war/crime

Henry Faulds and the Forensic Use of Fingerprints

Henry Faulds and the Forensic Use of Fingerprints

On June 1, 1843, Scottish physician and missionary Henry Faulds was born. Faulds became a missionary in Japan, where he worked as a surgeon superintendent at a Tokyo hospital, taught at the local univeristy, and founded the Tokyo Institute for the Blind. He is probably best known for his study of fingerprints, where he became convinced that each individual had a unique pattern. Historic Use of Fingerprints It is believed that fingerprints…
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The Case of Klaus Fuchs, Atomic Spy

The Case of Klaus Fuchs, Atomic Spy

On December 29, 1911, German-born British theoretical physicist and atomic spy Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs was born. In the time of the development of the atomic bomb at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fuchs was responsible for many significant theoretical calculations relating to the first nuclear weapons, and later, early models of the hydrogen bomb. In 1950, Fuchs was convicted of supplying information from the American, British, and Canadian Manhattan Project to the…
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The “King of Bombs” and the Craze of Cold War Nuclear Armament

The “King of Bombs” and the Craze of Cold War Nuclear Armament

On October 30, 1961, the Soviet Union detonated the hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba over Novaya Zemlya, which still is the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise. Technical Challenges Just to get an idea of the bomb’s power, the Tsar Bomba measured ten times the power of all explosives used during World War II. Still, the bomb was known for the very little amount of fallout, produced during the explosion since about 97%…
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Peter Stumpp – the Werewolf of Bedburg

Peter Stumpp – the Werewolf of Bedburg

On October 28, 1589, Rhenish farmer Peter Stumpp was declared guilty of having practiced black magic, being a serial killer, a cannibal, and most of all being a Werewolf. It was one of the most lurid and famous werewolf trials of history. A Farmer with a Disability The sources in Peter Stumpp vary, and around 1590 a pamphlet of 16 pages has been published in London as a translation of a German print, however,…
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The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials

On September 19, 1692, Giles Corey, who was accused of witchcraft along with his wife Martha Corey during the Salem Witch Trials, was subjected to pressing in an effort to force him to plead, but instead he died after two days of torture. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in…
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The Last Victim of the Spanish Inquisition

The Last Victim of the Spanish Inquisition

On July 26, 1826, Cayetano Ripoll, a schoolmaster in Valencia, Spain, teaching deist principles should become the last victim executed by the Spanish inquisition. Ripoll has the dubious honor of being the last of the many people known to have been executed under sentence from a Church authority for having committed the act of heresy. For almost 350 years the Spanish inquisition tried to secure the primacy of the Catholic Church in…
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Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans

Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans

On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc aka the Maid of Orleans was burned at the stake. Joan of Arc is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. “I was thirteen when I had a Voice from God for my help and guidance.” – Joan of Arc, Trial records (1431) Joan of Arc – A…
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Alphonse Bertillon’s Anthropometric Identification System

Alphonse Bertillon’s Anthropometric Identification System

On April 23,1853, French police officer and biometrics researcher Alphonse Bertillon was born. Bertillon was the first who applied the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement creating an identification system based on physical measurements. Anthropometry was the first scientific system used by police to identify criminals. Before that time, criminals could only be identified by name or photograph. The method was eventually supplanted by fingerprinting. Born in a Family of Scientists…
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Constantine and the Battle at the Milvian Bridge

Constantine and the Battle at the Milvian Bridge

On October 28, 312 AD, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius took place. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the Tetrarchy and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. According to historians, the battle marked the beginning of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity and thus fostered the rise of Christianity. Not only Just Another One of those Roman…
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Glienicke Bridge – The Bridge of Spies and the biggest Agent Swap in History

Glienicke Bridge – The Bridge of Spies and the biggest Agent Swap in History

On June 11, 1985, the biggest agent swap known in history occurred at the Glienicke Bridge in Potsdam. There was a swap of 23 American agents held in Eastern Europe for Polish agent Marian Zacharski and another three Soviet agents arrested in the West. The exchange was the result of three years of negotiation. The History of the Glienicke Bridge The Glienicke Bridge became very famous during the Cold War, not only…
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