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Case History


  • Death of cell-mate in prison

    This was a case where a prisoner was found hanged within the cell and the surviving prisoner was accused of aiding and abetting the suicide. However, careful analysis of the ligature and interviews with the prisoner showed that the form of knot and the manner of tying used, could not have been done by the accused, who was a competent knot-tyer. A formal ‘not guilty’ verdict was recorded and the case did not go to trial. In fact, the ligature was made up with a simple slip knot, but suspended in a manner that it could not tighten as intended.


  • Student hanging in park – suicide?

    Found hanging from a tree in nearby park, this was considered from the outset to be a suicide case. However the hanging took place from a branch of a tree well above the ground and in such a situation that it was considered a second person was possibly involved. Examination of the actual knots used and images of the tree and surrounding area and the sequence in which the knots were tied, confirmed my opinion that no second person was involved and that this was clearly a suicide situation.


  • Local girl strangled with scarf – suspected murder

    Object of investigation was to determine whether the neck-scarf as usually worn by the deceased could have been knotted in the manner used, sufficiently tight to result in strangulation. It was found that because of the actual shape of the knot tied with several turns and the tightness of the resulting ligature, the deceased could not have tied these knots. It could also be concluded that contrary to what was suggested, this was not a sexual experiment gone wrong. The force needed to secure the ligature and the severity of application was well in excess of that required purely to immobilize the victim. It was clearly a noose, to strangle the victim.



  • Suspected suicide - Man found hanging in own flat with wrists tied and suspended by ligature

    In view of the complication of the wrists tied securely behind the back, the SIO required confirmation that there were no suspicious circumstances associated with this death. Careful examination of the ligature and bindings concluded that it was possible for the deceased to set up the ligature, with the noose accessible by standing on the video table. It was feasible that the wrists could be bound by the deceased and then the head positioned in the ligature noose. Consistency in the tying of the knots suggested that there was good reason to believe they were all tied by the deceased and no evidence to suggest that a second person was involved.



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