WHO KILLED MARIE
30 years after pregnant mum’s murder shocked the nation, we look back at the events of the time
O N JUNE 18, 1988, a bewildered 11-year-old girl was found cradling a 13-monthold boy in her arms at the side of a motorway.
Half a mile away, an emergency phone dangled off a hook.
It was a strange set of circumstances.
Pregnant housewife Marie Wilks had broken down on the M50 motorway near Bushley, in Hereford and Worcester. Her sister and baby son had gone looking for help when they were spotted on the side of the road.
But little did they know that after she made an emergency call for help, the 22-year-old was attacked.
Her body was found in undergrowth two days later. Marie Wilks had been murdered. But what happened? Using newspaper clippings from the time, we can retell the story of one of the UK’s most shocking murders.
From reconstructions to appeals, and the wrongful conviction of a former Welsh soldier, it’s a case where the killer has yet to be found.
It was a normal Saturday when 27-year-old Adrian Wilks, a selfemployed carpenter, kissed wife Marie goodbye after they spent an afternoon at an Army cadet camp at Herefordshire beauty spot Symonds Yat, where he was an instructor.
While driving home, Marie pulled onto the hard shoulder of the M50 between Ledbury and Tewkesbury after the oil warning light of the Morris Marina she was driving started to flash.
Marie, wearing a pink and white maternity dress, broke down on the M50, leaving her 13-month-old son Mark and 11-year-old sister Georgina Gough in the car on the hard shoulder.
At 7.37pm a call was made to police from an emergency phone half a mile away.
She asked the roadside operator to call her father Terry Gough on the home landline and ask him to pick her up.
By 7.41pm when the operator tried to tell her that Terry was out, all that could be heard was the sound of passing traffic in the background.
Repeated calls of “Mrs Wilks” by the operator went unanswered.
Within minutes, the pregnant mum-of-one had seemingly disappeared.
At 8.20pm, officers found the children standing by the car.
Husband Adrian told the press at the time that: “There is no way Marie would go off on her own without our son. She loves him too much for that.”
He added that Marie only passed her test two months before, and this was her first big journey out.
A police helicopter was launched, with 60 officers joining the search for the pregnant housewife.
Police feared Marie abducted.
Two days later, on the Monday, Marie’s body was found three miles away from the emergency telephone.
A post-mortem examination showed she had been stabbed in the neck and suffered a blow to the side of her head, as well as a fractured jaw.
Traces of blood has been found in the telephone call box.
Police believed she died within 15 had been
Police search the side of the M50 following
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