Murder under the Microscope

For many years I have wanted to write about what it is like to be directly involved in murder investigation but practical matters, like the day job, have stood in the way. Accounts of murder investigation have become increasingly accurate, there are now many good documentaries available, but few are told from the inside, from the direct lived experience. Another factor that stood in my way was puzzlement; uncertainty about what things meant around the the time they occurred. Although some outcomes were binary; a person was guilty or not (at least in the eyes of the law), in some cases there remained a mist of uncertainty around some events. It seemed to me that I would have to let time pass in order that the stories, events and characters involved became clearer, at least in my own mind, if not fully settled.  Murder under the Microscope book charts my experience as a forensic investigator in notable and notorious murder investigations over four decades in the UK. It describes my role in numerous cases and how I and responded to the events I confronted personally and professionally. All of the cases described attracted public and media attention, for a variety of reasons: revulsion at the crime, controversy over the investigation or conviction, or intrigue about the extraordinary stories they told. Five case histories are dealt with in detail: Robert Black, the UK’s most prolific serial child killer; Michael Stone who killed Lin and Megan Russell in idyllic rural Kent; Damilola Taylor, murdered trying to make a new life in London; Rachel Nickell, stabbed 49 times on Wimbledon Common and Gareth Williams, the GCHQ code breaker and would be spy. Woven into the stories of these cases are numerous others that I was involved in.