Forensic Entomology: A Brief History.


The use of insect evidence to solve murders was first recorded in 13th Century China, and was documented in Washing away of wrongs by Song Ci, the book refers to a case in 1235 A.D in which a murder weapon was identified by placing the suspected weapons in the mid-day sun, flies flocked to one sickle, drawn by the presence of blood and tissue remnants that were not visible to the naked eye.

In the Estimation of Post mortem interval (PMI) insect evidence may be used as different insects are attracted to specific transient stages of decay, knowledge of this faunal succession and the developmental rate of specific species under certain environmental conditions can be used to pinpoint near exact time since death (Benecke 1998).

The first writings which observed the insects involved in decay were by Reinhard and Hoffmann in Germany and France in the late 1880s, these were the observations of mass graves when they were exhumed (Benecke, 2001).