William Murdoch is a handsome young Victorian-era detective who uses radical forensic techniques for the time, including fingerprinting and trace evidence, to solve some of the city's most gruesome murders. Though his unconventional approach often elicits ridicule from fellow officers and skepticism from his superiors, Murdoch is often the only one who can crack the case. Born and raised in Eastern Canada in a staunch Roman Catholic home, Murdoch was a dedicated autodidact as a child who never stopped reading and learning. A great admirer of the inventor and physicist Nikola Tesla, a man said to be "the patron saint of modern electricity," Murdoch developed an early interest in science and theology. He was also hooked on the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becoming a great admirer of the fictional detective 'Sherlock Holmes.' When he arrived in Toronto and found the police department was recruiting, he signed up immediately, inspired by visions of himself as a great detective solving difficult cases. He ended up spending four years pounding the pavement and rattling doorknobs as a constable. On the plus side, he developed street smarts to complement his growing intellectual skills. Using his self-taught detective and forensic skills, Murdoch solved a number of crimes and came to the attention of his superiors. He was eventually raised to the level of detective.