9th June 1995. Deepcut Barracks, Surrey.
Private Sean Benton was found dead at the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut, with five bullet wounds to his chest. Despite ballistics tests suggesting that only one bullet was fired from close range and the others from a distance, the Army said he had committed suicide. On 27 November 1995, Private Cheryl James, 18, was found dead with a single bullet wound to her head in woods not far from her abandoned guard post. An Army inquiry concluded she had committed suicide and Surrey Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the death but the coroner recorded an open verdict. On the 17th September 2001 Private Geoff Gray, 17,was found dead with two gunshot wounds to his head while on guard duty. Five shots had been fired and the other three bullets were not found. A coroner recorded an open verdict after hearing from witnesses that during a search after the shots were fired a figure was seen running away. On 23 March 2002, Private James Collinson, 17, was found dead with a single gunshot wound while on guard duty at the barracks. The Army said he killed himself and no inquest was held.
A report by Nicholas Blake QC in 2006 found that bullying and “foul abuse” were a routine part of life at the army’s training barracks at Deepcut, although no evidence of deaths being anything other than self-inflicted was found.
The parents continue to press for a public enquiry into the events at Deepcut, but without any success.
The cases remain unresolved.
8th October 2007. Western Road, Aldershot.
David Kirsch had an argument with Julie Butler, his fiancée and landlady of the Imperial Standard Pub. She accused him of flirting with a customer. Prior to the argument he had drunk six Jack Daniels and four pints of lager. CCTV footage showed Kirsch putting his hands around her throat, which caused her to pass out. He then hit her with a bar stool and left her to die over a period of 21 minutes. The next morning he pulled her body into the toilets of the pub where he dressed her in fresh clothes, kissed her and covered her face with beer towels.
Kirsch continued to live in the Imperial Standard for nearly three days afterwards leaving only to drink at other pubs and to place bets. Her body was found by the brewery’s area manager and a colleague on the 10th October. They entered the premises through an open window believing that Butler and Kirsch had closed the pub and run away with the takings. After police sealed off the scene, Kirsch arrived holding a craft knife to his own throat and had to be tackled by officers.
David Kirsch was jailed for 19 years for murder, but was found not guilty of two counts of sexual acts with a corpse.
21st March 2002. Yateley Heath Woods, Yateley.
13 year old Amanda Jane Dowler, who was known as Milly to her friends and family, left her School to go home on the train. She got off at Walton-On-Thames to visit friends in a café. She then left on foot to go home and was last seen by a friend of her sisters. CCTV images indicated that she had been abducted minutes after passing a bus stop and a nationwide search followed. Despite numerous appeals she remained missing. Her naked body was discovered by mushroom pickers in Yateley Heath Woods on 18th September 2002. Due to the body’s advance decomposition no cause of death could be ascertained. In 2005 Police released details about a red Daewoo Nexia, which was seen on CCTV less than 100 yards away from where Milly disappeared. The detectives working on the case linked the car to an ex girlfriend of Levi Bellfield’s, a bouncer, and wheel clamper. They never found the vehicle believing that it was most likely crushed at a scrapyard.
Bellfield had already been convicted in February 2008, for the murders of Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange as well as the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy and given a whole life sentence. In February 2009, Surrey Police submitted a dossier of evidence against Bellfield to the Crown Prosecution Service and on 23rdJune 2011, he was given a further whole life sentence for the murder of Milly Dowler.
21st June 1931.
Blackdown Barracks, Deepcut.
Lieutenant Hubert Chavis and his wife Frances sat down to an early dinner. Their batman Gunner Nicholas Bulger served Chavis’ favourite dish of Manchurian Partridge. After eating a mouthful of the bird Chavis summoned Bulger saying “Take his bird away. It is the most terrible thing I have ever tasted.” Not long after, Chavis started to experience severe cramps and convulsions and a doctor was called. He succumbed to the poisoning at 1.00 am the following morning, a post mortem found two grains of strychnine in his stomach.
On the day of his funeral, his father, Sir William Chavis received a telegram from J. Hartigan, all the telegram said was “Hooray, hooray, hooray!” On the back of the telegram was “Hibernian”, a hotel in Dublin. Police investigating the death visited the hotel and discovered that a man fitting the description of the sender had also purchased strychnine from a local chemist, but the man was never found.
Many theories were suggested as to why he was murdered, but the investigation stalled because of a lack of evidence. The case remains unsolved.
16th November 1874.
Caesar’s Camp, Aldershot.
Private Thomas Smith with his platoon the 20th Hussars, were taken to the rifle range at Caesar’s Camp for firing practice. During the practice Smith turned his rifle towards Captain John Dent Bird. He then took aim and shot him, killing him instantly. Smith argued that it was an accident, but everyone in the platoon saw Smith deliberately take aim and fire. Members of the group also knew that the Captain had put Smith on a charge the previous day and that Smith was desperate for revenge.
He was later hanged for his crime at Winchester Prison.
31st December 2009. Church Hill, Aldershot.
40 year old Julie Harrison and 4 year old Maisie went to the house of her former partner Andy Copland for a custody visit, they had separated just a few weeks before. The neighbours heard the couple rowing. Police believe that Copland forced the pair to kneel side by side and executed them both with a single shot to the back of the head before turning the gun on himself. Miss Harrison survived the initial attack but died the following day.
Following the murders, it emerged that Copland had been convicted in 1985 for threatening his former wife and her new partner with a crossbow in Farnborough. At this trial it also emerged that he had a previous conviction for assault after hitting his wife during an attempted reconciliation. Copland, pleaded guilty and was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Post mortems carried out on Copland, Maisie and her mother confirmed all three died from single gunshot wounds.
22nd February 1972.
Montgomery Lines, Aldershot.
Five women, an elderly gardener and a Roman Catholic Priest were killed by an IRA bomb attack on the 16th Parachute Regiment headquarters in Aldershot, a further nineteen people were injured. The massive car bomb exploded outside the Officers mess and the force of the blast was felt a mile away.
This was the first of many bomb attacks by the IRA in the 1970s. The attack was in revenge for events that took place on 30th January 1972 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. When thirteen civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot dead by the Parachute Regiment and a further thirteen were injured. An event that later became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’.
Original IRA member Noel Jenkinson was jailed for life for the bombing in November 1972, he died in prison four years later of a heart attack.
6th June 1981.
Laffans Road, Aldershot.
Marion Crofts aged 14, was cycling to band practice at Wavell School when she was stopped by a man and beaten to death. She was reported missing and her body was discovered hidden in undergrowth by a police dog handler later the same day. The teenager’s clarinet case was found floating in the nearby Basingstoke Canal.
Despite a major police investigation by Hampshire Police who looked at 24,000 potential suspects, Marion’s killer at the time was never found. DNA samples were taken from Marion’s clothing and lay deliberately untouched for 20 years.
In 1999 a new DNA technique was developed, scientists were then able to find a full DNA profile of Marion’s suspected killer from stored evidence. The new DNA profile was then loaded onto the National Database and
in August 2001, a routine swab was taken from Tony Jasinskyj after he was arrested for beating his wife. When his DNA was put onto the database, it proved to be a match to the DNA found on Marion Crofts, verifying that he had committed the murder.
In May 2002 Jasinskyj, a former Army Chef, was sentenced to life imprisonment at Winchester Crown Court.
22nd August 1952.
Ash Vale Station, Ash Vale.
28 year old Geoffrey Dean was a ticket inspector at Ash Vale Station, one of his duties was to count the takings in fares before locking the money in the station’s safe. On the night of 22nd August James Alcott who was a fireman, told Dean that he was working for the railway and asked if he could use the phone to contact his depot concerning a fellow workmen who had been injured. Dean let him use the phone and then got into conversation with Alcott. At 9pm a porter noticed that the light was still on in the station office and when he looked in through the window he saw the bleeding body of Dean on the floor. Police broke down the office door and found that Dean had been stabbed over twenty times. About £168 was missing from the safe.
Police enquiries concentrated on boarding houses in Aldershot. At one of them they found a bloodstained jacket that had two bloody ten shilling notes in a pocket. In another pocket was a passport in the name of John James Alcott. The police kept watch on the house and arrested Alcott when he returned a couple of hours later. He soon showed officers where he had hidden the knife in a chimney and turned over the £109 that he had in his pockets.
At Alcott’s trial he claimed that he had experienced a black out and had no idea why he had killed the man, or even why he was in Aldershot. His defence failed to convince the jury and they returned a guilty verdict.
Alcott was sentenced to death. He was hanged at Wandsworth Prison on 2nd January 1953.
21st March 2003.
M3 Motorway Bridge, Frimley.
Mr Little had worked as a lorry driver for Ford for 26 years. He was driving his lorry on the M3 between junctions 3 and 4 at Frimley when a brick was thrown from a bridge through the windscreen. Michael, known to his family and friends as “Micky,” was killed after the brick struck him in the chest, causing a fatal injury to his heart. He managed to control his lorry for around 250 yards after the bridge. He pulled it over to the hard shoulder before putting the hazard lights on and turning off the ignition before he died.
DNA evidence recovered, illustrated that whoever had thrown the brick had also been involved in an unsuccessful attempt to steal a Renault Clio. The offenders had smashed a car window and tried to hotwire the vehicle.
No direct DNA matches were found on the national database. So the Forensic Science Service then decided to search the 2.35 million profiles using a new technique that identifies close relatives DNA. A link was established to Craig Harman from Frimley and he was arrested in October 2003. He was initially charged with murder, attempting to steal a car and stealing two house bricks. The charge was later changed to manslaughter and Craig Harman admitted his guilt at a hearing in London and was sentenced to six years imprisonment.
This was the first time that the technique of familial searching, tracking a suspect through a relative’s DNA, had directly led to a criminal prosecution.
10th May 1982.
Aldershot Common, Aldershot.
Mrs Ann Lee, 44, left her home in Aldershot with her labrador Monty, to meet Mrs Johnson, 66, who lived in a nearby bungalow and owned a red setter called Tara. The two women were about halfway round their regular walk on the common when they were attacked and stabbed repeatedly with a double-edged knife killing them both.
Peter Fell called the police twice saying that the murderer could be found at his address, however, on the first occasion the police failed to catch him as he was not at home when they called. 13 months later he again called them to let them know that the murderer was now living at his new address, and 1 month later he was arrested. In his original statement to police he said that he killed them because the older one looked like his mother and he hated his mother, but he later retracted his confession. He was found guilty in 1984 and given two life sentences.
He was however innocent and made it all up, an appeal was brought after psychological reports described Mr Fell as a fantasist whose confessions could not be trusted. After 17 years in prison he was released after it was determined that it was not possible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the time of the killing.
The murders remain unsolved.
23rd August 2001.
Denmark Street, North Town.
Lisa Doe 21, met homeless Mr Garwood, 39, only six days before his death. The pair met on a local housing estate and went back to her flat to take drugs and they slept together that night. On the day of Mr Garwood’s murder, the sisters spent much of the day smoking crack cocaine and drinking cider. When Mr Garwood came back to the flat Doe took a bag of his clothes to the door, intending to ask him to leave. Neighbours heard them arguing and Doe stabbed Patrick Garwood three times with a large kitchen knife. Neighbours also witnessed Doe, her sister Karen, and a friend, drag his body downstairs. They dumped the body at the back of their block of flats before calling an ambulance and telling police he had been in a fight with another man. A post mortem examination revealed Mr Garwood died from a 10cm deep stab wound through his heart.
The jury were told Doe had several convictions, including one for carrying a knife. Doe told the court she had been taking drugs often belonging to her mother almost daily since she was 12. In a psychiatric report she described a childhood dominated by physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
She denied murder saying she acted in self defence, but the police tried to re-enact her statement of events and they did not add up. She was sentenced to life imprisonment.
20th September 2007: Lisa Doe was found hanging in her cell at Send Prison after having an argument with her lesbian lover.
2nd February 2006.
Sycamore Road, Farnborough.
Firefighters arrived at the semi-detached house in Sycamore Road at 2.15am in the morning. It took 35 fire firefighters 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze. The fire was so severe that the property was deemed unsafe for a forensic investigation to begin until the 9th February. When police officers, forensic scientists and fire investigators entered the property the body 44 year old Janet Lane was recovered. The post mortem revealed that she had been stabbed in the chest.
After police investigations a 50 year old local man was arrested and sent to trial for murder and arson at Winchester Crown Court. The trial ended after days of legal arguments. The Crown Prosecution Service and the police were relying on a statement as a key part of their evidence, but it was deemed inadmissible. Jurors were ordered by the judge to return a verdict of not guilty on both counts.
At present, Hampshire Constabulary will not be reopening the investigation.
16th June 2006.
Army Golf Course, Shoe Lane, Aldershot.
Police launched a murder inquiry after the body of 41 year old Philip Salmon of Reading Road, Farnborough, was discovered at The Army Golf Course at Shoe Lane just half a mile away from his home. He had been missing for nearly 7 weeks when a golfer discovered the remains while searching for a lost ball in the woodland beside the green on the 5th hole. Forensic tests revealed that Mr Salmon was set alight and police believe that petrol was used. A post-mortem carried out by pathologists failed to determine the cause of death and Mr Salmon’s remains were identified through dental records.
Detective Chief Inspector Jason Hogg said: “The circumstances surrounding the death of Philip Salmon are still not fully known”.
The case remains unsolved.
28th December 2008.
Green Way, Aldershot.
Paul Brown raped and tried to murder a 21 year old woman. Brown who lived in Scotland was visiting his Mother who lived in Aldershot. His victim kindly helped him find his way to his Mother’s flat. But her kindness was repaid by Brown holding a knife to her throat and then forced her into a children’s play area. She held on to a tree to try and stop him but Brown pulled her down and then raped her. He then cut her throat leaving an 8cm wound and a deeper 2cm wound. She offered him money to go away while shielding her throat sustaining further injuries to her hands before Brown finally ran off.
The Judge handed Brown a minimum jail term of 15 years but will be eligible for parole in just seven-and-a-half years.
The judge said: “What you were doing on this day, one shudders to think, and the fear is that there is a monster beneath you and he must never be released again.”