The Evolution of Crime and Law Enforcement

The Evolution of Crime and Law Enforcement

Crime has existed for hundreds of years in the United States, and over time, there have been more varieties and frequency of crime. Some of the increase is due to new laws that prohibit various items or actions – for example buying, selling, or utilizing drugs. There have also been many violent crimes, and law enforcement continually reforms their programs and methods to help solve crime mysteries. So what created the increased demand for law enforcement in the United States?

In the past, criminal stories have been used as entertainment for the public, but some of these stories have also turned into realities, and many of these stories increased awareness of crimes, thus demanding reforms in the law enforcement system. As time has gone on, there have been more discrete crimes that are tough to solve. These crimes have required detectives to investigate the scenes thoroughly in order to identify the criminal. The famous writer, Edgar Allen Poe, may be the reason the United States has the kind of law enforcement system we have in place today.

Poe wrote a story called “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841). This famous story created a form of the investigation process. The story takes place in Paris, where a man named Dupin, reads a news story in the newspaper about two people that were murdered in the Rue Morgue. Police investigated the crime by asking witnesses what they heard. Based on the clear evidence, they find no traces of the older woman, Madame L’Espanaye. However, they find some traces that led them to a chimney, where they found the corpse of Mademoiselle Camille.  Police later discover the body of Madame L’Espanaye in a courtyard. They find her badly beaten, with her throat severely cut. Madame L’Espanaye had just withdrawn $4,000 from the bank and the money was still in the apartment, ruling out robbery as a motive for the crime.

The witnesses told the police that they heard a Frenchman with a deep voice, and a shriek that sounded like a woman. The police came to a quick conclusion and believed that a Frenchman named Adolphe Le Bon committed the murders. Le Bon was then arrested. However, Dupin believed that it was not possible for Le Bon to commit the crime. As a result, Dupin decided to thoroughly investigate the crime scene. On further investigation on the hair found on the scene, it was concluded that it was not human hair. He also concluded that the shriek of the individual could not be identified. Also, the only way the suspect could break in was through the window. However, the window was high up and some creature with amazing leaping abilities could break in. In the end, it was concluded that an Orangutan committed the murders and Le Bon was released.

The story brought in a whole new era of crime and law enforcement. People who read the story realized that they could commit crimes and get away with it if they were to leave no obvious evidence. As a matter of fact,  the same year the story was published, Mary Cecilia Rogers, known as the “Beautiful Cigar Girl” from New York City, was murdered. Rogers was very popular for both her poetry and her beauty. She started off walking from her mother’s home in Manhattan to her aunt’s house in New Jersey, and three days later, she was found dead in the Hudson River. Nobody knew who committed the crime, and there was no evidence to be found.

This horrific crime mystery made the public fearful because the crime was not investigated properly. As a result, in 1845, New York City became the first city in the United States to have a paid-professional police force. This reform enabled crimes to be thoroughly investigated by detectives of the police force.

The story of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” was a significant part of the United States’ law enforcement system because it displayed the way a crime should be investigated. However, the story also gave a motive for the criminal who killed Mary Cecilia Rogers. The motive for the crime inspired the public to demand a police force to investigate the crimes so that unsolved mysteries can, indeed, be solved.

Today, there are countless crimes committed, but there are also numerous ways to solve them. Thanks to new technology, law enforcement is capable of tracking and identifying criminals quickly. The same type of violent crimes are always reoccurring, so detectives have mastered methods to identify criminals with ease.  Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” helped create an official police force that we still use today. As criminals become more creative, law enforcement  becomes more efficient in solving crime mysteries.

The Evolution of Crime and Law Enforcement was last modified: April 16th, 2015 by admin
Categories: California


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