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Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 49, Number 9 (June 1948)

Summers, Robert
These professors bust crime,   pp. 14-15


Page 14


J. EDGAR HOOVER AND WARDEN LAWES have nothing on the University of Wisconsin
faculty. (Left to
right) Carl E. Johnson, MA'30, former deputy warden at Waupun, teaches courses
on penology. John L.
Gillin, grand old man of the sociology department, slarted Wisconsin off
in the field of crime and criminal
work some 35 years ago. Marshall B. Clinard instruct3 and researches in the
theory of criminology.
     Thesle P4,aedeue4d Audt 6,4ime
   THE DEPARTMENT of sociology at the University of Wisconsin
is "breaking trail" for the nation's educational institutions in
the
field of criminology and penology.
   Wisconsin is fighting the vicious circle in which the criminal
travels. The circle begins with the crime and then progresses thi ough
the police, the courts, and finally to prison. When the man is released
he may once again return to the starting point to begin the cycle
all over.
  The attack on this problem begins with the unimpressive title of Sociology
165. This course is a study in scientific methods in the identification of
criminals.
It is taught through the sociology de-
partment by Dr. Joseph H. Mathews,    By ROBERT SUMMERS, '50
'03, nationally known criminologist and
chairman of the department of chem- valuable to the University as it has
to
istry. Dr. Mathews has been active in the field of criminology. Some years
ago
the field of criminology for over 25 a re-entering student was suspected
of
years.                               having been "washed out" previously.
  His course combines both lectures His transcript was consulted by Uni-
and demonstrations to familiar~za the versity authorities and found to be
in
student with such subjects as identif- perfect order. There seemed to be
no
ication of guns and edged tools, finger- basis for suspicion. But the proverbial
printing, bullet holes in glass, micro- rat was smelled and the transcript
was
scopic and spectroscopic examinations, sent to Dr. Mathews. Tests in the
lab
blood test and typing, and the use of proved that the transcript had been
drugs such as truth serum. The course, tampered with. When presented with
which has been in operation for eight the facts the student confessed that
he
years, has proven to be one of the most had stolen the record and by using
ink
popular specialized classes on the cam- eradicator had succeeded in making
for
pus. Last year alone it attracted over himself quite an Jmpressive scholastic
100 students.                        record. Dr. Mathews explained that the
  On several occasions the Mathews eradicator took away all visible traces
"crime lab" has proven itself almost as of the original grades
but failed to
14
remove iron particles contained in the
ink wh'ch rema'ncd in the pap├Żer. Lab-
oratory tests brought out the wriLing
as clearly as it had originally been.
  A more recent case occurred when a
student received an examination back
and found to his dismay that he had
reversed the answers to two of the
questions. That is, the answer he had
given for question number 2 fitted qucs-
tion 3 and vice versa. He then pro-
ceeded to draw a series of arrows indi-
cating that he had meant th2 answers
to be reversed. When confronted by the
student, his professor could not remem-
ber the arrows as having been there
when he first graded the paper. A trio
to Dr. Mathews' lab was made with the
paper and the student's one mistake
was brought out. He had drawn one of
his arrows over a red pencil mark in
the margin of the paper placed there
by the professor. Under microscopic
examination his error showed uD, prov-
ing, of course, that his marks had been
placed there after the paper had been
graded.
   (The future of scientific crime detec-
tion was given a lift recently with the
announcement of plans for a criminal
laboratory here in Madison to serve the
state of Wisconsin. The lab has been
set up under two legislative acts, one
a non-lapsing appropriation of $50,000


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