Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Crime Lab

This Day in History: November 24, 1932

Today's famed television series Bones, CSI and NCIS demonstrate the capabilities of a scientific laboratory. Whether forensic or physical evidence, it always ends up in the lab. For us in the 21st century, the tiniest bit of evidence can make or break a case. Even past evidence can be screened and scrutinized to the point of uncovering critical information. Yet, it has not always been this way.

Special Agent Charles Appel
On November 24, 1932, the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory officially opened in Washington, D.C. It did not contain any of the fancy modern equipment known today and operated out of a single room. That one room was selected simply because it contained the necessary sink. As for employees, no team, no different departments, simply one full-time employee, Agent Charles Appel.

John F. Fox, Jr. FBI Historian
Technicians working in the FBI Technical Laboratory
In its early days, the FBI Crime Lab worked on about 200 pieces of evidence a year. By the 1990s, that number multiplied to approximately 200,000. Currently, the FBI Crime Lab obtains 600 new pieces of criminal evidence every day!