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    11 British True Crime Wikipedia Pages That'll Keep You Up At Night

    For people who are interested in true crime stories.

    Warning: This post contains sensitive content.

    1. Jean Townsend, strangled in Ruislip in 1954.

    Alamy

    Jean Townsend was strangled, aged 21, with her own scarf while she was on her way back to her parents' house after a party.

    Initially, police suspected the killer may have been an American serviceman based at South Ruislip Air Station because a local resident reported having heard two American men arguing followed by a woman screaming for help. Lots of other women then came forward and said they too had been approached by strange men.

    However, no one was ever formally accused.

    In 1982, police started reviewing the case files following a bunch of anonymous phone calls. They concluded that it was not an American serviceman and Townsend's murder was not linked to any other suspicious activity in the area.

    The murder remains unsolved.

    2. Julia Wallace, beaten to death in Liverpool in 1931.

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    Julia Wallace lived with her husband William in Anfield. On the night of her murder, William got a weird call from someone called R.M. Qualtrough who wanted to meet to talk about insurance. William went out, learned that Qualtrough didn't exist, and returned home to find his wife dead.

    Police initially suspected that William was to blame, and that he was in fact the real Qualtrough. Although William denied it, he was found guilty and sentenced to death.

    However, the Court of Criminal Appeal later dismissed the verdict on the grounds that it was not supported by enough evidence.

    But this didn't stop William receiving hate mail and physical threats for the rest of his life.

    In recent years, TV shows, books, radio shows, and newspaper articles have continued to explore the case. Some have named one of Julia's colleagues as a suspect, but the case remains unsolved.

    3. Hubert Chevis, poisoned in Hampshire in 1931.

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    Hubert Chevis was a lieutenant for the Royal Artillery of the British army who married a wealthy heiress six months before he was killed.

    On the evening of his death, Chevis and his wife had friends over for cocktails. After their friends left, the couple ate an early dinner that was prepared by their cook and served by their butler. Chevis sent the partridge back because it tasted horrible. Later that evening he got agonising stomach cramps and was sent to hospital. He died the next morning.

    Two grains of strychnine were found in Chevis's stomach.

    On the day of his funeral, Chevis's father received a telegraph from a J. Hartigan in Dublin that said, "Horray, horray, horray!"

    Hubert's father later received another postcard from J. Hartigan saying, "It is a mystery they will never solve."

    And they never did.

    4. Rose Harsent, stabbed in Peasenhall in 1902.

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    Rose Harsent, a servant in a Suffolk country house, was stabbed to death at midnight during a thunderstorm. At the time, no one knew she was pregnant.

    After she was killed, a local preacher called William Gardiner was arrested on suspicion of murder, before being released, twice.

    Gardiner and Harsent had had an affair, even though he was married with six children. He was later rumoured to be the father of Harsent's unborn child.

    Although William was tried for murder, he died without having been formally acquitted because his juries could never agree on a verdict. Some locals suspected his wife may have done it out of jealousy, but this was never confirmed.

    5. Charles Walton, killed as part of a pagan sacrifice in Warwickshire in 1945.

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    Charles Walton was a 75-year-old farmer who lived with his niece Edith Walton, who he had adopted. He spent the day he died slashing hedges on Alfred Potter's farm.

    When Edith returned home to an empty house, she, Alfred, and their neighbour Harry Beasley went looking for Charles. They found his body beaten, slashed, and pinned to the ground with a pitchfork. A cross had been carved into his chest and his watch had been taken.

    Initially, the police suspected a madman or an Italian prisoner of war from a nearby prison camp had done it. Alfred, Edith, Edith's boyfriend, Charles' best friend, and a passerby were all questioned as suspects.

    Many locals suspected that Charles was the victim of a ritualistic murder because he was widely thought to be a witch.

    The creepiest part of the story is that a woman was killed in similar circumstances in the same area a few years earlier.

    6. Caroline Luard, shot in Ightham in 1908.

    en.wikipedia.org

    Caroline Luard was shot at a forest near a summerhouse in Kent.

    She was on a walk with her husband, Major-General Charles Luard, who had just left her because he wanted to fetch his golf clubs from a nearby club, whereas she was expecting a visitor for afternoon tea at home.

    When he returned home, he found her dead, with bullet wounds to the head and missing her rings.

    Some people thought her husband did it. He ended up committing suicide.

    Others suspected it was John Dickman, a man who was later sentenced to death for killing a man on a train, and who had allegedly offered to loan Caroline money before she died.

    No one ever found out the truth.

    7. Judith Roberts, killed in Staffordshire in 1972.

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    Judith Roberts was a schoolgirl who was killed while she was on a bike ride.

    Andrew Evans, a soldier, confessed to killing her after being haunted by her face in his dreams. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

    However, with the help of human rights group Justice, Evans was later released from prison. He said he had been suffering from amnesia and depression, which gave him false memories.

    And so, 25 years after going to prison, Evans was released and awarded £750,000 in compensation from the Home Office.

    To this day, the case remains unsolved.

    8. Eve Stratford, had her throat slit in Leyton in 1975.

    ITV

    Eve Stratford was a Playboy bunny who was found dead, with her throat slit, by her boyfriend in their shared home in Leyton. Her hands were bound with a scarf and her tights were tied around one of her ankles.

    No one was found guilty, but the case was reopened in 2004. In 2007, new DNA technology linked her murderer with the killer of another young girl, 16-year-old Lynne Weedon from Hounslow.

    Police suspect the killings were both sexually motivated and done by the same person, but this is unconfirmed.

    9. Renee MacRae, went missing in the Highlands in 1976.

    en.wikipedia.org

    On the day she went missing, Renee MacRae, who was separated from her husband, had dropped her eldest son Gordon off to stay with his father. She was last seen driving to her sister's house in Killmarnock with her younger son Andrew. The pair never made it to Killmarnock.

    MacRae's car was found in a lay-by covered in blood that matched her blood type, although neither her nor Andrew's bodies were ever found.

    The case's investigation revealed that MacRae had been having an affair with Bill McDowell, a married man who was allegedly Andrew's real father.

    MacRae's best friend claimed MacRae was on her way to visit McDowell, not her sister, when she disappeared.

    Recently locals have started to think that the pair's bodies are buried underneath the A9. A farmer has even drawn a yellow circle around the spot he thinks they are in.

    But no one knows the truth.

    10. Charles Bravo, poisoned in Balham in 1876.

    en.wikipedia.org

    Charles Bravo was a barrister who, despite being the father of an illegitimate child, was married to Florence Ricardo. Ricardo had previously been married to a violent alcoholic, and she had an affair with a much older married man. When her first husband died, she ended the affair and married Bravo.

    Bravo was violent towards Ricardo, supposedly because she was richer than him and opted to hold onto her own money thanks to the Married Women's Property Act of 1870.

    Bravo was poisoned four months into his marriage to Ricardo.

    Some people suspect that he was slowly poisoning Ricardo, and mistakenly swallowed some of the poison himself. Other theories included that he committed suicide, that the housekeeper killed him, that Ricardo did it, and his former (recently fired) groomsman did it.

    No one was ever arrested or charged.

    11. Bella Wright, shot in Little Stretton in 1919.

    en.wikipedia.org

    Bella Wright, a 22-year-old factory worker, was shot in the head the same day as she was seen with a man on a green bicycle.

    Ronald Vivian Light, a World War I veteran, was tried for her murder and later acquitted.

    During the trial, two young girls testified that Light had chased them on their bicycles the day of Wright's death, and he had previously admitted to two cases of improper conduct with minors.

    Light said he had simply helped Wright find a spanner for her bike, and that the blood found near her body was from a crow. On the advice of his lawyer, Light admitted to everything he was accused of except Wright's murder.

    However, Light did hide his bike for five months after Wright's death, and he later dismantled it and threw it into a river.

    Books have been written about the case, and one claims that Light confessed the crime to a police officer. However, this is unproved.