For those who love crime procedurals like CSI, Bones, and NCIS, the crime-solving process is fascinating. Even in the real world, the modern tools and practices that detectives use are truly wild. Just think how much DNA testing alone has changed everything!

They didn’t always have it so easy, though. For example, these vintage crime scene photos, taken in early-20th-century Paris, show just how much has changed for the lawmen out there chasing a hunch.

Warning: Photos contain graphic content.

Before computers, police used to have to compare fingerprints by sight.

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This crime scene from the turn of the century shows a man, Mr. Falla, who was strangled in his sleep.

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This image, taken in 1913, shows an elderly woman—a victim of murder—lying face-down.

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Here’s a photo of a woman named Clémentine Pichon on the autopsy table.

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Six-year-old Jules Jacques Schoenën, who was killed by a teenager, was one of the first murder victims ever to be photographed.

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Crime scene photographers work to position a body for a profile shot.

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This man, discovered tied and bound, was unable to be identified by police.

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A woman named Ms. Ferrari was stabbed in the heart by her lover, Mr. Garnier.

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This image shows a bedroom covered in blood; the sheets were even partially burned by acid. “No cadaver. Did the victim have the time to flee and get treated at a hospital?” asked medical examiner Philippe Charlier. “Unless the body had already been taken to the morgue.”

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This photo depicts a demonstration of perspectometric framing, in which the camera is placed above and perpendicular to the body so as to obtain a clear aerial shot.

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Mrs. Debeinche, below, was found dead in a bedroom. “The brownish color of the hands and feet correspond to a putrefaction of the body,” noted Charlier. “How long ago was the crime committed?”

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Those photos all show that while solving crimes has changed quite a bit since the nascent days of fingerprinting and photography, the crimes have not. Who knows what tools the cops will have in another century?

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