefighters by Robert Larranaga
Next was Alphonse Bertillon, a Frenchmen who recognized the limitations of the "rogues gallery" for identifying criminals. A criminal would simply change his appearance by growing a beard or mustache and no longer be identifiable from his picture. Bertillon developed a system of identifying people by their measurements -- height, arm length, leg length, and skull measurements. Within two years of developing his system he had caught 240 criminals by their measurements. The system was called "bertillonage" and was installed in every French prison. All prisoners were measured. Then crime fighters began experimenting with fingerprints. The man credited with establishing a system for matching fingerprints was Sir Edward Henry, the Commissioner of Scotland Yard, but several men in several countries contributed to the new science.
Next was Allan Pinkerton who started the first detective agency in the US. He and his agency were famous for providing security for President Lincoln, for acting as spies in the south during the Civil War, and for catching or killing many famous robbers. Allan Pinkerton died when he got gangrene after biting his tongue. When Pinkerton died in 1884 bertillonage was still being used in US prisons rather than fingerprints. Then there was an incident at Leavenworth Prison in Kansas, when two men were discovered to have the same name and the same measurements. The incident got lots of publicity and bertillonage lost it credibility as a foolproof method of identification. Then a New York detective named Joseph A. Faurot studied fingerprinting at Scotland Yard and established its use in the US in 1906.
Then came a chapter about J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. Famous criminals mentioned were Bruno Hauptman who kidnapped and murdered the Lindbergh child, Pretty Boy Floyd, "Machine Gun" Kelly, "Mad-Dog" Karpis, John Dillinger, and "Baby Face" Nelson. Although the 18th amendment was passed to eliminate societal evils related to alcohol, it had the opposite effect and created the biggest crime wave the country had ever known. The book says during prohibition there were probably more gangsters in the US than there were soldiers in World War I. In New York alone there were over 22,000 speakeasies. The book covered Al Capone, Dutch Schultz, Bugs Moran, and Treasury Agent Eliot Ness.
Next was Dr. Bernard Spilsbury, who pioneered forensic medicine in crime fighting. He worked with Scotland Yard. Dr. Charles Norris followed with the establishment of a forensic medicine laboratory in New York, which he set up with his own money. Next was John F. Tyrrell, the world's greatest handwriting expert. His methods turned up lots of forged documents, especially insurance forms fraudulently filled out by well people on behalf of sick people. Next was George Chenkin, a New York detective who was so good at tracking criminals that there was a $5,000 underworld bounty on his head. The final chapter was about a legendary German shepherd police dog named Dox, nicknamed "Il Gigante" by Italian bandits. Before Dox's crime-fighting career, his owner made $11,000 over a period of a few years by betting men in bars that Dox could track anyone in the bar to his home. Dox's unbelievable ability to track people came to the attention of the police and Dox entered police work. Dox had a long memory for scents too. Once when his owner was walking him, Dox caught a scent and pulled his owner into a restaurant and straight to a man eating at a table. It turned out the man was a criminal Dox had tracked and caught six years before, but who had recently escaped from prison.