From criminal to enemy: the birth and development of the scientific police and criminal identification in Italy
Derechos de autor 2020 Emilia Musumeci
Esta obra está bajo una licencia internacional Creative Commons Atribución 4.0.
The aim of this article is to briefly retrace the history of criminal identification tech- niques in Italy in order to shed new light on the legacy of criminal anthropology in policing and criminal justice in the delicate transition from liberal Italy to the Fascist regime. While identification techniques invented by Alphonse Bertillon in France spread to many coun- tries, their deployment in Italy was different, being strongly influenced by Lombroso’s con- cept of ‘criminal man’. The ‘Italian method’ was introduced thanks to the efforts of Salvatore Ottolenghi (1861-1934), a pupil of Cesare Lombroso and founder of the Italian scientific police (polizia scientifica). This was the birth of the so-called “Ottolenghi method”, used, especially during the Fascist regime, to identify not only criminals but also subversives, enemies of social order and any suspicious individuals.