Investigation sheds new light on famous murder case
Slide with Blazing Car victim's sample on it. Sample taken by Sir Bernard Spilsbury. Image credit: University of Leicester
A forensic team has spearheaded an investigation to tackle the riddle of the ‘Blazing Car Murder’ from over 80 years ago.
The case involved the murder of a male in a car fire in Northamptonshire in November, 1930. A man was convicted, and later hanged, for murdering his victim who to this day, has not been identified.
Relatives of William Briggs, who disappeared at around the same time the crime was committed, approached Northamptonshire Police to verify earlier generations’ belief that their ancestor may have been the car murder victim.
A tissue sample taken from the victim at the time of the murder was released by The Royal London Hospital museum and examined by a team led by Dr John Bond OBE from our Department of Chemistry and Dr Lisa Smith from our Department of Criminology.
The team successfully obtained a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) profile from the slide to compare to the family.
The result is due to be revealed to the family on the BBC's The One Show on Monday 20 January at 7.00pm