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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 37

Pollen Counts

An introduction to forensic botany.
Words by Tom Faber. Photograph by Paul Rousteau.

An introduction to forensic botany.
Words by Tom Faber. Photograph by Paul Rousteau.

In 1997, a woman in Christchurch, New Zealand, was raped in an alleyway. She described the assailant to the police and a man was arrested, but he denied having committed the crime and there was no DNA evidence. The case looked hopeless until an unexpected witness emerged—a flowering wormwood shrub that had been damaged in the struggle. Native to the Mediterranean, it’s an uncommon plant in New Zealand; and when a forensic lab examined the suspect’s jeans, they found a

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven

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