A Century Later

A Centuary LaterDNA Proves a Hanged Man Was Innocent

‘It is one of the most notorious cases in British legal history, the story of an apparently mild-mannered doctor who poisoned and dismembered his showgirl wife, then fled across the Atlantic with his young lover – only to be caught after a sharp-eyed captain recognized him from the newspaper,’ writes Martin Hodgson in The Guardian of 17th October 2007.

Hodgson tells the story thus:

Dr Hawley Crippen was hanged in 1910, after an Old Bailey jury took just 27 minutes to find him guilty of murdering his wife, Cora, who had vanished earlier that year.

Nearly a century later, research appears to show that the evidence which sent Crippen to the gallows was mistaken: the human remains discovered under his London house could not be those of Cora.

Working from a sample kept at the museum of the Royal London Hospital Archives, a team of American forensic scientists compared mitochondrial DNA from the remains presented at the trial with samples taken from Cora’s surviving relatives. The result was conclusive, said Dr David Foran, the head of forensic science programme at Michigan State University. “The body cannot be Cora Crippen, we’re certain of that,” he said.

ILSPA Members' Working Lives

workinglife.png.460x277_q100.jpgLegal Secretaries help with the smooth running of law firms and can work in barristers’ chambers, local authorities, law courts and with the police. They hold a wealth of professional skills and overall they must be excellent secretaries with an understanding of law and legal procedures, computer literate, have good communication and organisational skills, an eye for detail and professional acumen. The work can be challenging and demanding so being calm and confident is essential.

The work of Legal Secretaries varies greatly, as law and legal procedures do. Areas such as Conveyancing, Probate, Litigation, Personal Injury, Family Law and Criminal Law are common to work in and valuable experience is gained on the job. Legal Secretaries find their work enjoyable and rewarding as they work on interesting cases, are given important responsibilities, liase with a diversity of clients and are at the heart of the legal profession.


We are pleased to feature the day-to-day working life experiences of some of our Fellowship Members.

Coping Under Pressure

Coping under pressureThe phone is constantly engaged. The taxi ignores you. Your train is late. Why do minor hassles like these have the potential to make us uptight? Maybe it's because we're tightly wound already and can't find the pressure relief valve. We all live and work in a pressured world - pressure over money, commuting, technology, looking good, eating well. Balancing the pressures of home life and work life are vital if we are to get optimum amounts of the adrenaline buzz to stay healthy and enjoy the whole life! So here are the top ten tips for when the going gets tough:

1. If you only have a hammer you will tend to see everything as a nail. Learn and use new techniques to deal with your workload and life's pressures, since the bigger the range of tools at your disposal will mean you are likely to find just the right one.

2. Work out what is actually inside or outside your control. Stop trying to bash your head against the brick wall if something that is driving you crazy is actually outside your control. And don't tell yourself "I cannot deal with this" when you mean "I will not deal with this".