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Confronted with this evidence, the owner of the sickle confessed to the crime.
Yet the application of insect evidence to criminal investigations is not a new idea.
A form of forensic entomology was practiced at least as early as the thirteenth century. Sung tells of a murder in a Chinese village in which the victim was repeatedly slashed.
Left to its own devices, nature quickly populates a corpse with a diverse community of organisms, all dedicated to reducing the body to its basic components.
Very quickly, "worms" appear, crawling out of the various orifices.
Bergeret's analysis of the insect evidence demonstrated to the satisfaction of the police that the death had occurred much earlier than 1855 and that the logical suspects were the occupants of the house in 1848, and they were subsequently arrested and convicted of the murder.