Who Is the Most Famous Detective in World History?
The first name that comes to mind for many when thinking about a famous detective is Sherlock Holmes. This character, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, first appeared in “A Study in Scarlet” in 1887.
A series of short stories that began with “A Scandal in Bohemia” helped to increase this character’s popularity in 1891. For the next 25 years, a total of 60 new stories would come out to track Holmes’ detective adventures.
More than 25,000 films, TV shows, publications, and adaptations have centered around the Sherlock Holmes character. These stories have profoundly affected how authors write mysteries and designers create escape rooms.
You can even see some of this inspiration with a visit to the Boxroom Intelligence Agency.
Who Are the Most Famous Real-Life Detectives in History?
Fictional detectives become popular because the mysteries they solve feel relatable. Readers become part of that alternative universe, picking up the clues as the pages turn.
Real-life detectives follow a different path when cracking an impossible case. They interview people, study evidence, and trust their instincts while often managing difficult circumstances.
Here are some of the best detectives you’ll want to get to know from history.
1. Kate Warne
Warner was the only woman hired by Allan Pinkerton to be a detective with his agency. Throughout her career, she would find stolen fortunes, hunt murderers, and even save Abraham Lincoln from an assassination attempt.
2. Dave Toschi
Toschi worked for the San Francisco police department for over 30 years. He was the chief detective on the Zodiac killer case, and the 1968 movie “Bullitt” used his work as the inspiration for the main character.
3. Kiran Bedi
Bedi started as a tennis player, but she would eventually become the first woman to become a police detective in India. She created volunteer groups to act as neighborhood watches in places where law enforcement couldn’t reach.
4. William Fairbairn
Fairbairn had such a tough job in Shanghai that he began to create his own martial arts discipline to be effective at his work. The systems he developed would turn into the science of Defendu, which he would eventually teach to the military.
5. Francois Vidocq
Vidocq was once a career criminal, but then he decided to become a criminologist. He founded what has become known as the world’s first private detective agency. He’s also considered the founder of modern criminology and scientific investigations.
6. Mary Doyle
Doyle became known to the world after leading a national investigation in a murder case, eventually finding the killer and putting him in prison. She’s now the Chief Superintendent in Manchester, policing a city with over two dozen active organized crime syndicates.
7. Moe Smith and Izzy Einstein
Theses detectives were charged during the prohibition era to stop speakeasies from operating. They used disguises effectively, getting into bars when their pictures were on the wall to stop them. Over five years, they made over 4,000 arrests. By 1930, both were forced out of law enforcement and working in insurance.
You can become a famous detective in one of today’s best escape rooms. Find the clues, solve the mystery, and enjoy the moment!