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30 March 17

Obituary – Margaret Pereira

Margaret Pereira was the first women to head up the Home Office Forensic Science Service and developed a blood tracing technique matching blood trace to blood groups, which was essential to criminal investigations both in Britain and around the globe.

Margaret was a pioneering individual during her career and was the first woman to provide evidence in court as an expert witness in her field in 1960.

In the days before DNA analysis, Pereira developed a method of examining blood stains to establish the blood type of an individual which become an important way of identifying or eliminating suspects from an investigation.

Margaret Pereira was involved in the murder investigation of Lord Lucan’s nanny which resulted in the peer being named as the murderer at Sandra Rivetts’ inquest. Lord Lucan disappeared shortly after the murder and has never been seen since.

Pereira examined blood stains found on walls, carpets and ceilings during the investigation and was able to establish a match between blood samples found in an abandoned car used by Lord Lucan and the murder weapon.

In 1976, she was appointed as the first female director of the FSS and retired from forensic science in 1988 before being awarded a CBE in 1985.

Margaret Pereira – 22nd April 1928 – 22nd December 2016. 

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