WYCHERLEY MURDERS - Forensics key to investigation

Body found at 2 Blenheim Close, Forest Town.
Body found at 2 Blenheim Close, Forest Town.

Due to the historical nature of the murders, the lack of CCTV footage, the lack of a murder weapon and the generally poor state of the bodies, the work of forensic scientists and other experts played a massive part in the police investigation.

A preliminary investigation of the bodies was carried out at Nottingham Queen’s Medical Centre by Home Office pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton, who then called on a raft of other experts - from archaeologists and insect experts, to firearms specialists.

Dr Hamilton told the court that the Wycherleys’ remains were discovered with bullets within the area of their chest cavities.

One of Mr Wycherley’s ribs had a groove in it where a bullet had hit the bone, while Mrs Wycherley’s remains had a shell lodged in her spine.

Dr Hamilton said that the location of the bullets suggested they would have passed through major organs and, in Mrs Wycherley’s case, her aorta, killing her very rapidly.

Dr Hamilton told the court that after a week in a warm room, the Wycherleys’ bodies would have shown signs of marbling and blistering of the skin, which may have come away as the Edwards carried the remains downstairs and dumped them in the makeshift grave.

He also told the court that their remains would have oozed a black fluid from orifices and would have created an ‘overwhelming’ smell.

“Two human beings left at an average of 12 degrees would have created a smell that would have overwhelmed everything else,” he said.

“If you left a chicken out at that temperature for a week it would create a smell that overwhelmed everything else, and here we are talking about two adult human beings.

“It’s pungent, it’s foul and it’s pervasive - on opening the door it would have been instantly apparent. It’s not a subtle smell.”

Entomologist Dr Martin Hall, from the Natural History Museum, in London, also told the court that no evidence of blow flies was found on either body, which suggested that they had been buried soon after they were killed.

Giving evidence earlier in the trial, firearms expert Khaldoun Kabbani also said a total of four bullets were found with the remains of William and Patricia Wycherley.

Mr Kabbani, who examined the bodies of Mr and Mrs Wycherley at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre, told Nottingham Crown Court that they had both been shot twice and the bullets that killed them were found with their skeletal remains.

Both the Wycherleys had damage to their pelvic bones caused by .38mm bullets, one of which was found lodged in Mrs Wycherley’s spine, the court heard.

Mr Kabbani told the court that the reclusive couple had most likely been shot by a Second World War Colt Commando revolver, which fires low velocity bullets.

When asked by defence counsel if the Wycherleys could have been shot by another make of revolver, he said it was unlikely due to marks left on the recovered shells.

PICTURED: Blenheim Close, the last remaining photograph of William Wycherley in later life, one of the bullets retrieved from the Wycherleys’ bodies, and the type of revolver police believe killed the elderly couple.