Thanatographia Imago Mortis: The History of Futuristic Forensics

Thanatographia Imago Mortis: The History of Futuristic Forensics

Science fiction and laymen’s superstitions abound with the concept that the image of the killer is embedded in the retina of the victim. Thanatographia is the account of a person’s death experience and imago mortis is the hypothesis that the image imprinted on the retina after a violent death can remain there for a long time, almost as if the retina itself performed the task of the photosensitive emulsion of any photographic film or plate.

Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (Public Domain)

Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (Public Domain)

Early 18th to Late 19th Century Forensic Experiments

To investigate the origin of this possibility one should return to some scientific experiments of the 18th century in Bologna, focused on the relationship between electricity and vital functions.


Become a member to read more OR login here