Monday, January 28, 2008

The Case So Far

I spend a while over the week-end reviewing the evidence so far, and the likely direction of the case.

Firstly, this seems to be shaping up to be a grinder rather than a Hollywood spectacular; no surprise witnesses, no tearful confessions, no shock CCTV footage, no ‘smoking gun.’

Instead, we have loads of circumstantial evidence. This includes the state of the art forensic evidence, particularly the DNA ‘fingerprinting’ that has revolutionised crime detection in recent years. The prosecution is also presenting tons more traditional evidence; such as witness statements, CCTV footage, telephone records and work schedules.

There seems to be an awful lot of this evidence, and the prosecution case is built on a sort of relentless accumulation of small details; one after another, none of which is of itself significant, but accumulated together make up a big disturbing picture.

As for the defence, the situation seems far from hopeless.

Despite heavy Police pressure, Steve Wright has maintained his innocence and hasn’t confessed to any murder. Contrast this to well known British serial killers such a Peter Sutcliffe, Fred West, or even dear old John Christie.

Wright also admits having known and having had sex with four of the five victims shortly before they were murdered. At a stroke, this makes a lot of the extraordinarily accurate DNA evidence redundant, along with much CCTV footage.

The prosecution isn't sure whether Wright had an accomplice at least some of the time, and they have no motive.

So what evidence will prove crucial? For now, the most damning evidence has been:

Semen-stained gardening gloves found in Wright's car had traces of Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell’s DNA.

A different pair of gloves and a high visibility jacket that Police found in Steve Wright’s house. Paula Clennell’s blood was on the jacket and the gloves and blood from Annette Nicholls was on the jacket.



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