Forensic team helps to nail serial killer

THE scientific work to nail Suffolk serial killer Steve Wright – who received a life sentence on Thursday for murdering five women – was carried out in Huntingdon. Of the 275 scientists at the Government s Forensic Science Laboratory in Hinchingbrooke, 25

THE scientific work to nail Suffolk serial killer Steve Wright - who received a life sentence on Thursday for murdering five women - was carried out in Huntingdon.

Of the 275 scientists at the Government's Forensic Science Laboratory in Hinchingbrooke, 250 worked on the case of the murdered prostitutes during in the 14-month investigation. Work schedules and rotas were adjusted so that the project could be worked on 24-hours a day in eight different scientific disciplines.

Wright was caught because blood and fibres on his clothes and his car matched those found on the victims' bodies. During the course of the investigation, the scientists spent more than 6,000 hours analysing:

* More than 100 swabs for body fluids and DNA


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* Thousands of fibres

* 580 exhibits, including those from Wright's home and car, the victims' bodies and the place where each body was found

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A mobile laboratory was taken to Wright's home to examine evidence before it was transferred for more detailed analysis to the laboratory in Huntingdon.

Wright denied murdering the women - Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls - who were aged between 19 and 29.

It is believed that they were killed during a period of six weeks but their bodies were all found within 10 days in December 2006.

At his trial, Wright admitted having sex with the women, who worked as prostitutes, but denied the murders.

His DNA was available to the police after he had been sacked for stealing money from the till at the Brook Hotel in Felixstowe in 2001.

Top scientific adviser, Judith Cunnison, based in Huntingdon, said: "This was a unique investigation and the police recognised the important role forensic science might play in identifying the person responsible."

The Forensic Science Service has pioneered every major breakthrough in the field of DNA forensic analysis worldwide. The system SGM Plus is one of the most frequently used DNA profiling techniques in the UK. It looks at 11 areas of a person's DNA including that denoting their sex. The likelihood of another person sharing the same DNA profile obtained using the SGM Plus profiling method is one in a billion, apart from identical twins.

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