Wednesday 20th October 2021,
North Yorks Enquirer

Three Chiefs and Four Cover-ups (Pt. 2)

September 2, 2021 Police

In their previous article Three Chiefs and Four Cover-ups, NYE journalists Tim Hicks and Chris Clark revealed shocking new evidence that serial killer Christopher Halliwell (pictured above) was operating in North Yorkshire and had made another attack in York. They also covered the latest developments in the Claudia Lawrence (pictured above) murder investigation

In this article, they cover the implications that the new developments have for Cleveland Police’s investigation into the murders of Donna Keogh and Vicki Glass in Middlesbrough.

They also cover the wider strategic failures by the British Police Service in how it investigates serial killers.


Three Chiefs and Four Cover-ups (Pt. 2)

by TIM HICKS & CHRIS CLARK

~~~~

Introduction

The authors have been systematically investigating serial killer Christopher Halliwell, who is currently in prison serving a full life sentence having been convicted of the brutal murders of Miss Becky Godden-Edwards in 2003 and Miss Sian O’Callaghan in 2011 in Swindon.

Since 2018, they have assessed that Christopher Halliwell is a very strong suspect for the murder of Claudia Lawrence, who was abducted on her way to work in the early hours of the morning in March 2009.

North Yorkshire Police (NYP) has consistently stated that there is no evidence linking Halliwell to the murder of Claudia Lawrence and has at various times arrested nine men in connection with her murder. None of whom have been charged with anything.

Re-cap of the latest developments

NYP is searching two fishing ponds in woodland at Sand Hutton Gravel Pits eight miles outside York for Claudia’s body. They are very similar to the pond at Ramsbury, Wiltshire, where in May 2014 Wiltshire Police found a cache of property in and around a fishing pond surrounded by woodland. It comprised a shotgun and sixty items of women’s clothing including a pair of boots that belonged to Miss O’Callaghan and a cardigan that belonged to Miss Godden-Edwards.

It is suspected that the pond at Ramsbury may be a “trophy store”, where Halliwell visited to obtain sexual gratification from the knowledge of the items concealed there, while fishing.

Additional new information has emerged:

  • A witness has come forward confirming that Halliwell tried to entice her into his car at 06.00 in the morning after she finished her shift at Rowntree’s in York.
  • Claudia’s brave mother Joan has called for NYP to investigate Halliwell as a suspect in her daughter’s murder. She is quoted as saying:

“I still don’t feel the police have investigated the link between Claudia’s disappearance and Christopher Halliwell. Something has always bothered me about Halliwell and leaves me feeling very uneasy. The police may not have proved he had anything to do with my daughter’s disappearance, but they haven’t disproved it either”.

  • A witness has come forward with a sighting report of Halliwell in the North York Moors at a very significant location. The authors are withholding this location from the article because of its significance. This witness has revealed that Halliwell was moonlighting as an independent minicab driver in North Yorkshire, which corroborates the evidence of the witness that Halliwell tried to abduct in York and who in the authors’ opinion is very lucky to be alive.

Halliwell’s connections to Durham, Cleveland and North Yorkshire

Halliwell travelled all over the country for work as a ground worker, as well as a mini cab driver. Our information is that he was moonlighting as a minicab driver in North Yorkshire and he may have done this intermittently throughout his life when travelling away from Swindon.

He was a narrow boating enthusiast, frequenting popular leisure craft and narrow boat venues. Yorkshire has an extensive canal network. He was also a keen fisherman.

Halliwell lived in various northern towns. His Father is believed to have lived in North Yorkshire possibly at York, Ampleforth or Oswaldkirke.

Halliwell’s presence in and knowledge of Durham, Cleveland and/or North Yorkshire could therefore be as a result of:

  • Work as a mini-cab driver, chauffer, bin-man, builder, groundsman or window-cleaner in the area.
  • A fishing holiday in Middlesbrough or Darlington. The River Tees has excellent fishing along most of its length until the Tees Barrage, he could also have beenfishing at Middleton St George Water Park, Croft, Cleasby or the River Skerne. The River Tees is also a popular narrow boating venue.
  • Sea fishing at Scarborough, or fresh water fishing in North Yorkshire at Scaling Dam, Sand Hutton Gravel Pits, or along the River Ouse.In this context, Scarborough could be significant. It is a popular venue for fishing and it is sixty two miles from Middlesbrough. The route from Scarborough to Middlesbrough goes to the fishing spot at Scaling Dam and then close to the deposition site for Vicky Glass at Danby. The route from Scarborough to York along the A64 goes past the Sand Hutton Gravel Pits.
  • Visiting York on a narrow boating holiday.
  • Visiting his Father, who is thought to have lived in various locations in Yorkshire and who died in 1992 in Huddersfield.

The Claudia Lawrence Investigation

In summary:

  • A left-handed smoker was seen arguing with a woman that could be Claudia on her route to work on the night she disappeared. Halliwell was a left-handed smoker whose modus operandi was to pick up women in the hours of darkness, while posing as a mini-cab driver. A witness has come forward confirming he was working as a mini-cab driver in North Yorkshire, which would explain Halliwell’s contact with Claudia and what he was doing in York.
  • The attempted abduction of a worker from the Rowntree factory and the abduction of Claudia Lawrence both fit Christopher Halliwell’s modus operandi perfectly.
  • There have been four sighting reports of serial killer Christopher Halliwell in North Yorkshire, including the attempted abduction in York.

Whilst Halliwell may not be Claudia’s killer, he is clearly a very viable suspect. Yet Claudia Lawrence’s mother Joan has confirmed that NYP has not investigated Halliwell as a suspect. This accords with the author’s experience of the NYP investigation into Claudia’s disappearance.

The NYE has contacted NYP and requested a meeting to go over the new evidence it has collected from media appeals. However, our e mail appears to have been deliberately ignored in accordance with Chief Constable Winward’s bizarre media policy covered here.

Over the years NYP has arrested nine suspects for the murder of Claudia Lawrence, but none of them has been charged. The concern must be that NYP is obsessively focussing on suspects based on Claudia Lawrence’s social and personal life, to the exclusion of other suspects and it is rejecting Halliwell as a suspect, to avoid admitting past errors in the investigation.

The NYE will continue to press Chief Constable Winward to openly investigate Halliwell as a suspect and to co-operate normally with the media. We will report back to our readers on this in due course.

The Darlington Investigation

The NYE has previously linked Halliwell to the 1990 murder of Mrs Ann Heron at Aeolian House, just outside Darlington and close to the Middleton St George fishing park. NYE investigation here. Her murder has in turn been linked to the murder of Mrs Trevaline Evans in Llangollen in 1990.

The Middlesbrough Investigations

In October 2018, the NYE published an article by the authors suggesting that Christopher Halliwell should be considered as a suspect in the murders of 17-year-old Donna Keogh in 1998 and of 21-year-old Vicki Glass in November 2001.

Cleveland Police have not linked the murders. Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin said: 

“There is commonality between the cases through the sex and ages of the victims and all being linked geographically to Middlesbrough. It is too early in the re-investigations to say if there are any other links.”

Donna Keogh was 17 when she disappeared during the early hours of 19 April 1998 from Hartington Road, near the Shipmate pub (now the junction), in Middlesbrough town centre. She was last seen around 3am being forced into a red hatch back car which headed off up Newport Road. Her body has never been found and the police believe she has been murdered.

In June 2018, Cleveland Police conducted a search for Donna Keogh’s body in wasteland in Middlesbrough, which was unsuccessful.

Vicky Glass was a 21-year-old sex worker who was dropped off by taxi outside the Shipmate pub, in Union Street, Middlesbrough, at about 4am on Sunday September the 24th 2001. Her naked and mutilated body had been concealed and was discovered twenty miles away on an isolated track on the North York Moors near Danby, by a dog walker in a stream, six weeks after she disappeared. Her clothes and possessions have never been found.

The Sand Hutton Gravel Pits are thirty-nine miles from Danby in the North York Moors, where Vicki Glass’s body was discovered.

The authors believe Halliwell should be considered as a suspect in both murders because:

  • Halliwell was well dressed, clean, tidy and persuasive. He would have no difficulty persuading either victim to accept a lift from him, or go with him for business.
  • Both abductions are consistent with Halliwell’s modus operandi of picking up women late at night.
  • Both victims fit Halliwell’s victim preferences.
  • The abduction point for Donna Keogh at Newport Road leads to the River Tees, famous for its fishing and a popular route for narrow boating. The Tees Barrage has narrowboat moorings. In the murders of Hannah Deterville, Lindsay Jo Rimer and Carol Clark, which the authors believe Halliwell is a good suspect for, the authors suspect that the victim may have been held on a narrowboat. This may also be the case for Donna Keogh and Vicky Glass
  • Vicky Glass was a sex worker abducted by car from the area of the Shipmates Pub, which is in the red light district and was the epicentre of both murders. Halliwell used sex workers and there is no red light district in North Yorkshire. If Halliwell was living/staying in or around York or fishing in the Middlesbrough/Darlington/Scarborough area, Middlesbrough would be the closest red light district to him and he may have become familiar with the centre of Middlesbrough from using it.
  • Vicky Glass’s body was taken from the Cleveland Police force area into the neighbouring NYP force area. This is a tactic used by Christopher Halliwell in the abduction and murder of both Becky Godden-Adams and Sian O’Callaghan. Both were abducted in Swindon and carried into the Gloucestershire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police force areas respectively, to complicate the investigation and make it less likely the bodies would be connected to Swindon.
  • Both bodies were concealed. Donna Keogh’s body has never been found, Vicki Glass disappeared in September and her body was found in a stream at Danby on the North York Moors two months later. Halliwell also concealed his victims. He took care to conceal the body of Becky Godden Edwards so skilfully, that it was not discovered for eight years. Sian O’Callaghan’s body had been rolled down an embankment into thick undergrowth and was not visible from the road. Both bodies would probably never have been discovered had Halliwell not taken Detective Superintendent Fulcher to them, after his remarkably skilful interrogation of him.
  • Halliwell was fascinated with water and places of outstanding natural beauty. The three deposition sites we know Halliwell used at Eastleach Gloucestershire, Savernake Forest Wiltshire and Uffington Oxfordshire are all rural locations in the countryside next to a road and were selected with great care to ensure the bodies could be deposited quickly and remain concealed. Vicky Glass was discovered in countryside next to a track that was usable by a vehicle and her body was put into a stream with a bank.
  • Vicky Glass’s body had been mutilated. Halliwell mutilated the body of Becky Godden-Edwards.
  • The deposition site for Vicky Glass at Danby is on the route from York to the fishing point at Scaling Dam.

Chris has been contacted by Cleveland Police and has forwarded his research to them. Tim has contacted Cleveland Police asking for a meeting to discuss Halliwell as a suspect. It is unclear if Halliwell has ever been considered as a suspect in either murder by Cleveland Police.

Halliwell: A major failure for the British Police Service

Christopher Halliwell represents a major failure for the British Police Service: It is unable to detect serial killers that are itinerant, mobile and operate across force boundaries.

Detective Inspector Mike Rees (Retired), Detective Superintendent Stephen Fulcher who arrested Halliwell and Detective Superintendent Sean Memory who succeeded Fulcher as the Senior Investigating Officer into Halliwell’s crimes have stated that they believe that Halliwell has other victims. This is an entirely logical deduction.

Serial killers do not suddenly stop and take up tiddlywinks or tennis instead of murdering women. Sometimes they pause their murderous activity, but normally they do not stop unless they die, are incarcerated or are too old or ill to carry on.

There were sixty items of women’s clothing found in his trophy stash at Ramsbury and a pair of knickers found in his garage at home did not belong to his wife or either of his daughters. Halliwell murdered Becky Godden-Edwards and Sian O’Callaghan in his car. Between 1987 and his arrest in 2011, Halliwell had eighty vehicles. The implication being that he was disposing of vehicles regularly because they had been involved in a crime.

Yet the antecedent investigation to identify his full range of offending was given a ridiculously small budget of £40,000, thereby ensuring it would be superficial and would fail. Wiltshire Police released this statement to the NYE:

“Detective Superintendent Jeremy Carter said: “The figure of £40,000 does not cover any of the salaries of those working on this case but relates purely to specialist work such as forensic digs and searches, and specific expert advice. Officers working on this case carry out a vast amount of work as part of their daily duties which would not be captured in this figure. The Force continues to maintain dedicated staff who work on this job.”

As a consequence, Halliwell has never been convicted or even named as the prime suspect in any other murder.

Joan Lawrence has been scathing about the antecedent investigation. Please see this excellent Daily Mirror article Claudia Lawrence’s mum blasts peanuts budget.

The total failure of the antecedent investigation conveniently allows the British police service to evade the huge wave of criticism that would follow, if this truth was to emerge.

In the authors’ opinion, Halliwell was murdering women across the country with impunity, completely unnoticed by the police for twenty five years. This is covered very well in this Daily Mirror article quoting Chris on his new book “The New Millennium Serial Killer”, which details Halliwell’s other victims, including the four mentioned here. It is the only impartial, credible antecedent investigation into Christopher Halliwell available to the public.

The authors will continue to press for a full investigation into Halliwell’s crimes, so the truth comes out, no matter how inconvenient or embarrassing it is for the Police.


NYE Appeal for Information

Whenever we run an article on a cold case, the NYE always runs an appeal for information, to try to progress them by keeping these cases in the public eye and generating information. This is in the public interest and can assist the police. We will finish with our usual appeal for information:

Christopher Halliwell is pictured above in the lead illustration. He had a slim athletic build and spoke with a slight Swindon accent. You can see and hear him in the video here, trying to negotiate immunity for admitting to another crime.

Claudia Lawrence

  • Did he offer you a lift in his minicab?
  • Did you see Christopher Halliwell:
  • Fishing at Scarborough?
  • Fishing at Whitby?
  • Fishing at Scaling Dam?
  • Fishing at Sand Hutton Gravel Pits?
  • In York?
  • At Ampleforth?
  • At Oswaldkirk?
  • In the car park at the Kilburn White Horse?
  • Did you know of Christopher Halliwell’s Father Alan Keith Halliwell who lived in Huddersfield, York, Ampleforth or Oswaldkirk and who previously served in the RAF?
  • Did you see Christopher Halliwell staying in a bed-and-breakfast or hotel along the A19, in Darlington, Middlesbrough, Scarborough, York or the North York Moors area.

Vicky Glass and Donna Keogh

  • In Middlesbrough?
  • Fishing at Scaling Dam?
  • Fishing along the River Tees?
  • Fishing at Scarborough?
  • Fishing at Whitby?
  • On the North York Moors?

Ann Heron

  • In Darlington?
  • Fishing along the River Tees?

East Lancs Ripper murders

  • At Aughton Park?
  • In Merseyside/Liverpool?

Trevaline Evans

  • In North Wales?
  • Fishing along the River Dee?
  • At an antiques shop or fair?

You can submit information on the murders of Vicky Glass and Donna Keogh to Cleveland Police, using the website www.finddonna.co.uk

If you have any information that could assist the Claudia Lawrence investigation, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and pass details to the Force Control Room, quoting “Claudia Lawrence”.

If you would prefer to remain anonymous, please pass information to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you prefer to speak to a journalist, please contact the authors using the letters@nyenquirer.uk address.

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