Over 100,000 fingerprints were compared in 12 years, and nearly a thousand cases were solved.

"Fingerprint detectives" discovered the truth from incomplete fingerprints

Tang Wenliang at work.

  The computer screens are densely covered with curvy, thick or thin lines. Tang Wenliang's head tilts forward slightly, marking the lines with the mouse.

After maintaining the same posture for nearly 3 hours, Tang Wenliang finally moved his body, stretched his waist, took off the blue-ray glasses, rubbed his eyes and said: "Found it!"

Tang Wenliang is from the Wenjiang District Bureau of the Chengdu Public Security Bureau. The police of the Criminal Technology Office and the deputy senior engineer of trace inspection, his daily work is to decipher the hidden codes from the incomplete fingerprints and find the way to the truth.

Fingerprint is the human body’s ID card, and each person’s fingerprint is unique. Like DNA, it is one of the important evidences to identify or exclude criminal suspects.

In his 12 years as a police officer, Tang Wenliang compared more than 100,000 fingerprints and solved nearly a thousand cases.

Searching for evidence, identifying traces, and making a final decision, this "fingerprint detective" gave criminals nowhere to hide.

  Become a "superior detective"

  Nowadays, Tang Wenliang is the "superior detective" in the eyes of colleagues. 14 years ago, Tang Wenliang, who studied traffic management at the police academy, never connected himself with "solving cases."

But in a blunder, he entered the Liucheng police station in Wenjiang District, Chengdu, and became a criminal investigator.

Tang Wenliang started studying from scratch, and became interested in this profession during a common theft.

In 2008, he took the initiative to sign up for further studies in trace science and eventually became a member of the Criminal Technology Office of the Wenjiang District Public Security Bureau.

In the first two months of arriving in the technical room, Tang Wenliang collapsed.

Fingerprint comparison is an individual effort. To identify a fingerprint, dozens of similar fingerprints must be marked and compared one by one with the naked eye.

"When I go to work, I just look at these lines. When I walk on the road after get off work, I feel that the trees on the side of the road are fingerprints." This is an eye-consuming and more patient work.

But when he found out a thief from two or three thousand fingerprint cards for the first time, he really fell in love with this profession-"As long as I am willing to work hard, my eyes can make those criminals true to life. Vividly."

However, it is not so easy to practice with a

sharp eye


“Fingerprints extracted on site are mostly fuzzy, incomplete, deformed, and overlapping. The fingerprint system in the computer simply lists similar fingerprints. To identify a fingerprint, it is necessary to mark and compare dozens of similar fingerprints one by one with the naked eye. Only by identification can a conclusion be reached."

  Solved nearly a thousand cases

  After a shop was stolen, the police called for help. In the surveillance video, the suspect was wearing gloves throughout the entire process, which made it more difficult to solve the case.

Tang Wenliang remained silent and carefully observed the surrounding scene.

At the corner of the cash register, an opened cigarette case caught his attention.

"Is this your cigarette case?" Tang Wenliang did not miss a detail.

The owner said that he usually puts some money in the cigarette case, but at this time, the cigarette case has been opened and the money inside has also been stolen.

"The cigarette case is so small. If you wear gloves, it is definitely not easy to get the money inside. There may be fingerprints of the suspect on it." Finally, relying on the two incomplete fingerprints on the cigarette case, the suspect was locked.

  With his solid basic skills, Tang Wenliang has become an expert in the fingerprint comparison field in Chengdu and even in China, and has been selected by the Ministry of Public Security, Sichuan Provincial Public Security Bureau, and Chengdu Public Security Bureau to participate in the fingerprint coordination and comparison work in major cases.

In 2017, after countless captures and comparisons, he found matching information among many fingerprints and assisted the Shaanxi police in capturing the suspect who had absconded for 25 years.

  In the same post, 12 years of perseverance, more than 100,000 fingerprint comparisons, and nearly a thousand cases detected... Within inches, Tang Wenliang explored the truth with his eyes.

On July 31 this year, he was commended by the Ministry of Public Security as an excellent fingerprint checker for outstanding work performance.

Regarding honor, Tang Wenliang didn't think too much, "What I want to do is to use my own strength to return justice to the victims and bring the criminals to justice."

  West China Metropolis Daily-Cover News Reporter Wu Bingqing