If you’ve ever seen an episode of CSI, you know police use ultraviolet lights and DNA blenders and all sorts of bizarre technology to solve crimes. But back in in the olden days, police didn’t have any of those fancy computers to help figure out who killed some old widow. They just blamed the butler. Here are a bunch of old pictures from French murder scenes that show how the police used to investigate crimes.
This picture shows the police positioning a body to get a photo of the victim from the side.
This bizarre looking tripod was used to photograph the body from above.
Based on the cloth around the victim’s neck, he was probably strangled to death. This was considered a major lead back then.
In November 1912, this body was found tied up in the Bois de Vincennes, the largest park in Paris. Police were never able to identify the victim.
Mademoiselle Ferrari was found with a knife in her hand and a wound in her chest, which was initially deemed a suicide. However, fingerprinting had just been invented, and police discovered she had actually been murdered by her lover Monsieur Garnier.
Today, we have the ability to check a victim’s body temperature and determine how long they have been dead. Back then, they had to base time of death on the rate of decay. The brownish color of the victim’s foot in this picture indicates that body deteriorated slowly, so the murder probably occurred long before the body was found. How specific!
This bedroom is covered in blood but there’s no body. Presumably they followed the blood trail until they found someone slouched in a corner like a Scooby Doo episode.
This elderly woman was found dead in 1913. Police couldn’t determine the cause of death.
This is one of the first crime scene photos ever taken of a murder.
Before computers, police could only use their eyes to compare fingerprints. We’re pretty sure bifocals were invented by then, so there were probably only a few innocent people thrown in jail due to hunches.