The Scientific Sherlock Holmes: Cracking the Case with Science and Forensics
Sherlock Holmes and his methods have been criticized since the beginning. A news article titled Every Man His Own Holmes was published in the New York Times in 1894 after the first Holmes story “A Study in Scarlet” swept the public away. In this piece this editor describes the epidemic Holmes has caused:
“Everyone knows the exasperating way in which Sherlock Holmes made what he called deductions. If he saw a man with muddy boots, he instantly deduced from that fact a long history of the man’s career, from his cradle to the moment when his boots became muddy. This was not sheer impudence. It was rather a species of madness, and like certain varieties of madness it had a great deal of method in it.” (The New York Times)
It was Doyle’s use of deductions and knowledge of sciences that allowed Sherlock Holmes to influence and inspire the use of science in real-life crime work. As we have advanced in the fields…show more content… O’Brien offers a short history of the uses of handwriting analysis and printed documents followed by his best chosen case reference: the New York Zodiac Killer. O’Brien mentions the notes written by the Zodiac Killer, but he doesn’t detail the full role the letters played in the case.
“For years the Zodiac taunted the police with weird ciphers, phone calls, insulting and cryptic messages. . . . [a cipher] key was handwritten on a sheet of white paper, and was accompanied by a short typewritten note on a 3x5 index card expressing hope that ‘the enclosed key will prove beneficial to you in connection with the cipher letter writer.’ It was signed "concerned citizen” (crimelibrary.com).
Providing the full details supports Holmes’ approach in utilizing documents (written and typed) as well as the case containing the