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The Life and Success of Calvin Goddard

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on 9 September 2013

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Transcript of The Life and Success of Calvin Goddard

The Successful Life of Calvin Goddard
"The Father of Forensic Ballistics"
~Ravyn Richardson and Gabby Greene~

History of Calvin Goddard
Born in 1891 in Baltimore, Maryland
Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University
He was a colonel in the US Army
Military editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica
Editor of America’s first scientific police journal, the American Journal of Police Science
Died in 1955 of a heart attack

Contribution to Science
Calvin Goddard developed the science of Firearms Identification by applying comparison microscope which used a matched pair of compound microscopes to compare 2 separate objects
Measured bullet holes and bullets found at crime scenes to determine what type of gun was used
Helped develop the helixometer; a probe used to inspect gun barrels
probe that measures the interior of firearm barrels
In 1925, Goddard and colleagues C.E. Waite, Phillip O. Gravelle and John H. Fisher established in New York City the Bureau of Forensic Ballistics
Helped develop the first lie detectors
St. Valentines Massacre
On February 14, 1929 , seven gang members were killed by members of a rival gang dressed as Chicago police officers in a garage in north-side Chicago. It was ordered by Al Capone over the illegal traffic of alcoholic beverages, during Prohibition. Calvin Goddard was the lead forensics expert in solving the massacre, by using forensic ballistics (studying the bullets to figure out the weapon).
Sacco and Venzetti Case
Sacco and Venzetti were 2 Italian men arrested for the murder of a security guard and the robbery of a factory's payroll in South Braintree, MA, on April 15, 1920. Goddard received the case April 8, 1927. Using comparison microscopy and the helixometer, he inspected the gun barrel and the bullet that killed the security guard. He tested 3 types of guns and found that Sacco's gun matched the bullets found at the crime scene. The two were found guilty and sentenced to death via electrocution in MA, August 23, 1927.
Calvin Goddard was the founder of Firearms Identification, making him a pioneer of forensic ballistics. Although some methods such as the helixometer are no longer in use., his work has led to countless cases being solved.


Forensic Ballistics is used in every criminal investigation agency today
(ATF, FBI, CSI, etc)
Full transcript