Claudia & Trevaline: NYE goes ‘national’ – again
by TIM HICKS
On Thursday 16th February at 10.00, Channel 4 broadcasted a programme in their “In the footsteps of Killers” series in which Emilia Fox, criminologists Dr Graham Hill and Professor David Wilson examined the case of Mrs Trevaline Evans (pictured above right), who left a note saying “back in two minutes” on the door of her antiques shop in Market Street, Llangollen, in 1990 – and disappeared. The programme can be accessed here.
It reveals new information on Trevaline’s disappearance that indicates serial killer Christopher Halliwell (pictured above centre) is a strong suspect for her murder.
Taxi driver Halliwell (58) is currently serving a full life term for the murders of Becky Godden-Edwards (20), in 2003, and Sian O’Callaghan (22), in 2011, in Swindon, Wiltshire.
NYE helps generate new evidence
In my last article (here) I commented:
“I was very happy to be asked to participate in the programme and enjoyed working on a piece of cutting edge journalism with David and the team from Alaska TV.
I think the programme has moved the investigation into Trevaline’s murder on and put Christopher Halliwell firmly in the frame as a strong suspect.
Trevaline’s murder has implications for the investigation into the disappearance of York Chef Claudia Lawrence.”
[Claudia is pictured above left]
This has transpired to be absolutely accurate. The program generated interest in the national press and many local outlets:
The program and the above articles have revealed new evidence that should be of interest to a number of Forces.
North Wales Police (NWP): Trevaline Evans
A man who strongly resembled Halliwell was seen close to Market Street the day before and on the day of Trevaline’s disappearance, with a camper van. This was reported to NWP at the time, but they were never able to trace the van or the driver. So this suspect was never eliminated.
I asked NWP for a media statement confirming if it would be designating Halliwell as a suspect and interviewing him in prison and it refused to comment, or respond to any of my correspondence. So I have, in effect, been proscribed for raising Halliwell as a suspect.
The position of NWP therefore remains that:
“there are no known links [of Halliwell] to any criminality in the North Wales area”.
Even though Trevaline’s murder is entirely consistent with Halliwell’s modus operandi and victim preferences, he worked in North Wales and may have been outside her shop on the day she was murdered.
South Yorkshire Police (SYP)
A witness has confirmed that she saw Halliwell at the Tinsley Marina in Sheffield, South Yorkshire – one hour’s drive from York – in 2009, the year Claudia Lawrence disappeared. He said he was staying on a rented narrow-boat to do some fishing. This fits perfectly with Halliwell, who was a fisherman and a narrow-boat enthusiast.
I forwarded this information to SYP asking that their Cold Case Team be informed that Halliwell – a dangerous serial killer – was operating in their Force area in 2009 and suggested they review unsolved attacks on women in South Yorkshire in the period 2009 – 2011, to see if he could be a suspect in them. This was intended to assist SYP.
I also asked for a media statement confirming if there have been any unsolved attacks on women in the SYP Force Area and if Halliwell has been considered as a suspect in any of them. SYP’s Corporate Communications Unit confirmed SYP had this information, but refused to comment and told me to submit a Freedom of Information Request.
North Yorkshire Police (NYP): Claudia Lawrence
The same witness confirmed that:
- She saw Halliwell again at her work place in North Yorkshire in 2011. He was armed with a concealed double-sided sheath knife. He said he was staying locally and thinking of re-locating to York.
- Halliwell told her he knew the University area around York from working there as a minicab/taxi driver. He asked her to call him Chris. He was touting for business and left a card behind (for the staff notice-board) with the name Christopher.
- She also sighted Halliwell in the car park at the Kilburn White Horse near Thirsk in March 2011.
The following additional reports linking Halliwell to Claudia’s murder have emerged:
- Halliwell is alleged to have tried to entice a woman into his car at about 06:00am in the morning after she finished her shift at Rowntree’s in York, shortly before Claudia disappeared.
- The NYE has had an unconfirmed sighting of Halliwell in Scarborough, which is a sea-fishing centre and would fit with his interest in fishing.
- One of our readers, Arrin Stoner from Los Angeles is a YouTuber who specialises in reviewing cases which are CCTV based. He has sent the NYE enhancements of the CCTV images issued by North Yorkshire Police of a man they want to identify who was seen outside Claudia’s house the day before her disappearance and in the morning of her disappearance (here).
Halliwell had distinctive facial features a big receding hairline that reflects light. Big ears and lips, prominent nose and sunken eyes. These features fit him perfectly for recognition from low light enhanced CCTV images. The images are grainy (which is typical for enhanced CCTV images), but there appears to be a remarkable similarity between the man in the enhanced images and Halliwell.
I am not a CCTV forensic analyst and I freely admit that I could be wrong about the images. So I forwarded them to North Yorkshire Police with Arrin’s contact details and asked them to follow up with him. Arrin has confirmed he has not received any contact from NYP. I also received no response and it appears that this new evidence generated by the NYE has been ignored.
When I wrote to Chief Constable Winward suggesting that Halliwell was designated as a suspect in this murder and interviewed in prison over it, I also received no response. So the position of NYP therefore remains:
“There are no known links between Halliwell and the Claudia Lawrence Case.”
Even though her murder fits perfectly with Halliwell’s modus operandi and victim preferences, there is evidence that he was working in York as a minicab driver and he may have appeared on CCTV outside her house.
Wiltshire Police is the lead Force on the antecedent investigation into crimes committed by Halliwell. It is also ignoring correspondence on this new evidence.
The Police response to media coverage
In cold cases, the key element to progressing them is often media coverage. Any media coverage of a cold case is therefore always in the public interest and the best interests of the Police investigation, because it may generate new information and/or new witnesses.
So you would think that the Police would be grateful for the extra media attention generated by the NYE. Particularly as it has apparently produced new information.
However, the NYE has been faced with a wall of silence from all four Forces, which appear to have jointly closed ranks to ignore new evidence and proscribe the NYE.
Why is this?
Police politics and Halliwell
In 2001, NWP arrested Trevaline’s husband Richard for her murder, but – humiliatingly – had to release him without charge. If NWP now designates Halliwell as a suspect, it will be confirming that it arrested an innocent man and bungled four of the five investigations into Trevaline’s murde – causing damage to NWP’s public reputation.
Likewise, NYP has arrested six men in connection Claudia’s murder and sent files on four of them to the Crown Prosecution Service, which declined to press charges. If NYP now designates Halliwell as a suspect, it will confirm that the previous investigations were bungled, which will of course cause severe reputational damage.
Hence, I believe that the reason the Chief Constables of both NYP and NWP are ignoring all evidence and lines of enquiry that point to Halliwell as a suspect in the murders of Trevaline Evans and Claudia Lawrence.
They appear to be putting the reputations of their own Forces above the right of the victims to justice and the need of their families for closure.
The impact of being accused of a murder is devastating to the men concerned, especially as the Police usually release their names to the media and they become known locally. This is a tactic used by the Police to increase the pressure on suspects.
Trevaline’s husband, both her brothers and her son are all now dead. There is no family left to fight for justice for her and NWP appears to have abandoned the investigation. I can only hope that this article will help generate more information and retrospectively rehabilitate the reputation of Richard Evans.
Failure of the Antecedent Investigations
Halliwell was a serial killer who was resident in Swindon in the Wiltshire Police Force Area. Both the senior detectives from Wiltshire Police that investigated Halliwell have said they have no doubt that he has committed other murders. It appears that Halliwell was murdering women from at least 2003 onwards, possibly from as early as 1984, but was only detected by Wiltshire Police in 2011.
The antecedent investigation that started in 2011 to identify his other victims was closed down prematurely. Another antecedent investigation was allocated a £40,000 budget, which is not enough to perform anything like a thorough review. Mirror investigation here. In the author’s view, this indicates Wiltshire Police’s complete lack of interest in properly investigating Halliwell and identifying the full number of women he murdered.
The more that comes out about Halliwell, the more people will ask why Wiltshire Police failed to detect him earlier. If indeed it is confirmed that Halliwell murdered Trevaline, it will show that he was an active serial killer from at least 1990 onwards and was operating across the UK. This will expose a catastrophic failure by Wiltshire Police to detect him earlier or to properly investigate the full range of crimes he committed.
Wiltshire Police’s Chief Constable was severely criticised for missing significant opportunities in the original investigation. Guardian article here. The reality is that Christopher Halliwell was committing Femicide across the UK with impunity and the failure to arrest him earlier represents a catastrophic failure of the entire British police service.
Hence perhaps why the force prefers that the possibility that Halliwell is responsible for a series of other murders including -but not limited to- those of Trevaline Evans and Claudia Lawrence is not actively pursued. To quote Claudia’s brave mother Joan:
“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.”
The Daniel Morgan principle
Daniel Morgan was murdered in Sydenham, South London in 1987. There were six failed investigations into his murder by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). It was alleged that Police corruption had played a part in both his murder and the failure of the MPS to identify his killers.
To address public concern, the Home Secretary established the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel. Its 2021 report found that the MPS had focussed not on bringing the perpetrators to justice, but on protecting its own reputation by concealing evidence of corruption and bungled investigations. It made this observation:
“Concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image, is dishonesty on the part of the organisation for reputational benefit and constitutes a form of institutional corruption.”
Having been proscribed by four Police Forces, it is clear that the NYE is asking questions the Police Service does not want out in the open. This is called holding the Police to account. It is what journalists are supposed to do.
Undeterred, the NYE will continue its investigation.
The KEY question
NWP, NYP, Wiltshire Police and SYP were all provided with an initial draft of this article and given the opportunity to comment, but none of them chose to do so.
This defensive response which is obviously intended to conceal police failings from the public in such serious cases, when we are supposed to have open and accountable policing is unacceptable. It raises the KEY question:
“If indeed Halliwell is not a credible suspect. Why can’t Chief Constable Blakeman and Chief Constable Winward respond openly and justify their decision not to question him?”
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.
Christopher Halliwell is pictured above. 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 other crimes.
Did you see Christopher Halliwell:
- In North Wales?
- Fishing along the River Dee?
- Working as a builder
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?
- Fishing along the River Tees?
- On the North York Moors?
Did he offer you a lift in his minicab in York?
Did you see him in Darlington?
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 know of Christopher Halliwell’s Father Alan Keith Halliwell (born 7th July 1941), who may have lived in Huddersfield, York, Ampleforth or Oswaldkirk and who previously served in the RAF? He died in Huddersfield in April 1992.
Please contact the NYE using the firstname.lastname@example.org address.