Three little bones were discovered in an abandoned well in an Egyptian village around the year 1920. These bones were given to police by the locals who believed them to be human remains. Sydney Smith, a well-known forensics specialist, received it from the police. He examined the three bones and informed the police that they belonged to a lady who was between the ages of 22 and 24 and had given birth at least once. She also had a limp and had been shot from a distance of three to four feet to her left. The death had taken place a week later. He stated that she would have passed away a few months ago.
Every single discovery proved true, and they eventually tracked down the murderer, the woman’s father, who had shot her by mistake while cleaning his gun. When she passed away, he put her down in the abandoned well because he was afraid to take her to the hospital. A few months later, when the villagers decided to clean the well, he entered it and removed the deceased body’s remains, which at this point had been reduced to a skeleton, but mistakenly left three bones behind.
About Sir Sydney Smith
Sir Sidney Alfred Smith was a well-known forensic scientist and pathologist. Smith served as the Professor of Forensic Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, which at the time had a famous forensic division, from 1928 until 1953. Sydney wrote a significant book on forensic medicine “the first edition of Textbook of Forensic Medicine in 1925″. There have been 12 translations of this work. His autobiographical book “Mostly Murder,” in which he described many of his cases as a forensic expert, is also well known.
He was born in Roxburgh, New Zealand. Sir Sydney Smith attended Edinburgh’s medical school after finishing his education. He was a physician, but he chose to cease working after being emotionally impacted by a tragedy involving a pregnant woman. He applied for a teaching position in Edinburgh. In the department of forensic medicine, there was just one position open: assistant. He served in the New Zealand army before World War I had over. Later, he relocated to Egypt, where a forensic medical expert was needed to set up a police laboratory. In the age of 85, he passed away at his Edinburgh residence, “Rhycullen,” in May 1969.
His testimony was pivotal in a number of cases that gained international headlines. From the assassination of the Sirdar in Egypt to the renowned ‘Sydney Shark Case,’ he solved crimes by closely examining bodies, bones, fingerprints, and guns.
Other Cases Solved By Sir Sydney Smith
in 1920, A bone was unearthed by coincidence by a group of workers constructing a trench. The police forwarded it to Sir Smith. Police took over the excavation when Smith determined it was a human bone. They found the bodies of fourteen women who had all been murdered in the previous 18 months. Smith’s observation that all the ladies had kept their pubic hair, a behaviour usual solely among prostitutes in Egypt at the time, was the key discovery in the case. The authorities were able to link the killings to two men and two women because to this evidence. These two couples had a pattern of bringing in prostitutes, killing them for the money, and burying the remains.
Hopetoun Quarry Murders
Two children’s remains were discovered in the Hopetoun quarry near Edinburgh in 1913. Smith was able to provide the police with crucial information even though the remains had been submerged in the water for at least 18 months. He calculated how long it had been since the two boys’ last meal, established that they had to have gone to the quarry, and made the assumption that someone they knew had killed them. Despite the fact that the two youngsters had never been reported missing, Smith’s evidence led to the father of the twins, Patrick Higgins, being apprehended and Scotland’s first execution of the century.
Prior to the existence of forensic podiatry, Smith created a profile of the Falkirk cat burglar in 1937 using a pair of shoes.
Sydney Shark Case
A fourteen-foot shark that was caught by two fishermen and displayed in a Sydney aquarium puked up an arm. The tattoo depicting two boxers fighting on the arm swiftly led to the identification of the owner as James Smith. It was more challenging to identify whether the arm had been bit off by the shark while the victim was still alive or after he had passed away. Sydney Smith examined the limb and was certain that there had been a murder and that the arm had truly been severed after the victim’s death. Arrests were made after the alleged murder was connected to a significant smuggling organisation.
Contribution in Forensic Ballistics
When Sir Lee Stack Pasha, the Governor General of Sudan, and the Sirdar (Commander-in-Chief) of the Egyptian Army, was shot while driving through Cairo’s streets on November 19, 1924, a fresh political crisis was set off. The Sirdar’s murder was part of a sequence of political assassinations, and Smith and his colleagues were able to show that the same pistol was used in several of these killings. The firearms discovered on the alleged assassins, two brothers called Enayat, were given to Smith immediately. Smith fired the weapons while employing methods that were novel at the time but are now standard in shooting situations. He determined that the Sirdar had been shot with a certain Colt.32 handgun by studying at these bullets and their cartridge cases. The Enayat brothers confessed after being presented with this proof.