PODCAST #14 – Essex Police: solving murder with science + creativity

The Essex 2020 podcast 14. Essex Police: Solving murder with science and creativity

Essex Police joins forces with Essex 2020 to bring you a true crime special in this extended edition of the Essex 2020 podcast.

The conversation includes some frank and graphic descriptions of the scene of a real crime that some people may find upsetting.



In 2018, 56 year old Martin Dines was attacked three times in a Colchester street and car park, enduring 73 horrific injuries to the head and body, eventually being left for dead. Following a complex investigation, involving over 160 forensics, investigation and pathology professionals – as well as community liaison work – Heidi Kennedy, 47, Darren Miller, 46, and Mark Hartley, 32, were convicted of either murder or manslaughter.

As well as highlighting the vulnerability of the local homeless community, the case demonstrated how communities of knowledge and expertise can work together to gather the evidence needed to secure conviction.

The science, technology and communication skills involved in policing has evolved dramatically in the past few years – with the future of law and order reliant on new generations of curious problem solvers and technical innovators.

In this special extended episode, Richard Freeman talks to four professionals from Essex Police’s Serious Crime Directorate – all of whom worked on this case:

  • Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings, Senior Investigating Officer
  • Paul Clark, Senior Crime Scene Investigator
  • Katherine Judge, Investigating Officer at the time of the investigation
  • Emi Polito, CCTV Evidence Officer

They look at the way the case unfolded and who was involved; the role of science and technology to underpin the human skills; and where creativity, empathy and lateral thinking play a part.

This is a real case, and the conversation includes some frank and graphic descriptions of the scene of crime that some people may find upsetting.

We dedicate the recording to the memory of Martin Dines.


Useful links

Essex Police online

We Value Difference campaign

BBC News

Essex 2020 Spotlight On Essex Police

Feeling inspired? Want to investigate and tackle crime in Essex? Why not be part of the Essex Police family and use your skills to make a big difference in communities across the county. They are recruiting now, just visit Essex Police careers for more details. #FitTheBill #WeValueDifference


Did you know…? As part of Essex 2020, Essex Police have been releasing videos that highlight the work of some of their teams. Visit our resource page to view all the videos in the series and learn about the Dog Unit, Drone Section, Marine Unit and get a virtual tour of the Essex Police Museum.


We’d love to know what you thought of the podcast. Please review and share on your favourite podcast platform.  

You can subscribe to the podcast at: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Deezer, Google.

Essex 2020 is an Essex Partners initiative. This is an always possible podcast.

The interviewer was Richard Freeman for always possible and the producer was Chris Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts