IVCC professor interviewed for BBC documentary


Lily Ramirez

Professor Matt Johll poses in the his favorite room in the chemistry lab where the instruments are kept, including this “Flame AA” machine which measures heavy metals. Johll can be found three days a week on campus teaching class and putting in time in the lab.

About a year ago, Professor Matt Johll was brought in for a case in England that involved a murder dealing with insulin.

Featuring this case Johll wrote a book, “Investigating Chemistry: A Forensic Science Perspective.” After writing this book, Johll stated, “The individual I wrote about, got word of the book that I had written about her case and they asked me to contribute to her legal appeal.”

This involvement brought forth new opportunities for Johll.

Johll was reached out to by BBC Panorama to be interviewed for the Panorama the Innocent Serial Killer BBC Documentary. The documentary is based on a man, Colin Norris, who worked as a nurse at a hospital in Scotland.

Norris was convicted for attempted murder of one patient and the murder of four elderly patients. He is serving a life in prison with a minimum of 30 years. The documentary focuses on investigating whether Norris is an innocent man who has been wrongly convicted as a serial killer.

On a Saturday in November 2014, Johll traveled to the University of Glasgow in Scotland. There, he partook in BBC’s interview for the documentary in a laboratory room.

Johll was asked for his opinion concerning the case against Norris.

For over seven hours BBC consulted Johll on the standard of evidence used in trial against Norris.

Johll critiqued the analysis of the blood sample. He states, “I think it’s unconscionable to put a person on trial for murder with a presumptive test. One little sample partially analyzed, that’s really where we’re sitting at.”

Johll also states, “With no supporting evidence, no injection marks, no signs of insulin depo, there’s no witnesses, no empty syringe, there’s no empty vial. There’s nothing else connecting him to this case.” Johll made his consultation clear that he believes there is a lack of evidence in the case against Norris.

Johll has brought back his professional experiences from legal cases to incorporate in his classes for his students. Johll firmly believes, “It’s more meaningful to the students to see there’s a use for this information, that these topics matter in real life. They’re practical applications.”

With this interview under his belt, Johll is open for any more possibilities of being contacted for consultancies in the future.