Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dennis Gunn and the tell-tale fingerprints

Pop across to Writer of the Purple Sage's blog Yardy Yardy Yardy for the noting of today's anniversary: Dennis Gunn, sentenced to death 28 May 1920, convicted on fingerprint evidence.

Fingerprints were first used within the British Empire as early as 1905 to convict murderers -- in that case, it was the Stratton Brothers. But as far as I've been able to find out at present, the Gunn case was the first use of fingerprints in a capital trial in Australasia.

Image: NZ Truth 27 March 1920


  1. It is ok. You can claim the first use of fingerprints was in NZ. We claim enough of yours as our own.

  2. Only the first use in a capital trial, Andrew. Fingerprint bureaux in Australian states were set up earlier than those in NZ, by the looks -- I just haven't found a murder case over your way yet that utilised the new tech before the Gunn trial.

    If you can find one, great! I'll add it to the post.

  3. Thank you for the link, Ma'am! Much appreciated!

  4. Thank you for taking the time to note the anniversary! Cheers.