Murder makes a new foe

December 5, 2003

Crime writer Ian Rankin was first on the scene of a gruesome double murder at Abertay Dundee University when he opened its "scenes-of-crime" house, writes Olga Wojtas.

The mystery was quickly solved when the "bodies" turned out to be two forensic sciences students, with eight of their classmates acting as scene-of-crime officers, analysing blood spatters and dusting for fingerprints.

The four-room furnished house, with living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, is the largest university facility of its kind in Scotland. It will train not only students but also Tayside Police's identification branch and forensic scientists.

The police helped Abertay's academics design the house, which will teach students how to analyse a crime scene and gather evidence such as fingerprints, dust samples and plaster casts.

Course leader Les Wylde said that accurately recording every detail of the scene and recovering and packaging physical evidence without contamination were vital skills for forensic scientists.

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