‘Mr. Stinky’ – Fingerprint Cold Case
Caroline Gibb, Researcher (Fingerprint Subject Matter Expert) University of Twente,
The introduction of an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) has had obvious advantages on
cold case review. Fingerprint examiners now have access to a platform which can perform automated
searches across jurisdictional borders. Examiners can revisit cold cases to search and re-search in the hope an
individual finally presents themselves for fingerprinting. Unfortunately, in the case of Mr. Stinky, this new
technology wasn’t established until 1986, the year after he was arrested.
In 1966, teenagers Garry Heywood and Abina Madill were raped and murdered in Victoria, Australia.
Fingermarks recovered from the crime scene would remain unsolved for almost two decades. It wasn’t until
1985 that law enforcement finally caught up with the offender when Raymond Edmunds was arrested and
subsequently fingerprinted for indecent exposure in New South Wales.
Unfortunately, by 1985 the now serial rapist had terrorized Victoria, committing a series of offenses
throughout Melbourne’s eastern suburbia. Dubbed ‘Mr. Stinky’ because of his foul body odour, crimes were
linked by fingermark evidence recovered from each crime scene. Fingerprint examiners were able create a
composite fingerprint set made from the recovered fingermark evidence. However, with no suspect and set
of fingerprints to compare the evidence to, the cases remained unsolved. When Mr. Stinky was arrested and
fingerprinted, his set of fingerprints was finally compared to the 1966 double homicide. He is currently
serving life in prison, never to be released.
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Caroline spent 13 years Downunder performing the duties of a forensic
officer specialising in fingerprint crime scene recovery, fingerprint analysis, interpretation and reporting, and
the use of a biometric system. Caroline spent two years exploring different ways of reporting fingerprint
conclusions at the Netherlands Forensic Institute before leaping into the academic realm to pursue her PhD
in forensic science.