WALES’ UN­SOLVED MUR­DERS

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THE peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for some of Wales’ most hor­rific crimes have never been caught. And this has been the case as far back as the 1930s. Many of these mur­ders have been rein­ves­ti­gated sev­eral times as ad­vances in foren­sic sci­ence emerged.

But the de­tails and rea­sons be­hind them re­main a mys­tery and jus­tice has never been done. JOYCE COX The school­girl was sex­u­ally as­saulted and mur­dered in Cardiff on Septem­ber 28, 1939, when she was days short of her fifth birth­day.

She dis­ap­peared when her older brother Den­nis, seven, lost track of her as they walked home from school for lunch.

Joyce’s killer was never caught al­though there were at least two sus­pects.

The body of Joyce, who lived in the Whitchurch area of Cardiff, was found on a rail­way em­bank­ment near Co­ry­ton sta­tion.

A copy of the West­ern Mail and a to­bacco pouch were found close by.

South Wales Po­lice is now un­der­tak­ing a cold case re­view of the doc­u­men­ta­tion gath­ered by the for­mer Glam­or­gan­shire Con­stab­u­lary in the af­ter­math of the mur­der.

In a let­ter to Joyce’s cousin Terry Phillips, Chief In­spec­tor Mark Ka­vanagh wrote: “A prime sus­pect was iden­ti­fied early on in the orig­i­nal in­quiry and re­mains the main focus of in­ter­est in this case. The team is un­der­tak­ing in­tel­li­gence re­search to iden­tify what in­for­ma­tion is avail­able about this in­di­vid­ual.”

But the prime sus­pect in the case be­lieved to have died decades ago.

Mr Phillips, who wasn’t born at the time of the mur­der and is now 73, said: “To­gether with other mem­bers of my fam­ily, I have been shocked to learn that the po­lice now con­clude that the pri­mary sus­pect died as long ago as the 1950s.

“I was told that doc­u­men­ta­tion re­lat­ing to the case could not be pub­lished be­cause of the pos­si­bil­ity that it named a sus­pect who was still alive. The new in­for­ma­tion from the po­lice sug­gests that isn’t the case. I have writ­ten to the Na­tional Ar­chives ask­ing the chief ex­ec­u­tive to look at the case for pub­li­ca­tion again.” SKELE­TON IN THE WOODS The skele­tal re­mains of a man were dis­cov­ered at Clo­caenog For­est near Ruthin in Novem­ber 2015.

It is be­lieved the body had been there for a num­ber of years and that the man had been in his 60s when he died. He was 173cm to 180cm tall and of stocky build.

His re­mains were dis­cov­ered by two broth­ers who were camp­ing in the for­est. is

Foren­sic tests showed the man had suf­fered a se­ri­ous head in­jury. Den­tistry anal­y­sis re­vealed work typ­i­cal of that car­ried out in the UK be­tween 1980 and 2000. A dark green Pringle jumper was also re­cov­ered close to the re­mains. This might have be­longed to the man but this has never been con­firmed.

North Wales Po­lice said the investigation is still con­tin­u­ing by the Force Ma­jor In­ci­dent Team. MURIEL DRINKWA­TER The 12-year-old was raped in Pen­l­ler­gaer Woods, near Swansea, be­fore be­ing shot with a World War One-era Colt 45 weapon in 1946.

The crime be­came known as the “Lit­tle Red Rid­ing Hood mur­der”.

Muriel went miss­ing after leav­ing school and mak­ing the short jour­ney through wood­land to her par­ents’ re­mote Tyle-Du Farm.

Searchers still re­mem­ber the woods around the farm lit up by glow worms and the cries of Muriel’s par­ents, Margaret and Percy, on the night of June 27.

The next morn­ing PC David Lloyd Ge­orge found the Gow­er­ton County School pupil’s body in un­der­growth.

One of her hands was raised and her eyes were still wide open.

Po­lice be­lieve the killer would have been be­tween 18 and 25 when the mur­der was car­ried out.

At the time of Muriel’s death of­fi­cers vis­ited ev­ery farm­house and cot­tage within 150 square miles and in­ter­viewed 20,000 men in Swansea, Aber­dare and Car­marthen­shire. But their ef­forts proved fruit­less. A stag­ger­ing 3,000 mourn­ers at­tended Muriel’s fu­neral. CAROL STEPHENS Six-year-old Carol Stephens had been sent out to the cor­ner shop on an er­rand by her mother on April 7, 1959, when she was ab­ducted in the Cathays area of Cardiff, sex­u­ally as­saulted and then stran­gled.

Her body was dis­cov­ered in a ravine 60 miles away from her home close to the vil­lage of Horeb, near Llanelli.

Be­tween her dis­ap­pear­ance and the dis­cov­ery of her body there had been a fran­tic na­tion­wide search for the school­girl.

A few weeks ear­lier she had told friends: “I have a new un­cle who is tak­ing me for lovely rides in his mo­tor car.”

Her friend Kevin North­cott had nearly caught the killer after col­lect­ing the num­ber plates of all the cars in the area the day that she dis­ap­peared – but he did not take the num­ber of a green car where a man in his 30s was sat wait­ing near Carol’s home.

Po­lice in­ter­viewed around 10,000 peo­ple, checked nearly 3,000 cars and took more than 1,100 state­ments dur­ing the hunt for Carol. SAN­DRA PHILLIPS Sex shop worker San­dra Phillips was dis­cov­ered locked in the store by her area man­ager An­thony Williams on a busy Fri­day lunchtime on June 14, 1985, after she had been bru­tally raped and beaten to death.

Two broth­ers from Neath – Wayne and Paul Darvell – were con­victed of the grue­some killing and were later jailed for life for San­dra’s mur­der.

But it was re­vealed that Wayne Darvell had a his­tory of con­fess­ing to crimes he did not com­mit and the broth­ers were re­leased in 1992, prompt­ing South Wales Po­lice to apol­o­gise for “in­ves­ti­ga­tional fail­ings”.

A 2002 re­view re­vealed new in­for­ma­tion when po­lice took down walls in­side the adult store to take DNA sam­ples and rein­ter­viewed some of the 200 male mem­bers of the “blue movie club”.

But the killer was not found and in 2009 it was an­nounced that the investigation would cease un­less new ev­i­dence was sub­mit­ted. DIANE JONES, SARAH-JANE JONES AND SHAUNA HIBBARD Mother Diane Jones, 21, and her two young daugh­ters were killed after petrol was poured through their let­ter­box on the Gurnos es­tate in Merthyr.

Some­one poured petrol through the front door and set it alight on Oc­to­ber 11, 1995, killing Diane and her daugh­ters, Shauna, two, and Sara Jane, 13 months.

No­body was ever con­victed of mur­der but two women who lived on the es­tate, An­nette Hewins and Donna Clarke, were con­victed of ar­son with in­tent to en­dan­ger life be­fore be­ing re­leased on ap­peal.

Ms Hewins, who served 18 months of a 13-year sen­tence, spoke of her “10-year strug­gle to clear her name” and re­vealed she had writ­ten long let­ters to her hus­band in­struct­ing him how to bring up their chil­dren.

Ms Clarke was ac­cused of hav­ing a mo­tive be­cause she had been hav­ing an af­fair with Ms Jones’ part­ner.

A de­fence lawyer said after the ap­peal that he “had never known a case to have pro­ceeded on such flimsy ev­i­dence”.

Ms Hewins died in Fe­bru­ary aged 51. LILY VOLPERT Pawn­bro­ker Lily Volpert was dis­cov­ered ly­ing on a heav­ily-blood­stained floor be­hind the counter of her gen­eral store in Bute Street, Cardiff, on Septem­ber 3, 1952, after hav­ing her throat slit with a ra­zor.

After the grue­some dis­cov­ery was made it was said that vi­tal ev­i­dence may have been de­stroyed as po­lice at­tempted to check whether Ms Volpert was alive or not.

The main wit­ness at the trial was Harold Cover, who came for­ward claim­ing that he had seen So­mali sailor Mah­mood Mat­tan leav­ing Volpert’s store on the night of the mur­der.

Mr Mat­tan, 28, was hanged at a Cardiff prison for the 41-year-old spin­ster‘s mur­der – the last man to be hanged in Wales.

Mat­tan’s con­vic­tion was quashed posthu­mously in 1998 after the Court of Ap­peal ruled that the con­vic­tion was un­safe and his sur­viv­ing fam­ily were awarded £725,000 com­pen­sa­tion.

Since then South Wales Po­lice have re­viewed the case but have not ar­rested any­one else in con­nec­tion with the crime. PAUL SAV­AGE Post­man Paul Sav­age was beaten to death in the street with a wooden post as he de­liv­ered let­ters.

The 30-year-old was at­tacked as he de­liv­ered mail in Clay­ton Road, Mold, at around 7.30am on Fe­bru­ary 4, 2003.

Mr Sav­age, who was mar­ried with one daugh­ter, was left dy­ing in the snow by his at­tack­ers in an in­ci­dent which prompted the Royal Mail to re­as­sure his col­leagues about their safety.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion also of­fered thou­sands of pounds in re­wards for in­for­ma­tion that led to the con­vic­tion of the killers.

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gated sus­pi­cions that the mur­der may have been re­lated to a drugs feud in­volv­ing a Manch­ester gang.

But, to date, no-one has been con­victed over the bru­tal as­sault – de­spite a num­ber of re­peated appeals.

North Wales Po­lice said the killing of Mr Sav­age is no longer an open investigation but that any in­for­ma­tion re­ceived about the case will be fol­lowed up. MAU­REEN MULC­AHY Un­mar­ried 22-year-old mum Mau­reen Mulc­ahy had en­joyed a night out in Fe­bru­ary 1976 with friends in Aber­avon, near Port Tal­bot, drink­ing bot­tles of her favourite cider.

She walked home alone but within a few hun­dred yards of the pub a man caught her and stran­gled her to death.

Joe Kap­pen, the night­club door­man who killed Swansea school­girls Geral­dine Hughes and Pauline Floyd, was posthu­mously linked to the killing.

Kap­pen, who worked doors in Swansea and Port Tal­bot, was ex­humed in 2002 and his DNA was linked to that taken from the scene of the mur­ders of Ms Hughes and Ms Floyd, both 16.

How­ever, al­though the teenagers had been killed two and a half years ear­lier in the same area as Mau­reen there was no con­clu­sive ev­i­dence to prove Kap­pen was

re­spon­si­ble for the later killing.

The case re­mains un­solved. ELSIE HUGHES Widow Elsie Hughes, 90, was found bru­tally bat­tered to death in her own house for less than £200, which was miss­ing from her home in Hawar­den Road, Aber­mor­rdu, near Wrex­ham.

North Wales Po­lice launched a man­hunt after a man in a light-coloured hooded top was seen run­ning away from the ter­raced house where the re­tired school cook lived – and later of­fered a £100,000 re­ward for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the killer’s ar­rest.

In March 2007, two years after the mur­der, two men were ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of the killing but were later re­leased with­out charge.

Pho­to­graphs of train­ers sim­i­lar to those be­lieved to have been worn by the killer were re­leased in 2008 but no­body has been linked with the killing since.

North Wales Po­lice said the killing of Ms Sav­age was no longer an open investigation but that any in­for­ma­tion re­ceived about the case will be fol­lowed up. HARRY AND ME­GAN TOOZE The gunned-down bod­ies of Harry and Me­gan Tooze were dis­cov­ered at their home, Ty Ar y Waun Farm in Llan­harry, near Brid­gend, in July 1993.

The pen­sion­ers – who had been shot with a shot­gun – were found wrapped in car­pets and tar­pau­lin in a cow­shed near their farm­house where they had just had tea.

Jonathan Jones, the boyfriend of their daugh­ter Ch­eryl, was wrongly con­victed of their mur­der after po­lice had dis­cov­ered his fin­ger­print on one of the saucers at the scene but the ver­dict was quickly over­turned on ap­peal.

Since then South Wales Po­lice have made sev­eral at­tempts to solve the mur­der but no fur­ther ar­rests have been made.

Mr Jones later said that the mur­ders still “haunt” him and Ch­eryl – who he has since mar­ried – and that the investigation had not been prop­erly con­ducted by po­lice. TREVALINE EVANS Trevaline Evans, 52, left her an­tiques shop in Llan­gollen, Den­bighshire, on June 16, 1990. A note on the door said she would be back in two min­utes but she was never seen again.

One of the big­gest in­ves­ti­ga­tions of its kind got un­der way in North Wales with more than 330 state­ments taken and 1,500 names checked.

De­tec­tives launched a new investigation in 2001 into Mrs Evans’ dis­ap­pear­ance, set­ting up a ma­jor in­ci­dent room em­ploy­ing 10 of­fi­cers to look at ev­ery state­ment, phone call and piece of ev­i­dence col­lected at the time of the orig­i­nal in­quiry in 1990.

It was hoped new foren­sic tech­niques and fin­ger­print­ing tech­nol­ogy would gen­er­ate fresh leads in a bid to solve the sus­pi­cious dis­ap­pear­ance.

But the in­quiry was brought to a close in Au­gust last year when of­fi­cers failed to find any new ev­i­dence of Mrs Evans’ where­abouts.

Her brother – record Cardiff City goal scorer Len Davies – ap­peared on tele­vi­sion to ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion on where she was but she re­mains miss­ing to this day.

North Wales Po­lice said the dis­ap­pear­ance of Mrs Evans was no longer an open investigation but that any in­for­ma­tion re­ceived about the case will be fol­lowed up. PHILIP SAUNDERS Newsagent Philip Saunders, 52, was found dead out­side his home in Can­ton, Cardiff, in Oc­to­ber 1987, hav­ing been vi­ciously bat­tered with a spade.

The day’s tak­ings from his kiosk had been stolen and he died five days later.

Michael O’Brien, Darren Hall and El­lis Sher­wood were wrongly con­victed in 1988 of the rob­bery and mur­der.

All three men served a to­tal of 11 years be­hind bars after the con­vic­tion based on a “con­fes­sion” from Mr Hall.

But dur­ing a hear­ing in De­cem­ber 1999 the Ap­peal Court was told Mr Hall had a his­tory of telling lies and it emerged that in­ves­ti­ga­tors had shown a “sys­tem­atic dis­re­gard” of the rules gov­ern­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion.

Mr O’Brien and Mr Sher­wood have since been awarded dam­ages for their false im­pris­on­ment.

No other per­son has been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the killing. JOHN CON­NORS John Con­nors, a re­tired den­tist from Neath, was last seen on March 30, 1978, by his clos­est friend, Philip Knight, who has since passed away.

Mr Con­nors’ body was dis­cov­ered the fol­low­ing day in the liv­ing room of his home by a home help em­ployed by so­cial ser­vices. There was no forced en­try and it is sus­pected that the killer got his vic­tim to let him in by sub­terfuge, he knew his killer, or the front door was in­se­cure and some­one walked in.

The cause of death was mul­ti­ple blows to the head with a blunt in­stru­ment.

A man aged be­tween 30 and 40, 6ft tall, of pro­por­tion­ate build with dark brown hair was seen leav­ing the premises in Lewis Street at around 7.15pm on March 30 and he drove off in a white car with two other men. But ex­ten­sive in­quiries failed to trace them. JOHN ARM­STRONG John (also known as Jack) Arm­strong’s body was found on Oc­to­ber 8, 1979. The 58-year-old taxi driver died from a se­ries of blows to the head.

Three days be­fore, the firm he worked for, Cas­tle Pri­vate Hire Taxi Com­pany in West­gate Street, Cardiff, took a call from a man iden­ti­fy­ing him­self only as Williams, ask­ing to be col­lected from the Fair­wa­ter Pub in St Fa­gans Road, Fair­wa­ter, to take him to Cow­bridge.

Mr Arm­strong took the job, driv­ing his metal­lic bronze Colt Sigma 1600cc, reg­is­tra­tion RNY 119R, and 10 min­utes later, at 1.30pm, he ra­dioed taxi con­trol to con­firm he had picked up his pas­sen­ger but he was never heard from again.

At 6pm that day his blood-spat­tered taxi was found in Tre­oes Lane, Tre­oes, near the Water­ton In­dus­trial Es­tate at the west­ern boundary of the Vale of Glam­or­gan.

There ap­peared to be signs of a strug­gle in­side the car, with blood on the pas­sen­ger seat and other parts of the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior.

The in­ci­dent was treated as mur­der, with a pos­si­ble mo­tive be­ing rob­bery. The body was found some 11 miles east of the aban­doned ve­hi­cle on com­mon land known var­i­ously as Stalling Down or Cow­bridge Com­mon, to the north east of Cow­bridge. OTHER UN­SOLVED KILLINGS IN WALES June 1943: Ma­bel Harper, 53, beaten to death, sex­u­ally as­saulted, also stran­gled, in West­ern Av­enue, Cardiff. April 1948: Jerzy Strzadla who was robbed and stabbed in Aber­dare Park. Septem­ber 1956: Jean Chal­lenger, 32, a house­wife, was mur­dered while black­ber­ry­ing in Llanedeyrn, Cardiff. April 1972: Harold Fisher, 54, was robbed and stabbed to death out­side Ha­vana Bak­ery, Cardiff. De­cem­ber 1972: Nora Wil­fred, 33, was stabbed to death in Bute Street, Cardiff. June 1975: David Williams, 49, was found dead at the foot of cliffs in Barry. ARE PO­LICE STILL IN­VES­TI­GAT­ING? South Wales Po­lice said that all his­toric mur­der cases, of­ten re­ferred to as “cold cases”, are al­lo­cated to the spe­cial­ist crime re­view unit and re­main un­der ac­tive con­sid­er­a­tion and will be sub­ject to re-investigation as and when new in­for­ma­tion is re­ceived or when there are ad­vances in foren­sic sci­ence.

The force said each case was re­viewed pe­ri­od­i­cally and if in­for­ma­tion comes in from the pub­lic or other forces they act on it.

South Wales Po­lice said it was one of the first forces in the coun­try to set up a re­view team in 1999 to con­duct cold case re­views.

Post­man Paul Sav­age

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