Patricia Wiltshire

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Dr Patricia Wiltshire is a forensic ecologist, botanist and palynologist.[1] She has been consulted by the police force in over 200 investigations spread through England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and abroad.[2] She was instrumental in unravelling the murder of Christopher Laverack, a case that was unsolved for three decades and also a principal player in the arrest of Ian Huntley for the murder of two schoolgirl friends of his.[3]

Early life[edit]

Dr. Wiltshire had an unconventional childhood education; encyclopaedias formed her major source of learning from age six on account of interruption of formal schooling by whooping cough and measles. This broad approach to knowledge provided a strong foundation for her future career. Starting as a medical laboratory technician, she moved on to study botany at King's College London. She lectured there for several years in microbial and general ecology before taking up a post at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London.[4][5]

High-profile cases[edit]

  • Soham murder inquiry, 2002: Her analysis of the soil environment of the two dead bodies helped in deduction of the time they were placed there and comparing soil samples from the suspect's car with that surrounding the dead, she could prove that the suspect had been present at the place of murder. Her evidence nailed the suspect, Ian Huntley.[4]
  • Christopher Laverack murder case, 2007:Three decades after the nine year old's murder, Dr.Wiltshire linked the unusual pollen and other plant matter on the victim's body along with the ornamental brick used to keep him drowned after death with that found on his uncle's property thus providing substantial evidence to implicate the latter.

Sobriquets[edit]

  • the queen of forensic science[4]
  • the snot lady for her technique of irrigating nasal cavities of the dead to retrieve pollen, fibres and particles that can be used as evidence.[4]

References[edit]