St Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri, June 6, 1909
Wikipedia says that: Alphonse Bertillon was a French police officer and biometrics researcher 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. He is also the inventor of the mug shot. Photographing of criminals began in the 1840s only a few years after the invention of photography, but it was not until 1888 that Bertillon standardized the process.
Bertillon was by many accounts regarded as extremely eccentric. According to Maurice Paleologue, who observed him at the second court-martial, Bertillon was “certainly not in full possession of his faculties”. Paleologue goes on to describe Bertillon’s argument as “…a long tissue of absurdities,” and writes of “…his moonstruck eyes, his sepulchral voice, the saturnine magnetism” that made him feel that he was “…in the presence of a necromancer.”
Bertillon is referenced in the Sherlock Holmes story The Hound of the Baskervilles, in which one of Holmes’ clients refers to Holmes as the “second highest expert in Europe” after Bertillon.