But even this critical evidence was surrounded by controversy. Around 400 hairs were taken from the blanket, mostly short and dark. On an initial examination, an ESR scientist failed to notice any matching Olivia’s long, blonde hair. But, six weeks later, after reference hairs had been taken from Olivia’s clothes, the scientist re-examined the blanket hairs and discovered 15cm and 25cm blonde hairs that ultimately proved to be from Olivia or someone from her maternal blood line.
Complicating this was the fact that the scientist had examined the sample hairs from Olivia’s home and the tiger-blanket hairs, on the same day at the same table, leading to concern about accidental contamination. Doubts about the hair evidence were further compounded by the discovery of an unexplained 1cm slit in the bag holding Olivia’s reference hairs, the scientist only able to suggest she’d inadvertently cut the bag when using scissors to open the envelope it was in