Is There A Serial Killer At Large In The UK?

The deaths of five older couples in the north west have been linked by a coroner's report and are now being reviewed.

Cheshire serial killer

by Rhiannon Evans |
Updated on

A series of deaths of older couples, previously believed to be cases or murder suicide, could be the work of a serial killer, says a confidential coroner’s report revealed this weekend.

The report, exposed in the Sunday Times, says ‘This individual will not stop killing until someone or something stops him’ and called on the National Crime Agency and Interpol to investigate a series of cases across the UK and Europe.

Cheshire Police’s senior coroner’s officer, Stephanie Davis made the 197-page report, first raising concerns around the deaths of Harold and Bea Ainsworth in April 1996 and Donald and Auriel Ward in November 1999, both in Wilmslow.

Neither man had a history of violence, and both couples were said to have happy marriages. Davis has linked three other cases after sending FOI (Freedom of Information) requests around the UK. She found 39 cases of older couples discovered together in similar circumstances between 2000 and 2019. But she cannot look at police files belonging to other forces.

She did, however, find ‘striking’ similarities to three other murders- suicides in 2000, 2008 and 2011– two in Greater Manchester and one in the Lake District. In each case police said the wife had been stabbed and hit on the head with a blunt object by the husband before he took his own life.

The deaths were those of Michael and Violet Higgins in February 2000 in Didsbury, Manchester, Kenneth and Eileen Martin in November 2008 in Davyhulme, Greater Manchester, and those of Stanley and Peggy Wilson in February 2011 in Kendal, Cumbria.

Davies told the paper, she created the report because of “the concern that there is an outstanding offender, who could still be offending, and who needs to be brought to justice”.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police told The Sunday Times: ‘We are in receipt of the report and it is being reviewed. ‘This is a piece of research which has been undertaken by the staff member, independently.

‘As with any case that has been closed, where new information comes to light it is reviewed and acted upon if appropriate. ‘We have notified Greater Manchester Police and Cumbria constabulary.’

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