Killers still at large de­spite foren­sics progress

Cold case unit ap­peals for help

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Unsolved Murders -

From a stran­gled baby found in a lake to a gang­land-style shoot­ing in broad day­light, there have been many hor­rific killings in Ash­ford over the years.

But per­haps the most dis­turb­ing as­pect of cases such as these is that those re­spon­si­ble have never been caught.

In some cases, ar­rests have been made and sus­pects charged, but no one has ever been brought to jus­tice.

Over the years, po­lice and rel­a­tives have is­sued fresh ap­peals for any­one har­bour­ing in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward.

In spite of this – as well as ad­vance­ments in crime de­tec­tion tech­nol­ogy such as DNA pro­fil­ing – dozens of killers re­main at large.

One such un­solved Ash­ford mur­der is that of the baby girl found float­ing in a plas­tic bag at the edge of Sin­gle­ton Lake in April 1995.

Named April by po­lice, the young vic­tim had been stran­gled with a pair of tights and tis­sue pa­per stuffed in her mouth when she was dis­cov­ered by two teenagers more than 20 years ago.

De­spite a mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion span­ning two decades, which has in­volved ex­hum­ing the body in 2011, nei­ther the killer nor the baby’s par­ents have ever been traced.

Car­ing res­i­dents have been lay­ing flow­ers and gifts at Baby April’s grave in By­brook Ceme­tery, Ken­ning­ton, since her burial in 1996.

Another hor­ri­fy­ing case was A Kent Po­lice spokesman said: “Kent Po­lice has a ded­i­cated Se­ri­ous Case Re­view Team un­der the Kent and Es­sex Se­ri­ous Crime Di­rec­torate (SCD), which regularly re­views un­solved mur­ders and se­ri­ous sex­ual as­saults.

“In turn, the SCD Cold Case Unit car­ries out fur­ther in­quiries on un­solved cases by us­ing a num­ber of in­ves­tiga­tive tech­niques and de­vel­op­ments in foren­sic science.

“Of­fi­cers in the Cold Case Unit are al­ways keen to hear from any­one who has in­for­ma­tion about past crimes. that of 74-year-old Al­bert Bishop, known as Taffy, who was bru­tally at­tacked by a man wield­ing a ham­mer at his home in Hythe Road, Willes­bor­ough, in March 2008.

The pen­sioner, who worked at a gro­cery stall that also sold im­ported cig­a­rettes at the Ash­ford Mar­ket, in Or­bital Park, had just re­turned home from work around mid­day be­fore he was found se­ri­ously in­jured by his daugh­ter, Sarah, when she came home min­utes later.

Mr Bishop was able to tell de­tec­tives that his at­tacker was a white man in his 50s, who stole about £700 of cash from him and left with it in a blue Nike ruck­sack con­tain­ing his grand­son’s work boots.

“With mod­ern tech­niques it is of­ten pos­si­ble to elim­i­nate some­one from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion quickly and un­equiv­o­cally.

“In mur­der cases in par­tic­u­lar, there are al­ways fam­ily and friends who want an­swers and of­fi­cers re­main com­mit­ted to iden­ti­fy­ing of­fend­ers, bring­ing them to jus­tice and of­fer­ing clo­sure.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about any of these un­solved mur­ders can call po­lice on 101 or Kent Crimestop­pers anony­mously on 0800 555 111.

He suf­fered se­ri­ous arm and head in­jures, was treated at sev­eral hos­pi­tals, but was sub­se­quently dis­charged with on­go­ing med­i­cal treat­ment.

Three months later, he had a fall at home where he frac­tured his fe­mur and died of his in­jures.

A Home Of­fice pathol­o­gist ruled his death should be treated as mur­der as it was deemed to have been di­rectly caused by his as­sault.

Also in 2008, one of the coun­try’s lead­ing avi­a­tion ar­chae­ol­o­gists was bru­tally mur­dered in a case that has baf­fled de­tec­tives for nearly seven years.

An­drew Cress­well, known as Andy or Cressy, lived in a mo­bile home on the Piv­ing­ton Mill in­dus­trial es­tate near Pluck­ley, where he ran a cafe.

The 51-year-old’s body was found by work­ers one morn­ing, and a post­mortem re­vealed he had died from a blow to the head.

Po­lice be­lieve he may have dis­turbed a bur­glary and been at­tacked, but de­spite the ar­rests of five men, no one has ever been charged be­cause of a lack of ev­i­dence.

As an avi­a­tion ar­chae­ol­o­gist, Mr Cress­well had a spe­cial­ist knowl­edge of First World War crash sites.

Poignantly he was found dead on Ar­mistice Day, ex­actly 90 years af­ter the fight­ing stopped.

Fif­teen years ago, a Pluck­ley man was mur­dered in a ganglandstyle killing in broad day­light at Ash­ford’s War­ren Re­tail Park.

Alan De­cabral, 40, was shot dead in front of shop­pers as he sat in a car at lunchtime wait­ing for his son to come out of Hal­fords.

The killer fired a sin­gle shot to the head as he begged for his life.

A young man was seen sprint­ing from the scene to­wards the M20, but de­spite a ma­jor man­hunt, no one was ever caught.

The case has baf­fled de­tec­tives who have in­ves­ti­gated dif­fer­ent the­o­ries into why Mr De­cabral was tar­geted. He was a key wit­ness in the Stephen Cameron M25 road rage stab­bing case, which saw Ken­neth Noye sen­tenced to life.

Andy Cress­well

The grave of Baby April

Pic­ture cour­tesy Mike Gun­nill

Alan De­cabral

Taffy Bishop

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