Bournemouth is perceived as the safe town on the coast of England. The place where families holiday for fun or where students travel for an escape to start their degree.
However, the list of Bournemouth’s unsolved murder cases are questionable. Is it the police force not doing enough to help families find closure in their loved ones tragic deaths or is it simply that people no longer care? The media tends to avoid focussing on these unsolved mysteries in the scenic town of Bournemouth. Maybe people no longer care about these people.
The first case I intend to consider is the unsolved murder of 36-year-old John Green who was murdered in 1991 at his shop on Poole Road, Branksome. His blood-stained body was found by his girlfriend Lori de Carteret the following day stored in his back office.
It has been believed that he was stabbed numerous times before being left to die. Over the years numerous appeals have been made to try to find the murderers. It has been suggested that a few days before his tragic death he had a party leaving fingerprint evidence of many people which has voided any further enquiry in his home. Despite this, there has supposedly been over 1000 statements taken for his murder all of which seem to have drawn a blank.
Over the years only two witnesses have come forward the first an anonymous letter writer who described altercation between Mr Green and two unknown men. However, this enquiry has never been able to be chased because of the anonymity of the letter. The second witness stated a similar story of seeing an argument between Mr Green and two men. She came forward and worked with the police to try and draw suspect artist impressions. It has been questioned why the police have not been able to find a strong lead for the popular Bournemouth man.
Unfortunately, the crime predated the common use of DNA investigation. Once this technology became frequent, Dorset police have been said to have given loved ones’ false hope in finding the killer according to John’s then girlfriend. Despite this his family and friends still hope to hold on to the idea of finding his killer even opening a Facebook page dedicated to finding John Green’s killer.
Another more recent case is the murder of Grandmother Beatrice Wilson who was found stabbed in her home in Creekmoor. Her lifeless body was found by her family, showing little signs of self-defence.
Two years following her murder a local 17-year-old was charged with her murder. He owned clothing which was found near Beatrice’s home and was known for petty thieving. Despite the circumstantial evidence all pointing to the young man he was found not guilty by the jury in court.
Following this very little has been said about this case despite Dorset police stating the case is still pending, no further information has been bought to light since this. Is this the police failings which has led to little more investigation or was the young man guilty of her murder?
The final case I intend to discuss is the murder of Sandra Court from Lansdowne, Bournemouth in 1986. Her body was found abandoned in a shallow river after a night out with friends, by a group of local teenagers.
Many comparisons have been made between Sandra’s case and the case of Suzy Lamplugh in London who disappeared after going to meet a potential buyer for a house she was selling. This was a matter of months after Sandra’s murder.
Two years later, John Cannon was convicted for the murder of a newlywed not long after these cases. It has been revealed that he later told a prison visitor that the person who murdered Sandra murders Suzy and another woman. It has been speculated that he was the murderer but he has never been convicted for their murder.
These are just three of the many missing cases which remain unsolved in the quiet town of Bournemouth. Is this simply a police force failing or something else? It is believed to be unlikely that anything more will come out following these cold cases. However, we need to remember these forgotten people and ensure their memory stays alive as a warning of the hidden crime in Bournemouth.