Monday 22nd July 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

Claudia: New Evidence 4

Claudia: New Evidence 4

by CHRIS CLARK & TIM HICKS

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Introduction

Claudia Lawrence, aged thirty-five, was a chef at the University of York’s Goodricke College. She was due to walk three miles to work on Thursday the 19th of March 2009 for a shift beginning at 6am, but did not turn up for work. She was reported missing the next day and North Yorkshire Police (NYP) designated her disappearance as “no body” murder shortly afterwards.

For years, retired Norfolk Police Intelligence Officer Chris Clark has asserted that serial killer Christopher John Halliwell was a very strong suspect for Claudia’s murder. Her abduction and murder fitted with Halliwell’s modus operandi, Halliwell’s whereabouts at the time of her disappearance were unknown and there have been sightings of him in Yorkshire.

There is a wider issue beyond the murder of Claudia Lawrence, which is that Halliwell’s modus operandi fits a number of murders in Yorkshire.

In these articles, the authors examine Halliwell’s links to Yorkshire and the attacks he may have committed there.

Article 1 covered an attempted abduction in York in 2009 and can be read here.

Article 2 covered a sighting of Halliwell in Sheffield in 2010 and two nearby murders in 1994 and 2001, which may be related and can be read here.

Article 3 covered a bizarre encounter with Halliwell at the Kilburn White Horse on the North York Moors. This was one of a series of incidents in North Yorkshire involving Halliwell and Victim 3 and can be read here.

All three articles should be read before proceeding.

The map below summarises the sightings of Christopher Halliwell in Yorkshire. He may have lived in Ampleforth or Oswaldkirk.

See “HALLIWELL’s YORKSHIRE” MAP, here.

This map is the first occasion all of the information on Halliwell’s connections to Yorkshire has been collated in one place. The Sheffield Map will be released with a forthcoming article on the Sheffield attacks.

This article analyses a series of stalking incidents on Victim 3, which occurred in March 2011, a few weeks before the murder of Sian O’Callaghan. They are told in Victim 3s own words.

 

Incident 3.3. First Pickering stalking incident

“A couple of days later Halliwell appeared where I worked in Pickering at a garden centre. He was driving a silver Mazda. I was working in the outside section of workplace which is different to what it is now as there were two warehouses with an open outside garden centre part with a central entrance.”

 

Incident 3.4. Bike vandalised

“Other things happened whilst I was there, I went to work on my bike and so did my workmate, his bike had a flat tyre once and the wheel bolts were loosened, my bike had the pump taken and the tyre let down, the valve had been loosened, luckily I had a valve tool in the repair pack. 

Not sure who was sabotaging our bikes or if this was connected to Halliwell.”

 

Incident 3.5: Second Pickering stalking incident

“One day a silver Mazda taxi pulled across the entrance to my workplace. Either side of the entrance was a pallet, the silver car parked across the ends of the pallet so customers could not get in or out without climbing over the pallets. I had to help customers get over the pallet. This was very strange.

A guy, balding, skinny similar to the guy I saw at the white horse car park, shouted me over from what was a taxi, he asked me if I used cabs and which ones. I said Malton cars, he said he was touting for business and could I put this card on the notice board. He was staying with friends for a while with a view to moving up here permanent. He said he knew Sheffield because he took students to their digs there at Kelham, Broomhill and Broomhall, and also to Nottingham and York.

I said I guessed that he came from Bath from his accent. He said very good guess, near there Swindon. I mistook what he said and said Swinton, Mexborough? He said no Swindon. I said white horse country? We went to most of the white horses last time we went to Devon. He smiled and looked up to remind himself of something.

I said are you with Malton cars he said no I’m an independent minicab. I took the card and saw the name on the card was Christopher. I said thank you Christopher and he said, ‘Chris, call me Chris’ and ‘make sure you put my number in your phone’. Then he said ‘you have lovely green eyes and a smile that reminded him of his mother’ I said OK and thought “wierdo”. His eyes were weird. Pale blue they looked straight through you. He acted strange like a Labrador I once had when she wanted a treat. Creepy like squirming for compliments.”

 

Incident 3.6: Third Pickering stalking incident

“Halliwell called again at my work driving the silver Mazda. He asked about some car seat covers, car carpet and blue nylon rope. I said we had blue nylon rope but didn’t sell seat covers and carpet. I asked him if he wanted to buy a scissors, trying to upsell as we had been trained. He said that he wanted thinner nylon rope (6mm) and didn’t need scissors because he was a fisherman and carried a knife. He then showed me a big knife with a multi coloured wooden handle with banding in a sheath. It was like a hunting knife. It had a steel sharpener. You could buy them locally in a shop called “Trailblazers”.

Victim 3 has confirmed that these images are accurate representations of the knife Halliwell had at Pickering and the suitcases he had at Kilburn.

“He opened his coat with his right hand and I saw the sheath with the knife in it on his right side. It was probably on his belt as I could see the whole of the sheath. I feel he was not familiar with this knife (it looked new) as he couldn’t get it back in the sheath very easily and dropped the sharpener on the counter in front of me. He asked me if I did martial arts and I said no, but I could defend myself. He was possibly nervous. I was shocked and instantly frightened. It made me step back. The CCTV had been unplugged and was not connected and therefore the light was not flashing so he may have known that I was not covered by CCTV. I was concentrated on the knife and why wasn’t the CCTV blinking, but I had a good look at the blade. I said “You need to be careful with that mate or you could be in trouble with the police”. He bought a bale of blue nylon 10mm rope and some bin liners, which he paid for in cash and he left.

I found out later that the CCTV had been unplugged. The plug had a label on it “Do not unplug CCTV” and I suspect he may have unplugged it before having the conversation with me.

Work colleagues were starting to call him my stalker. One work colleagues called the Suzy Lamplugh Trust for advice.”

 

Halliwell’s arrest and trial for the murder of Sian O’Callaghan, 2011 to 2012

“I recognised him as Christopher Halliwell when this photograph [lead illustration] was published sometime after his arrest in 2011.

It shows him on a narrow boat which reminded me of the time I saw him in Sheffield. I felt shocked very sorry for Sian O’Callaghan when I realised who he was. I could not understand why he would pick on me.

I left Pickering and blocked it out. It’s only when I returned to live near my Mum that I looked into it again and contacted North Yorkshire Police. We conversed a few times via email then they rang me at home because of COVID 19 restrictions on the 4th Jan 2021.

I didn’t hear anything more from North Yorkshire Police or any other police force.”

The authors believe that Halliwell observing Victim 3 to work out her routine as a prelude to offering her a left and then murdering her. It may have been Halliwell who sabotaged her bike, hoping that she would ring him to get a lift home.

Victim 3’s evidence has obviously been ignored by NYP CID, when it should have resulted in him being interviewed in connection with this crime.

 


Right of reply

If you are mentioned in this article and do not agree with the views expressed in it, or if you wish to correct any factual inaccuracy, please let me know using the letters@nyenquirer.uk email address and your views and a correction will be published if appropriate.

[Maps by FAD]

Coming next: “Claudia: New Evidence 5”. New information on the Haxby Road attempted abduction.

 


NYE Appeal for Information

Whenever the authors run an article on a cold case, the NYE always runs an appeal for information, to try to keep the case in the public eye and generate information.

Christopher Halliwell had a slim athletic build and spoke with a slight Swindon accent. He is pictured in the lead illustration in 2011, two years after the murder of Claudia Lawrence. You can see and hear him in the video here.

Did he offer you a lift in his minicab?

Did you know of Christopher Halliwell’s Father Alan Keith Halliwell who is believed to have lived in Huddersfield, York, Ampleforth and/or Oswaldkirk and who previously served in the RAF at Swindon and other locations?

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?

Did you see Christopher Halliwell:

  • Fishing at Scarborough?
  • Fishing at Whitby?
  • Fishing at Scaling Dam?
  • Fishing at Sand Hutton Gravel Pits?
  • Fishing at York University Lake?
  • In York?
  • At Ampleforth?
  • At Oswaldkirk?
  • At the Kilburn White Horse?
  • At the Nag’s Head or the Acomb Hotel in York?
  • In Middlesbrough?
  • Fishing at Scaling Dam?
  • Fishing along the River Tees?
  • Fishing at Scarborough?
  • Fishing at Whitby?
  • Fishing or narrow boating in Sheffield?
  • On the North York Moors?
  • In Darlington?
  • At Llangollen, North Wales?

Any information would considerably assist our knowledge of Halliwell’s movements. So please contact the NYE in complete confidence using our email address: news@nyenquirer.uk if you think you can help.

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