Latest DNA technology to be used in 1977 murder

Prosecutors are to use “cutting edge” DNA technology as part of a cold case review into the murder of Anna Kenny who went missing in Glasgow nearly forty years ago.

Anna Kenny who was murdered in Glasgow in August 1977. Picture: PA
Anna Kenny who was murdered in Glasgow in August 1977. Picture: PA
Anna Kenny who was murdered in Glasgow in August 1977. Picture: PA

Anna Kenny was last seen alive in the city on 5 August 1977 after a night out with a friend in the Townhead area. The 20-year-old’s body was found nearly two years later in a shallow grave near the village of Skipness on the Kintyre peninsula.

Angus Sinclair, convicted last year of the double murder of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott in October 1977, has been linked by police to a series of other murders in the 1970s - including that of Ms Kenny - but has never faced charges over them.

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The Crown Office Cold Case Unit is now reviewing evidence kept from the the time of Ms Kenny’s murder with DNA technlogy which allows tiny samples to be analysed.

Groundbreaking forensic science techniques were central to the reopening of the World’s End case which ended in the conviction of Sinclair. His DNA was found in three knots which had been preserved as evidence for 37 years.

The killer - who has been in jail since the 1980s for a series of rapes and murders - was jailed for at least 37 years over the World’s End case - named after the Edinburgh pub where 17-year-olds Christine and Helen spent the evening before they died.

After the guilty verdict, former detectives stated their belief that Sinclair was involved in other murders, including the cases of Ms Kenny, Hilda McAuley and Agnes Cooney - all in 1977.

A Crown Office spokesman: “Our Cold Case Unit regularly reviews cases to ascertain if there are any new evidential developments, including advances in forensic techniques, which would assist in providing a basis for criminal proceedings.

“The murder of Anna Kenny is under reinvestigation. This work includes a re-examination of the physical evidence, including garments recovered with the body, to establish whether advances in DNA analysis might produce new lines of inquiry. This DNA work includes the new cutting-edge DNA 24 technology.”

Ms Kenny’s aunt, Agnes Byrne, said: “I am pleased to hear they might finally be able to catch someone for it.

“I just wish it was sooner because Anna’s dad, mum and brother are all dead. She was a lovely girl, and died in a horrific way.”