Hans Gustav Adolf Gross and Criminology
Criminologist: A professional who studies crime, criminals. and criminal behavior. Criminologist are involved in the documentation of factual information about criminality and the development of theories to help explain those facts.
Hans Gross was an Austrian criminal jurist (legal expert in science/law) and an examining magistrate. He is believed to be the creator of the field of criminalities. He taught as a professor at the Chernivtsi University, Prague University and the University of Graz, and established the Institute of Criminology in Graz.
The release of his book in 1891, “Handbuch fur Untersuchungsricter als System Der Kriminalistik” and in 1907 the English version of the same book was released called, Criminal Investigations, a Practical Textbook for Magistrates, Police Officers, and Lawyers. It was this book where the term “criminalistics” was coined.
1893 is marked as the birth of the field of criminalities, applying science to the practices of crime investigation and law. The work combined in one system fields of knowledge that had not been previously integrated, and could be successfully used against crime. Gross adapted some fields to the needs of criminal investigation, such as crime scene photography.
Gross has been said to be the founding father of modern criminal profiling. He wrote about the value of carefully studying offender behavior. Gross offered various methods for profiling the behavior of murderers, arsonists, thieves, counterfeiters, and females falsely reporting rape. He figured out the importance of the offender’s motives (modus operandi) could help solve a crime.
Gross gained my respect when I read his insights females murders. He was the first to include them as suspects.
He also founded and edited the Archive for Criminology. In 1912, Gross opened the Imperial Criminological Institute at the University of Graz, the first of its kind. He considered it a major accomplishment in having criminology recognized as a serious academic discipline.
The Hans Gross Criminological Museum, also part of the university, is still open today. Gross was an advocate of professional ethics, objectivity, careful inspection of the evidence, use of the scientific method, and accurate crime reconstruction. It was his life’s work to professionalized the investigation of crime.