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Case History

Some of the more notable investigations that have been carried out over the last few years are now summarised.

  • Homosexual incident - where the victim was bound up in an intricate way; he was robbed and then viciously knifed in the back and left to die.

    Victim knew who his assailant was, but it was required to prove that the assailant had in fact tied the knots. A particularly interesting conclusion was that it was possible to demonstrate that the knots were able to be tied even with a knife held in one hand, as described by the victim. As a result of a successful investigation, this contributed to the accused being convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

  • Death by misadventure – the case of a professional family man, drowned in underground water tank. Coroner’s verdict: death by misadventure.

    In this case, Mike Lucas was called to the mortuary to attend postmortem. He was asked to examine the bindings and to establish whether it was possible for the deceased to have tied himself up without outside help. There was considerable speculation from the family that this was a carefully contrived murder.

    The deceased was found naked at the bottom of a ten feet deep water tank, face down in some nine inches of water, ankles and wrists bound together with a tight rope going up through an access hole in the ground and attached to a garden roller. Object of the investigation was to determine how the deceased might have got himself into this position and whether it was possible for him to construct the elaborate arrangement of knots in the manner in which they were done.

    After carefully reconstructing the sequence of tying the knots, and establishing with the police that the roller had moved from a previously lodged position, it became clear that the deceased had successfully suspended himself above the water level, but movement of the roller had resulted in the deceased being lowered face down into the water. Attendance at the inquest, where Mike Lucas’s evidence was the main submission, resulted in the Coroner having no doubt that the deceased had not intended to die and the verdict was death by misadventure.

  • Young woman – bound, raped and murdered in Bournemouth.

    This was a case where the police suspected a known criminal, who having been allowed out on parole, had committed this crime. A similar crime had been committed by the suspect some ten years previously, but in this case, the victim was not murdered. Forensic evidence was inconclusive and the police asked Mike Lucas to consider similarities between the manner of tying up the victim and the use of the knots, comparing the second incident with the first. A number of personal knot-tying characteristics were successfully identified, as having occurred in both incidents. As a result of the findings and giving evidence at the trial in Winchester Crown Court, the accused was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

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01803 212818 (office & fax) | www.forensic-knots.co.uk | e: mike@forensic-knots.co.uk