Volume 49, Issue 2 (March 2004)
An Example of the Use of Forensic Palynology in Assessing an Alibi
A man was found shot in the back on Mount Holdsworth in the Tararua Ranges north of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Police investigations pinpointed one individual who had been seen in the area, knew, and had the means and motive to kill the victim. His alibi was that an eyewitness was mistaken as he never had been in the area and the jacket he was reported to have been wearing had been purchased in The Netherlands and brought to Wellington, where it never had left the city. Furthermore the distinctive board shorts that he was reported to have been wearing had been purchased in a small coastal New Zealand town after the victim had been murdered. Pollen of Nothofagus menziesii, a mountain plant, on the clothing suggested that the alibi was untrue and that the clothing had been in mountains in the vicinity of Mount Holdsworth or a similar mountain scene where Nothofagus menziesii was growing.