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www.forensic-knots.co.uk | e: mike@forensic-knots.co.uk

01803 212818 (office & fax) 07717 885435 (mobile)



Methodology


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 a victim.

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 involved:

  • 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 under load.

  • 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 Description


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