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Case History

  • Death by hanging – assisted suicide?

    This case occurred within the Police Station exercise yard, where the deceased was able to hang himself from a beam, in between routine security checks. Bootlaces were used and I was required to determine the precise sequence of tying the knots and whether the deceased had the physical strength and capability for attaching the ligature to the beam, and then the agility to position his head inside the noose. Certain similar characteristics were found in the tying of the ligature and attachment to the beam. It was concluded that it was quite feasible for the deceased to arrange for this hanging to occur, without any help from an outside source.

  • Woman found hanging from rafter in loft - suspected suicide?

    Requirement to check many pieces of thin polypropylene cord and to establish whether the deceased was capable of arranging the hanging ligature. This was complicated by the fact that the deceased was taken down from the roof by a neighbour, who could possibly have been implicated. After careful examination, it was concluded that it would have been possible for the deceased to have attached the ligature unaided and the nature of the knots produced a reasonable noose, in spite of evidently having no real knotting capability.

  • Death of man in prison through ligature strangulation – cell mate accused

    Following the death of a prisoner, the cell mate was accused of complicity. Having examined the ligature, I concluded that the tying could not have been done by the deceased himself, particularly because the final knot was tied at the back of the neck. Also the tightness of the ligature and knots indicated that the deceased had been largely immobilized prior to considerable force being used to tie the ligature.

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