In the early days of DNA evidence being used in criminal cases, it played a crucial role in the investigation into Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Man’s murders.

After Lynda Mann’s death, Pitchfork was forced to use it for the first time in an investigation.

Lynda, then 15, was raped, and killed as she returned from babysitting that day.

The investigation began with DNA. A sample of her semen from her body was later found to have been taken from a person of type-A blood.

This enzyme profile also matches that of only 10% of males.

Volunteers taking tests in 1987 to help police find the murderer of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth

In 1987, volunteers took tests for police to locate Dawn Ashworth’s killer Lynda Ashworth.

Police left it open despite the lack of leads or direct suspects.

Dawn Ashworth was 15 years old when Dawn left home to go visit a friend.

She did not come back so a search began and her body, just like Lynda’s, was discovered.

The DNA was identical to the first time police found it, so detectives realized they were searching for a second murderer.

Officers were also considering Richard Buckland as a possible suspect. Richard Buckland was 17 years old and with learning problems. He had previously confessed to second murder, but had no knowledge about the first. Later, he would be exonerated.

However, it was only after Sir Alec Jeffreys became involved, a Leicester University genetics researcher, that his innocence finally proved to be proven. 

Along with Peter Gill and Dave Werrett, Sir Alec developed the first genetic profiling system.

He used the tool to analyze DNA from both of his bodies.

The murderer was found to be the same man, but Buckland did not know this.

Later, police launched a DNA drive and up to 5,000 men in three villages were asked to volunteer blood or saliva samples.

However, we did not find any matches.

But in 1987 a bakery colleague of Pitchfork was overheard boasting how he was set to receive £200 to pose as Pitchfork and give a sample.

Pitchfork was arrested after the conversation was reported to police.