The scientist who introduced the fingerprint, based on which the first criminals were caught in Romania


Finding the truth in a criminal trial, without a dactyloscopic forensic expertise, is almost impossible to achieve.

From this premise came the researchers of the past, who discovered the dactyloscopic system, based on identifying the person by fingerprints, fingerprints that are unique and whose configuration is established for life.

Until then, there was an anthropometric identification system, which was based only on the mention that each human being differs from that by the measures of the component parts of the body, respectively head, hands, feet.

The first Romanian to make the fingerprint system was the doctor Mina Minovici, he was the one who in 1896 identified the perpetrator of a theft from a printing house based on fingerprints left on a piece of paper in a condica, where the thief stole an amount of money.

Mina Minovici is also the one who founded the Romanian school of anthropology, for the training of police officers and agents. He was acquainted with the work of his colleagues in Europe, thus becoming a follower of typing.

“Prof. Mina Minovici was the promoter, theorist and the most competent scientist in our country, who dedicated himself to anthropometric and dactyloscopic studies in order to promote scientific methods and to identify recidivists”, according to Dr. Constantin Turai, who mentioned him the famous doctor in the work “History of the perpetrator’s discovery after the traces of papillary drawings in Romania”.

The first expertise, used in a famous process

Only in 1914 was the first dactyloscopic expertise performed in Romania in a famous process of the times. The evidence proved indubitable in establishing the real culprit, given that the judges had previously given another solution.


That year, in the country’s capital, in Bucharest, there was a great theft of money and jewelry from the house of an emblematic flight of the aristocracy, Elena Retulescu. 400,000 lei and jewelry worth 300,000 lei disappeared from her house, a fortune for those times.

Based on the papillary traces raised from the safe where the fortune was kept, the police established in the expertise that the fingerprints belong to the architect Christu Sotiriu, who had undertaken to renovate the building.

The scientific evidence was then not enough to convince the judges, who acquitted the architect, but in 2018 the trial was re-judged and the judges accepted as evidence the dactyloscopic expertise. Based on it, the architect was convicted.

From that moment, the fingerprint became a means of proof in establishing the truth.

Identifying the criminals no longer meant such a heavy burden for the police, being a matter of minutes in finding the traces.

Things have evolved over time, and in 1925 Romania already had 300,000 fingerprints of repeat offenders.

And today, the most effective proof of criminal identification is the one based on the handprints, because it leads to a correct identification of the perpetrators, without fear of being wrong, given that no two similar fingerprints have ever been found.


Source: Breaking News – Cele mai importante stiri – Ziare.com by ziare.com.

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