Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jill Dando: The Murder of the BBCs Sunshine Girl

Critical Evidence

Clothes at George's flat, police evidence (BBC News)
Clothes at George's flat, police
evidence (BBC News)

During the second week of the trial, jurors were told of a police search of Mr. George's apartment. One of the critical pieces of evidence was a coat which contained discharge residue particles in one of the pockets. The coat was similar to the one worn by the suspect witnesses claimed to have seen on the morning of Dando's murder. The prosecution told jurors that particles found in the coat originated from the fired gun that contained the cartridge case recovered from the murder scene of Dando. Forensic scientists had found a similar match between the particles found in Mr. George's coat pocket and particles found on the coat and in the hair of Jill Dando at the murder scene. Moreover, at the scene of the crime investigators found a single fibrous strand that matched the material of a pair of pants owned by the defendant.

Another particularly damaging witness account was relayed to the jury before the end of the prosecution's opening speech. A witness named Susan Mayes said that she saw the defendant standing across the street in front of Dando's house on the morning of the brutal murder. The witness also claimed that the defendant had been wearing a black suit with a white shirt. Mr. Pownall ended his speech by telling jurors that, "although he might have not had a rational motive, this defendant shot Jill Dando."

During the third week of the trial, jurors were given a tour of several of the key places involved in the investigation. Following a visit to the houses where Dando and Mr. George lived and surrounding areas, jurors were once again escorted to the courtroom to hear the testimony of other key witnesses. One witness, who was a friend of Dando's, described how she had found her friend's body on the front step. In fact, several people came across the body of Dando immediately after her death. However, no one had seen anyone suspicious near the crime scene, except for Miss' Dando's neighbor Mr. Hughes. Jurors were also shown videotaped interviews, in which Mr. George had been questioned extensively by investigators. Once again, Mr. George was heard saying he had never before seen Jill Dando in the flesh, yet he was shocked upon learning about the circumstances of her death. Investigators also asked Mr. George if he had killed Dando, which he denied doing.

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