Song Dynasty (960 A.D – 1279 A.D)

     A Chinese citizen, a man in his late 30s, is found deceased in his home. His neighbors next door found him in a pool of his own blood after a few days of not being able to reach him. Stab wounds mostly allocated to his chest and neck area were present in the hopes that the weapon will pierce a major artery or the heart. Detectives on the scene surmise that the weapon used to make those marks was a sickle (a tool used in farming with a semicircular blade attached to the end to cut grain or trim grass).  The area where the murder occurred was farmland, so all the neighbors had their own sickles.

“I want each of you to bring me your sickles,” said the chief detective to the small crowd slowly gathering before him.

Even if the sickle that murdered the poor Chinese farmer looked spotless, he knew that it could still ty its owner to the murder. Because blood analysis was not available in ancient China, the chief investigator had to get creative to prove his theory, and he did! 

He came up with an ingenious idea! When all the neighbors had brought their tools together, he laid them out side-by-side. Over the day the sun’s heat brought in a lot of flies into the area where the sickles were laid out, and many of the flies were attracted to one particular sickle, so he surmised that this was the murder weapon. Even though the outward appearance of that sickle suggested it was clean, the flies had to be attracted to something that was not visible to the naked eye, and that something had to be the presence of blood. The Chinese authorities identified the owner of that one sickle and charged him with the murder of his neighbor. 

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