Murderers: Clever, but not clever enough - Professor Carolyn Roberts | Summary and Q&A

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October 30, 2015
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Gresham College
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Murderers: Clever, but not clever enough - Professor Carolyn Roberts

TL;DR

A murderer's attempts are foiled by their lack of cleverness, with police unraveling their purchases and uncovering the body elsewhere.

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Key Insights

  • 🖤 Some murderers exhibit cleverness in their actions, but others lack intelligence and make obvious mistakes.
  • 🎴 The use of technology, such as tracking credit card records and CCTV footage, plays a crucial role in solving crimes.
  • 🪛 Police investigations can involve unconventional methods, such as measuring the velocity of a river to assess the likelihood of body disposal.
  • 🤨 The discovery of unusual items or purchases can raise suspicions and prompt further investigation.
  • 🖤 Criminals who attempt to cover their tracks but lack foresight can easily be caught by law enforcement.
  • 🕰️ The story emphasizes the significance of evidence gathering to piece together a crime and apprehend the culprit.
  • 💳 Factors such as CCTV and credit card records can provide critical leads in criminal cases.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did the police connect the suspect to the victim initially?

The victim's mobile phone was found in her flat, and the last number she dialed was the suspect's. This raised suspicion and led the police to investigate him further.

Q: What items did the suspect purchase that raised suspicion?

The suspect bought gaffet tape, a shovel, rope, plastic bags, and a large floral suitcase. These items, combined with the victim's disappearance, prompted thoughts of foul play.

Q: What mistake did the suspect make in attempting to hide his purchases?

After the police took his credit card, the suspect realized they could track his purchases. He tried to cover his tracks by buying the same items again with cash, but he was caught on CCTV, leading to his arrest.

Q: Where was the body ultimately found?

Contrary to the initial suspicion of it being in the river, the body was discovered buried in adjacent woodland, highlighting the murderer's unsuccessful attempts to dispose of it.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The narrator shares a personal story about an investigation involving a possible body disposal in a river.

  • The police suspect a man whose number was found on the victim's phone and question him about suspicious purchases.

  • The man foolishly buys the same items again with cash, leading to his capture, but the body is found in a nearby woodland instead of the river.

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