Century-old murder conviction debunked

MICHIGAN STATE (US) — New evidence finds that a doctor from Michigan was wrongly accused of one of the most infamous murders in British history.

Hawley Crippen was convicted and hanged in 1910 for murdering his showgirl wife and burying some of her remains in their London cellar.

A team of forensic scientists has provided evidence that those remains were not Cora Crippen’s.

In fact, they were not even from a woman.

“Based on the genealogical and mitochondrial DNA research, the tissue on the pathology slide used to convict Dr. Crippen was not that of Cora Crippen,” says David Foran, professor of forensic biology at Michigan State University.

“Further DNA testing showed that the tissue was male in origin.”

For the study, published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Foran and colleagues compared the DNA from tissue used in the century-old trial that helped convict Hawley Crippen to that of Cora Crippen’s maternal relatives.

If the remains were Cora Crippen’s, they would share specific DNA characteristics with her current day relatives, Foran says.

But there was no match.

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