With forensic technology constantly improving, it's getting harder to get away with murder. But some killers have, did, or still are. Figures show there are over 1,000 unsolved murders in the UK, some going back generations. Continuing our series, here are some of the grisliest 1970s unsolved murders...
1. Jackie Ansell-Lamb and Barbara Mayo
Jackie Ansell-Lamb, 18, was hitch hiking from London to Manchester when she disappeared on 8 March 1970. Her body was discovered six days later by a farmer in Square Wood, near Knutsford. She’d been sexually assaulted and strangled. Her killer was never found.
Five months later, in October 1970, teacher Barbara Mayo, 24, set off from her London home to hitch hike north. Six days later her body was found dumped in woods near Junction 29 of the M1 north motorway. She’d been raped and then strangled. From early on detectives thought the two cases were linked, but despite the biggest manhunt the country had ever seen, they couldn’t track down their killer. The link was confirmed during a 1990 re-investigation of the case, yet the murders remain unsolved. Detectives have since investigated whether convicted serial killer Peter Tobin could have murdered the two young women, but so far, no evidence has been found.
2. Susan Long
On 10 March 1970, clerk Susan Long, 18, went dancing with her boyfriend at the gala ballroom in Norwich. She caught the last bus home to Aylsham, where passengers confirmed she’d got off the bus at Aylsham Market Place and begun the seven minute walk to her parent’s place. But she never arrived.
At around 5:15am the next morning, Susan’s body was found by a milkman 1.5 miles from the bus stop. She was lying in a pool of rainwater in a lovers’ lane and she’d been sexually assaulted and strangled. New Scotland Yard launched a full scale murder hunt. Detectives believed she was driven to where her body was found, but did not know if she’d been abducted or went voluntarily.
Semen was found at the scene, and forensics established the murderer was from a rare blood group. Blood samples were taken from men living in the area, but no match was found. There was renewed hope in 2010 – the 40th anniversary of her murder – that new DNA technology could help finally solve this unsolved murder, but the case remains open.
3. Unidentified naked man
One of 1970s unsolved murders has baffled the town of Burton for decades.
In 27 March 1971, an off duty police officer stumbled across the body of a male in a shallow grave on an island in the River Trent. He was naked apart from a pair of pink socks and a wedding ring, and was partially buried in a kneeling position with his hands and ankles tied behind his back. The man, who became known as ‘Fred the head’, had been in the grave for 12 to 18 months, his hair was still in place but his facial features were unrecognisable.
It was clear he’d been the victim of murder, but police couldn’t ID him, or work out exactly how he’d died.
Four decades on a detailed and lifelike facial reconstruction was created of the man using cutting-edge techniques. After a BBC1 Crimewatch documentary threw up new leads, detectives thought the man could be John Henry Jones, 27, who went missing from his home in North Wales in 1970.
Had Fred the Head finally identified? Sadly, this possible breakthrough was ruled out using familial DNA testing. The murder of the naked Burton man remains a mystery.
4. Amala Ruth De Vere Whelan
Amala was popular, attractive as well as an active member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. She’d lived in the flat for three weeks before she was brutally murdered, and had previously lived and worked at a pub in Camden. Now, more than 40-years later, Scotland Yard detectives have launched a fresh appeal for witnesses and information. Anyone with info can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
5. Eve Stratford and Lynne Weedon
Eve Stratford was a bunny girl who worked at the Playboy Club in Park Lane and had been photographed with the likes of Eric Morecambe and Sid James. But, on 18 March 1975, her boyfriend found her dead on the bedroom floor of their flat in Leyton, east London. Her throat had been cut from ear to ear, she’d been tied up and gagged. She’d last been seen alive walking alone in the snow near her home around 4pm. Thirty minutes later neighbours heard male and female voices in her flat before a loud thud. But, despite a huge murder hunt the case went cold – until 2007 when detectives found links between Eve Stratford’s murder and that of Lynne Weedon.
On 3 September 1975, six months after Eve’s grisly murder, Lynne Weedon, 16, had been taking a short-cut to her home in Hounslow when she was battered over the head with a blunt instrument. She was then thrown over a fence into the grounds of an electricity sub-station, where she was raped. Despite her catastrophic injuries, when she was discovered by a school caretaker the next morning, she was still alive.
She was rushed to West Middlesex Hospital, yet she never regained consciousness and died a week later on 10 September. Detectives believed she’d been stalked by her killer as she walked into an alleyway at 11.20pm. In 2007, police linked the cases using new DNA techniques. Both murders were featured on BBC1’s Crimewatch that September where it was said they were both sexually motivated, and committed by the same assailant. In September 2015 police issued a fresh appeal for information, but the cases remain 1970s unsolved murders.
6. Lynda Farrow
On 19 January 1979, four-months pregnant mum of two, Lynda Farrow, was raped and murdered in her own home in Woodford, east London. Her throat had been slashed. Her body was found by her daughters, 8 and 11, who’d been sent home early due to a snow storm.
Lynda had spent the day shopping for maternity clothes, then visiting her partner’s fruit stall before driving home. There was no sign of forced entry, and detectives believed her killer forced his way in as she arrived home. A set of footprints was found leading to Lynda’s house, and a neighbour had seen an man with blonde hair and blue eyes entering her home around 2pm. But there were no other leads and the case went cold.
A 2010 reconstruction was shown on BBC1’s Crimewatch but it remains one of the most high profile 1970s unsolved murders. Recently, a top detective has suggested her murder could be linked to Eve Stratford and Lynne Weedon’s, but there is no DNA evidence to support this.
7. Georgi Markov
Georgi Markov’s murder is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the Cold War.
Markov was a prize-winning author and broadcaster for the BBC overseas service. He was also a Bulgarian defector who was assassinated on orders of the Bulgarian secret service as he waited for a bus on Waterloo Bridge in September 1978. As Markov waited amongst commuters he felt a stinging pain in his thigh. A stocky stranger then dropped an umbrella, mumbled ‘sorry’ before fleeing in a taxi. Markov shrugged off the strange incident and continued home. He was dead three days later.
In 2005, a book was published, citing leaked Bulgarian intelligence documents. It named the alleged hitman, who worked under the guise, Agent Piccadilly, as Francesco Giullino, a Dane of Italian origin who worked as a spy for the secret service. While Agent Piccadilly remains the chief suspect, he denies any involvement. The case remains open.