The evolution of forensic science has been a long, complex, and fascinating journey. For the most part it is a story of triumph, a succession of victories—some large, others barely noticeable—in the never-ending battle to close the loopholes through which criminals slip. This progress has been exponential. Although the first tenuous steps in scientific crime solving came as early as the eighteenth century, the giant strides didn’t really happen until after World War II. Not only did the atomic age bring about a quantum shift in technological development— there is nothing quite like the threat of mutually assured destruction to concentrate the scientific mind—but also, more significantly, crime had replaced war as the number one social evil in the Western world. There were many reasons for this: suddenly, society was swamped by an influx of millions of homecoming ex-servicemen, for whom violence had become a way of life; increased affluence meant that householders now had more possessions worth stealing than ever before; while increased mobility, in the form of affordable vehicles, gave the enterprising lawbreaker a vastly enhanced workplace. Now, as crime hit closer to home, all those two-bit hoodlums whose overhyped exploits had enlivened Depression-era newspaper headlines no longer seemed quite so appealing. With crime levels soaring through the roof, it became blindingly obvious that the old standbys of crime detection—shoe leather, informants, and methodical elimination (though these still form the bedrock of most investigations)—were not enough to stem the onslaught. New weapons were needed.