30 years af­ter preg­nant mum’s mur­der shocked the na­tion, we look back at the events of the time

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - JES­SICA WAL­FORD Re­porter jes­sica.wal­ford@waleson­line.co.uk

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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