The Biggar Murder: ‘A Triumph for Forensic Odontology’

  • Alison AdamEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Histories of Policing, Punishment and Justice book series (PHPPJ)


This chapter focuses on the murder of a fifteen-year-old girl in a small Scottish town, Biggar, in 1967. The main evidence was a bite-mark on her body. Dental impressions from staff and youths at the nearby ‘approved school’ were made, and Gordon Hay, a youth with highly unusual dental features, became the chief suspect. Professor Keith Simpson, the UK’s foremost forensic pathologist, argued that it was possible to identify the person who was responsible for making a bite-mark on a body. The case was the first in Scotland where results from forensic odontology formed the main evidence in the trial. It was a ‘triumph for forensic odontology’ in that the evidentiary links, some of which were quite fragile, held together without breaking.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

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