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Remember that old cliché that lightning never strikes twice? Well it does and with vicious cruelty. That two generations of one family have been so blighted by murder is almost impossible to comprehend. Needless to say it has had a devastating effect on the health of all concerned. See over the page for The Elaine Doyle Murder Mystery, a modern headline case from Greenock, Renfrewshire.
Why would an ordinary factory worker – a loving husband and devoted father with no financial worries or a criminal record – suddenly kill his family? The jury at the trial of David Gavitt in 1987 were persuaded of his guilt and Gavitt was sentenced to life without parole on three counts of murder. However, the case against him depended entirely on fire science that would turn out to be misguided and erroneous. Years later, a test conducted by a technician at the Michigan State Police Crime lab – which claimed to have found petrol on carpet samples from the Gavitts’ house – was also shown to be utterly bogus. In America in the late 1980s a quarter of all house fires were labelled arson. Today the number is around six per cent. Yet thousands of so-called perpetrators convicted by this junk science – described as “witchcraft” by at least one expert – still languish in jail. Innocent Father Served 27 Years For Killing His Wife And Children.
At 8 o’clock on the morning of Sunday, January 1st, 1911, a police constable patrolling Clapham Common, London, discovered a man’s corpse. The victim had been beaten and stabbed to death, his skull was fractured and one of his wounds formed the letter “S” on his forehead. That was how this intriguing case began for Scotland Yard officers. To see how it ended, look for the first Questions & Answers feature this month.
* TD’s Crime Photos/
* The Elaine Doyle Murder Mystery
* Will Christie’s Murder Change The Law?
* Your Letters
* Under The Spotlight: Knifeman Shot Dead On New York Street
* Part 3 Of Our Series Killers Who Will Die In Prison: The Chamber Of Death
* Innocent Father Served 27 Years For Killing His Wife And Children
* Crime Observer
* Crimes That Made Headlines Part 5: “I Helped To Bury My Baby In A Pit Heap”
* Execution USA
* Questions & Answers: The Leon Beron Enigma – A Detective’s Story
* Questions & Answers 2: The Professor And The Trunk
* Dublin’s Case Of The Money And The Wine
* Make A Break: Crossword
* The Death Of Bipsy Amirian
* Readers’ Jury