Shirley McKie

In February 1997, British policewoman Shirley McKie was accused of perjury based on a fingerprint of hers found in a murder victim’s house. McKie was insistent that she had never entered the house, despite the evidence suggesting otherwise. The Scottish Criminal Records Office called upon 4 experts to examine the fingerprint, all of whom agreed it belonged to the policewoman.


Throughout this investigation McKie was subjected to endless questioning and interrogation, her house was searched, and she was taken into custody and strip-searched. Throughout the trial Shirley McKie consistently claimed she was innocent. Luckily, two American fingerprint experts endorsed that the print was not McKie’s, this information being enough to acquit her.

The case attracted so much media attention and legal controversy, that Michael Russell, a member of the Scottish Parliament set out to settle to dispute once and for all. Russell ordered various fingerprint experts to examine the print. This resulted in 171 experts from 18 different countries agreeing that the fingerprint was not Shirley McKie’s, and the initial experts had incorrectly identified the print.