21 October 2009

Leech solves serious crime!

Being Spanish, I visit the beautiful Tagus River whenever I get a chance. One of the only downsides about the region is the leeches. Except when they're being used for medical purposes, I find leeches annoying and hard to remove.

Today my respect for the humble leech increased a little after reading about one in the Metro that solved a crime.

The case in question sounded so tough that even I don't know if I could have solved it - an elderly lady in Tasmania, Australia was tied up in her home by two intruders in September 2001. The men stole the lady's money and fled.

Police were obviously keen to catch the culprits, but there was no forensic evidence left at the scene - except for one blood-filled leech! Suspecting the leech might have fed on one of the attackers, the police removed the blood from it for DNA analysis.

Now, over eight years later, Peter Cannon was arrested on unrelated charges. His DNA matched that taken from the leech.

Cannon pleaded guilty to the robbery and is being sentenced this Friday. He faces a maximum sentence of 21 years.

This is the first time DNA taken from an insect has been used to solve a crime in Australia and perhaps the world! Bravo - I love a happy ending.

Pretty amazing story eh? I hope the next leech I encounter is as useful. If you hear of any amazing crime stories, be sure to let my fellow amigos and I know.

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