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Investigating Homicide Cases That Involve Arson

When investigating possible arson, evidence can be hard to come by. That’s when forensic experts step in.

In 1995, Forensic Specialist Peter Ellis was tasked with investigating the cause of death of eight victims who were found in an apartment fire in Liverpool, Sydney.

Ellis discussed the case on a recent episode of the Crime Insiders podcast:

Ellis started by testing blood and bodily substances for poisons and gases.

The victims had varying levels of cyanide in their system, which raised the question of whether it was ingested, but Ellis believed this was from burning household plastics.

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Police found evidence that an accelerant had been used in the apartment, poured on the stairs leading to it and inside. This indicated that the fire was deliberately lit.

One of the eight victims with a questionable police history became a suspect, but based on forensic evidence Ellis didn’t believe he lit the fire. He explains:

Ellis explains why the case still hasn’t been solved on the full episode:

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