During the night of December 3, 1977, elderly woman Rosa Simper was brutally murdered in her Cheltenham home in Adelaide. Her body was discovered the next morning, lying across her blood-soaked bed after being badly beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled. The house had also been ransacked, with an estimated $200 worth of property stolen. Police forensic examinations of the crime scene found traces of paint and metal on the windowsill, where the window had been jemmied open by the intruder, as well as on the victim’s bed. This evidence drew the police’s attention to a factory located opposite Ms Simper’s home. They investigated fifteen of the factory’s employees, including 43-year-old spray-painter Edward Splatt, whom was known to police as a small-time criminal. The police mounted a case against Mr Splatt, basing their prosecution on the paint particles which supposedly came from Mr Splatt’s clothing. Mr Splatt was convicted for Ms Simper’s murder in 1978, and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1979, Mr Splatt sent two exercise books to investigative journalist Stewart Cockburn, stating that his sentence was a miscarriage of justice. After much investigation and fighting legal and governmental barriers, Mr Cockburn ensured a royal commission was held for the case. The royal commission, although never determining Mr Splatt's innocence, found that the paint particles were from spray painters working down the road, and was highly critical of the unscientific manner in which the trial was conducted. In 1984 Edward Splatt was released from prison and pardoned, after serving six and a half years for Ms Simper’s murder. The Edward Splatt case changed forensic science law in South Australia, with the government’s establishment of the State Forensic Science Centre, independent of the police force.