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* * * FORENSIC ENTOMOLOGY SHOULD logically have continued to develop steadily, with new discoveries arising from the findings of previous research. Research was usually conducted in response to a murder and often ceased once the case was solved. During the late 1800s, he published a series of papers on medicocriminal entomology that alerted both doctors and lawyers to the usefulness of entomological evidence.

There were some exceptions, particularly the work of J. Possibly the most significant of these papers was La faune des cadavres: Application l'entomologie a la medicine legale, which was published in 1894.

In the mid-1930s entomological evidence came to the fore in a particularly brutal murder case, recently chronicled in New Scientist by Zak Erzinçlioglu.

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Confronted with this evidence, the owner of the sickle confessed to the crime.

The magistrate's action demonstrates considerable knowledge of the activity patterns of the flies, which were certainly blow flies.

Until quite recently, most death investigators regarded these insects as merely a sign of decay, to be washed away or otherwise disposed of as quickly as possible, rather than potentially significant evidence.

Thus while other forensic sciences, such as toxicology, forensic pathology, blood-spatter analysis, and ballistics, developed into accepted forensic tools, beginning in the late 1800s, forensic entomology was seldom practiced.

Yet the application of insect evidence to criminal investigations is not a new idea.