DNA Crime Investigations
by Stephen Wade
The daily newspaper in February 2009 has an image of an old man shackled to a police officer by handcuffs. It looks like any other arrest and detention. But the man had committed a serious sexual offence eighteen years earlier. The latest use of DNA evidence was used to charge and ultimately convict him.
When Professor Alex Jeffreys worked with Leicestershire police on the Colin Pitchfork case in 1986, a revolution started in the application of forensic expertise. Since then there have been several major cases in which long-standing murders and rapes have been revisited by teams of ‘Cold Case’ detectives. With new DNA sampling in their armoury, officers throughout the land are having successes when reinvestigating serious crimes. Cold cases are hot again.
In Cold Cases Revisited, Stephen Wade has gathered together most of the high-profile cases of recent years - and several obscure ones - examining the nature of the crimes, the investigation highs and lows, and the triumphs of new forensic work. Some failures are also recounted too, as scientists began to work with barristers in court, making the evidence solid and meaningful for juries.
The famous cases included here include those of Rachel Nickell, Keith Lyon, Lesley Moleseed, the World’s End killings, plus many others, not forgetting the ‘Cardiff Three’ and Sean Hodgson’s false imprisonment, one of the longest ever miscarriages of justice.
Before the stories are told, the basics of DNA sampling are explained, and the lab work in each case is discussed in every chapter.
- Wharncliffe, November 2009
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