The Bones and Bobbins Podcast

21 - The First Femmes of Forensics

October 15, 2021

S02E21: Kate Warne, the heroic first woman Pinkerton detective, and Pearl Tytell, handwriting detective and trailblazing forensic document examiner.


When you need a tricky job done, you have to hire the best! As the first lady detective, Kate Warne’s work with the Pinkertons opened new investigative doors for the agency, helped foil a presidential assasination plot, and paved the way for the creation of the CIA. (We’re also told that she did a fabulous southern belle cosplay.) Pearl Tytell’s groundbreaking document investigation techniques exposed fraud in the highest levels of the government and the lowest reaches of backroom business deals and career-ending gossip mills. (She once even uncovered a fake claim to Russian royalty!) At times, her analysis carried more weight in the courts than the opinion of the FBI. From typewriter quirks to ink colors and paper stock, when Pearl was the expert witness, everybody listened!

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