Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsAs the role of a crime scene investigator, you get involved in a lot of different scenes, and you deal with a lot of different circumstances. One of the circumstances that, I didn't do the whole job, but I certainly had a lot of involvement in, was the case which we called "the body in the bag." A male was found in a small holdall on some waste ground. He was very badly decomposed. There was no identification as to actually who it was. They knew straight away that that wasn't actually the murder scene. They knew that it would be the deposition site. Number one indicator, it's a human in a bag.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsWhich pretty much shows that he's not going to get into the bag himself. There was a lot of soil substance, and there was also a very strange smell. The male itself was wrapped in plastic and then wrapped in another material, which we weren't too sure about. The body in the bag was recovered as a whole and took to the mortuary. At the mortuary, obviously there was a pathologist involved straight away. He was removed from the bag. All forensics were recovered off the bag and inside the bag, off the sheet, and anything that we could get. Because of the unusual circumstances to it, we had to get a load of specialists involved.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 secondsWe had a botanist come in because there was soil samples. We had an entomologist come in. There were flies and maggots on the body at that time. Obviously, to try and put some sort of age as to when that - number one, the male had died, and number two, how long he'd been in that bag. We'd got an odontologist in to look at his teeth to see if we could try and identify him from that. Due to the fact obviously we didn't have any idea of who this male was, we called him Mr. X.

Finding Mr. X: Our story begins

Our story starts with an accidental discovery. Two men walking through an industrial estate in Sheffield find a large sports bag containing a badly decomposed body.

The men contacted South Yorkshire Police, who began to investigate the mystery.

The case was taken by then Senior Investigating Officer and Chief Superintendent Robert Varey.

In this video, Nicola Moyle, a Senior Crime Scene Investigator on Robert Varey’s team, introduces us to the case and the team of specialists that they enlisted in the beginning to investigate ‘the body in the bag’.

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This video is from the free online course:

Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

The University of Sheffield