Professor Angela Gallop is a forensic scientist who has helped solve some of the most notorious violent crimes in recent British history including the killings of Stephen Lawrence, Damilola Taylor and Rachel Nickell.
After completing a degree in botany and a doctorate on the biochemistry of sea slugs, Angela joined the Home Office’s Forensic Science Service in 1974, and four years later attended her first crime scene, where 18-year-old Helen Rytka was killed by Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper.
Over the years cold cases became her speciality and in 1992 she investigated the death of the Italian banker Roberto Calvi. He was found hanging from scaffolding under Blackfriars Bridge, London, in a suspected suicide ten years before. Angela’s work established that suicide was unlikely and that, in all probability, he’d been murdered. His killers were never found.
In 1999 Angela and her team investigated the murder of Lynette White who was killed in her flat in Cardiff in 1988. Five men had been tried for her death and three - known as the ‘the Cardiff Three’ - were sent to prison although their convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal two years later. Angela’s investigation made history when the murderer was identified and convicted through his familial DNA.
Angela first worked on the Stephen Lawrence case in 1995 – two years after his murder - and returned to it in 2006. The forensic evidence that was found during this investigation helped to convict his killers in 2012.
Angela has written a book about her career in forensics and another which outlines the challenges the discipline faces today.
Presenter Lauren Laverne
Producer Paula McGinley