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New Zealand Police Museum director Rowan Carroll said a pane of glass with the suspect’s fingerprints — kept at the museum in a sealed wooden box — was recently escorted to the Wellington Central Police Station’s fingerprint section to work some 2021 technological magic on the prints.
"The resulting images were checked against the digital fingerprint database and the manual filing system to see if the person had been fingerprinted at all during their lifetime.
Const Dorgan was shot in the chest on August 27, 1921 when he disturbed a burglar at T & J Thomson's drapery and clothing shop in Stafford St. He was 37 and married with three children.
Aoraki Area Commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said while Const Dorgan’s death was remembered each year, with Police Remembrance Day services held at his gravesite in the Timaru Cemetery, police had been planning for some time to mark the 100th anniversary.
‘‘We came up with the idea of having a plaque on the spot he died.’’
About 50 people are expected to attend an unveiling ceremony on Friday, August 27 at 11am, in the alleyway on the south side of the current Farmers store.
Insp Gaskin said he believed the case would have been solved if police had the benefits of today’s advances in investigation, science and technology.
"Reading the report from the detectives, I think they probably knew who it was, but they didn’t have sufficient evidence to be able to charge him.
"It will never be solved now."