The fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, displayed these autistic characteristics: (a) astute powers of observation, (b) brilliant at deductive reasoning, (c) phenomenal memory, (d) unemotional when speaking, (e) asocial, (f) delivered monologues, and (g) played the violin. Playing a musical instrument is a way that autistic people can bypass their intellect in order to feel emotion directly. Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein, both of whom are believed to have been autistic, also played the violin.
Arthur Conan Doyle modelled his Sherlock Holmes character after Joseph Bell (1837-1911), who was most probably autistic. Joseph Bell was the first Scottish scientific surgeon and a pioneer in forensic science. Bell had astute powers of observation, which he loved to display by picking a stranger at random and deducing his occupation and recent activities. Bell was involved in several police investigations and gave his analysis of the Ripper murders to Scotland Yard.