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Move to link Kappen to killings in England; LLANDARCY MURDERER: Hunt for more victims.

Byline: PATRICK FLETCHER

THE hunt for more victims of Llandarcy killer Joe Kappen moved to England yesterday.

Police in South Wales have contacted colleagues in Lincolnshire to see if he can be linked to unsolved killings or sex attacks dating back to the 1970s. Local people pointed to the case of Christine Markham, a young girl who went missing from the area in the 1970s, but Humberside police would not be drawn on a connection.

Kappen died of cancer in 1990, but police say DNA has proved conclusively that he sexually assaulted and strangled teenagers Sandra Newton, Pauline Floyd and Geraldine Hughes in a three-month period in 1973.

Now South Wales Police are trying to put together a timeline of Kappen's movements to try to establish whether the girls were his only victims.

Last night the officer leading the investigation, Det Insp Paul Bethell, said they were also trying to establish whether Kappen was responsible for the 1976 murder of unmarried mother Maureen Mulcahy.

Ms Mulcahy's body was found only a few hundred yards from where Kappen lived at the time in Sandfields, Port Talbot. But there is no direct DNA evidence linking the pair.

Just like Sandra Newton and the girls who died at Llandarcy, Ms Mulcahy was attacked as she walked home from a Saturday night out.

She too was strangled. While there was no sexual attack, it is thought her attacker might have been about to commit rape before being disturbed.

If Kappen is successfully linked with any other murders he will go down as one of Wales's most notorious serial killers to rank alongside cinema owner Peter Moore, who murdered four men in 1995.

South Wales Police have circulated Kappen's information to all of Britain's forces as well as to Interpol because he is known to have spent time in Spain, Gibraltar and Tenerife.

They are especially interested in tracing his movements in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, where he stayed during his time as a lorry and delivery driver.

Yesterday a Humberside police spokeswoman said, ``It is far to early to assume that these developments will lead to a breakthrough in any of our investigations. It would be wrong of us to raise people's expectations until we have had time to do further work.''
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 8, 2002
Words:376
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