Innovation and Research


The University of Leicester has developed strong multidisciplinary research and innovation in a number of key areas related to forensic science. Much of this work is led by academics who have international reputations in their field.

The Alec Jeffreys Forensic Science Unit can provide you with access to these resources, which include expertise in social as well as natural sciences.

Recent areas of innovation include:

The Blazing Car Murder

A team from the University of Leicester, led by Dr John Bond OBE from the Department of Chemistry and Dr Lisa Smith from the Department of Criminology worked with colleagues from Northumbria University, Northamptonshire Police and The Royal London Hospital Museum to tackle the riddle of the Blazing Car Murder case from 1930.

Scientists managed to obtain a DNA profile from tissue samples found at the crime scene to compare with relatives of a man named William Briggs, who is believed to have been the victim of a botched attempt by convicted Alfred Rouse to fake his own death in a car fire.


The Smell of Crime

Can the distinctive odour of putrefaction be used as a tool for forensic science? This video shows the end of a two-month experiment to investigate the chemical species given out during the decay of a small piglet. A specially sealed and environmentally controlled tomb was used to follow the dynamic succession of volatile organic compounds from putrefaction process.


The excavation of the piglet was undertaken by colleagues from the School of Archaeology and Ancient History and used as a demonstration of excavation methods used with buried corpses.

Our research has received international recognition and has provided law enforcement agencies with new and improved methods of solving and preventing crime.

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Follow INTREPID Forensics PhD student research blogs here.

Blazing Car Murder victim still remains a mystery.  Click here for the press release.  View the film here.