Wednesday, October 17, 2007

First man caught by hi-tech wrongly hanged

Dr Crippen innocent shocka

A HUNDRED YEARS AGO, a man was hanged for murder after police used new technology to nab him. Now new technology has shown that the wrong man was executed as the body found in his cellar was not that of his wife.

Dr Hawley Crippen was hanged in 1910, after an Old Bailey jury found him guilty of murdering his wife, Cora, who had vanished earlier that year.

After friends of his wife reported their fears that missing Cora had been murdered, Crippen and his mistress headed for Belgium before boarding a ship bound for Canada. They were disguised as father and son, but the ship's captain became suspicious and alerted police using the newly invented wireless telegraph.

But DNA evidence now shows that a dismembered body found at Crippen's London house was not that of his wife, reports The Manchester Grauniad.

Using a sample kept at the Royal London Hospital, American forensic scientists compared mitochondrial DNA from the remains presented at the trial with samples taken from Cora Crippen's surviving relatives.

Dr David Foran, head of forensic science programme at Michigan State University, told the Grauniad:. "That body cannot be Cora Crippen, we're certain of that."

Before he was hanged, Crippen wrote: "I am innocent and some day evidence will be found to prove it." ยต

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