The Searchizer is first introduced in Season 13 of Murdoch Mysteries built by William Murdoch, based on the Bertillon system, to calculate ratios between people's facial features and compare them against every individual the Toronto Constabulary has on file.
Alphonse Bertillon (1853–1914) identified individuals by measurements of the head and body, shape formations of the ear, eyebrow, mouth, eye, etc., individual markings such as tattoos and scars, and personality characteristics. The measurements were made into a formula that referred to a single unique individual, and recorded onto cards which also bore a photographic frontal and profile portrait of the suspect (the "mug shot"). The cards were then systematically filed and cross-indexed, so they could be easily retrieved.[*]
Appearances and Mentions
- According to George, the Searchizer never gives them a match but Murduch insists, "There's always a first time."
- So Crabtree and Parker use the Searchizer to find the idenity of the young woman, feeding in the metric measurement of her facial features into the automated machine. Afterward Rarker asks how long it will take, Crabtree replies, "Well, to compare to every file on record, it takes about ten minutes. As far as finding a match, so far, never."
- The Searchizer defies George by having a result: M0132.
- M0132 is the card on file for a 18 year old woman who had gone missing in 1895 – 12 years ago! Then, is it someone else? The chances of someone having the exact same Bertillon measurements is slim, but not zero.
- The card file information states Polly Townsend reported missing by father Jack and step-mother Doris Townsend.
- Jack Townsend, died last April and Doris has since moved away. The team haven't been able to locate her.