Has Anyone Ever Changed Their Fingerprints?

This seemed to be a stock device of crime fiction of the 1930’s-50’s-a famos criminal goes to an underworld surgeon, who alters the criminal’s fingerprints-so that he cannot be identified by the police.
This always struck me as being close to impossible-I once read that John Dillinger attempted it-but the results were not god.
Is there an actual case of someone doing this (successfully)?

Joseph P. Moran was a physician who could (and did) remove fingerprints. Among his patients were Fred Barker and Alvin Karpis, of the Barker Gang. From his Wikipedia entry:

When I was 6 a rabbit chewed up the flesh on my left index fingertip. The scar does a pretty good job of scrambling the fingerprint. I don’t see any reason why a similar trauma couldn’t be visited upon a fingerprint with similar results.

In fact, scrambled fingerprints was a plot point in a movie a few years back–guy was doing his own work with a razorblade–but I can’t for the life of me remember what the movie was.

Yes they do change finger prints. The reports I’ve seen seem to be mostly about Asian smugglers. Feel free to Google Smugglers change finger prints or similar words and read the news articles.

Of course, if your fingerprint was taken after age 6, the scar would be included as part of the print. :slight_smile: Similarly, if the scar didn’t obscure much of the print, I suspect pre- and post-scarring prints could be matched in many cases.

You may be thinking of the film Seven.

The fingerprint is a characteristic of the skin in certain areas. I wonder if the logical course of action would be to do a skin graft between a finger and, say, the edge of the palm? Of course, the scar lines would be obvious unless the roll-around area was also included in the graft, and making the line less straight would make it less noticeable. But do you have enough spare skin to do 10 fingers? There’s always lower down along the finger… Does skin lost off the finger-print areas grow back with the patterns, or just flat scr tissue?

I haven’t heard of anyone doing this deliberately, but it is apparently common for cancer chemo patients to find that the drugs altered their fingerprints. I sit next to a lady who went through chemo for breast cancer and still has trouble with security because when they check her fingerprints during reviews they don’t match the originals on file. The security personnel are well aware of the issue and don’t refuse to grant the clearance, but every time it comes up it has to be explained again.

It seems really weird to me that they don’t have a mechanism in place to change the fingerprints on record, given that this is a known (though rare) issue.