Mike Lucas has considerable experience in helping Scenes of Crime
Officers investigate crimes which involve hanging, bindings,
lashings and the use of cord/rope for purposes of immobilizing
Usual objective is to identify each knot and
to establish the likely sequence of tying. All unusual characteristics
are noted, so that repetitive habits are identified and then reconciled
with any reference exhibits from other sources. In cases where
assisted suicide is a possibility, then the importance of establishing
whether the deceased could have applied the bindings without outside
assistance is a fundamental requirement.
A Statement is then prepared in a form suitable for use in a Court
of Law, with explanation and digital images of the knots and bindings,
to include replicas where required.
Work has been carried out for many police forces
in UK and periodically for the Crown Prosecution Service. Experience
has been gained in presenting information for criminal trials,
Coroner’s inquests and other formal proceedings for Prosecution
and Defence Lawyers. Many practical contributions have been made
available to Senior Investigating Officers, to assist in the analysis
of knots thus leading to new lines of investigation. These have
- Knots tied by suspects
in a variety of trades (fishermen, sailors, loggers, road haulage,
military services and other spare time pursuits such as climbing,
scouting and fishing).
- Establishing the sequence
of tying knots and identifying the way in which knots may distort
- Knotting peculiarities
which relate to an individual, such as left and right-handedness,
recurring characteristics, sequence of tying.
- Examination of evidence
leading to indications of urgency of tying, relative expertise
and style – also whether more than one person involved.
- Useful comparisons can
be made with ‘reference’ knot evidence from related
crimes or other sources.
- Consideration of type
of cordage used, leading to possible source of supply and comparison
with other samples.
For further information please see the online
summary of commonly used knots, with a selection of identifiable
characteristics, which can lead to individual tying habits – refer Knot