Monday, May 7, 2012

Bulletin: Susan May: Guardian investigation could help clear her in death of her aunt; Major assault on forensic evidence in case;

STORY: Series: Justice on trial; The murder of Hilda Marchbank: clues that could clear niece Susan May," by Eric Allison and Helen Pidd, published by the Guardian on may 7, 2012.

GIST: "It is almost seven years since Susan May walked out of Askham Grange prison in North Yorkshire after serving 12 years for a murder she insists she did not commit. Despite all those years of incarceration, there was a part of her that wasn't ready to walk free. "I came out with a heavy heart because I always thought I would only get out of prison with my conviction overturned," she said. Ever since her release, May has devoted herself to proving her innocence. Now the Guardian has discovered evidence suggesting police ignored vital clues supporting May's case that she did not suffocate her 89-year-old aunt, Hilda Marchbank, in 1992, in Royton, Oldham, Greater Manchester.........May was convicted on the flimsiest of evidence, the campaigners say, comprising mainly three marks, said to be her fingerprints, that allegedly contained her aunt's blood. Fresh doubts have emerged in recent years about the testing method, about whether the marks are May's fingerprints – and even whether they contained human blood.........May will also be asking the CCRC to consider new forensic evidence relating to marks on the wall of her aunt's home. Arie Zeelenberg, the former head of the fingerprint service at the Dutch national police agency, believes forensic evidence that helped convict May was flawed and is conducting a review on her behalf. In 2007, Zeelenberg advised the inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Records Office's fingerprint bureau, following the case of former policewoman Shirley McKie, who, in 2006, was awarded £750,000 from the Scottish Executive after being wrongly accused of leaving her fingerprint at a murder scene and lying about it. Professor Allan Jamieson, director of the Forensic Institute, has also lent his name to the challenge to the evidence that helped convict May."



I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.