Today I have my favorite author duo with me and they have written a very interesting piece here that talks about Bob and carol’s experiences on murder investigation and it’s impact on their new detective series Payback featuring DI Charley Mann.
Hangings are abhorrent. But, the scene the detective is met with in the first instance, may not be all it seems…
The detectives mantra is never assume.
During my time as a senior detective I took charge of hundreds of suspicious deaths, and murder investigations.
I’d ask myself five questions which, if I could answer, would invariable help me solve the crime. My five W.H as I call them are who, what, where, when and how?
A natural reaction to a swinging body, is to rush to cut the rope.
But, my experience tells me what is required is spending time absorbing the scene – on the proviso that of course that life is extinct!
The common assumption when informed of a hanging is that the person is hung by the neck, but that is not always the case… as you will see in Payback, the first of the new DI Charley Mann series.
Most importantly, we must first and foremost consider what evidence it to be gleaned from the scene.
‘Don’t touch the rope!’
Much can be obtained from the knot. Intense scrutiny of the ligature will follow – here we may find traces of skin, DNA, blood, fibres etc.
Is this the evidence we are looking for in a murder investigation? Absolutely, it is!
At the same time we also have to consider if the death is suicide, or not? If the site is where the body was killed or not…
In fact could the hanging be an act of auto-erotic asphyxia even, gone wrong?
Consider this to be the case… What we don’t know on attendance is if those connected to the corpse have ‘meddled’ with the scene, to save embarrassment, or to derail the investigation. For example:- A man discovered by his wife. Found dead, hanging inside a wardrobe, the floorboards beneath him removed. The suggestion is that he was depressed. Turns out, this was a case of auto-erotic asphyxia. But the scene had been tampered with by his wife. His clothing replaced before the police were called.
So, do we as police officers trust what we are being told?
No, everyone is a potential culprit until it is proven otherwise – always, let the evidence speak for itself.
Murder is the extreme test of an investigator.
Meet the Author
R.C. Bridgestock is the pen name of a married couple that is made up of Robert and Carol Bridgestock. The couple has nearly half a century in combined police experience. They take this experience and turn real cases it into fictional stories.