The Blazing Car Murder





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Published on Jan 20, 2014


In the early hours of 6 November 1930, a car was found engulfed in flames on a country lane in Northampton. Inside the car were the burned remains of an unidentified male, and the police investigation led to Alfred Rouse (the owner of the car) who was charged and later confessed to murder.

Rouse was hung in 1931, and despite his confession he never disclosed the identity of the victim. When this crime was originally investigated, the police had no means of identifying the burned remains and the case was closed. Until recently when a family who had long believed that their missing relative was the murder victim contacted the University to see if mtDNA from an archived pathology slide, could link their missing relative to the murder scene. After negotiating access to the archived tissue slide, University of Leicester academics John Bond and Lisa Smith contacted colleagues at Northumbria University to successfully recover mtDNA from the 83-year old slide. This mtDNA was then compared to the DNA of the surviving relatives, in order to establish whether the unidentified victim could be linked to their family.

This film was produced by External Relations, University of Leicester.

Filmed & Edited by Hayley Evans
Produced by Hannah Tucker

This film was shot in 2013 so always check the University of Leicester webpages for latest information and up-to-date terms and conditions www.le.ac.uk

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