#OTD It's the death day of Joyce Winifred Vickery (15 December 1908 – 29 May 1979)
An Australian, Vickery was a botanist who became famous for her work in forensic botany.
In 1960, Australia was right in the middle of building the infamous Sydney Opera House. To pay for the construction, Australia held a lottery.
Bazil Thorne spent 3 pounds - a quarter of his paycheck - and purchased a winning ticket; he won 100,000 pounds. Tragically, after his win, his eight-year-old son Graeme was kidnapped and brutally murdered - a crime that stunned the country.
Ultimately, botanist Joyce Vickery helped police solve the Graeme Thorn kidnapping. She had been tasked with identifying two plant particles from the boy's clothing. Vickery recognized them as pieces from common garden plants and not plants that were not found in the area of scrub where his body had been found.
Apart from the Graeme Thorn case, Vickery had "accumulated an unrivaled field knowledge of grass species."