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Grisly catalogue of unsolved murders spanning 25 years.

There have been about 40 murders over the past 25 years that remain unsolved in the West Midlands.

The grisly catalogue includes victims who were shot, strangled, stabbed, tortured or simply beaten to death.

Even an entire family was wiped out by a sadistic killer who has still not been brought to justice.

The cases include:

Monica Jepson, aged 68, who was killed on July 14, 1995, at the Edgbaston Grange Nursing Home in Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

She was a resident and lived in an attic room. The murderer got in by an unknown means and the victim was killed by manual strangulation.

Her clothes had been removed and she had been sexually assaulted. The clothes were placed by the body and set alight causing burns. A chest of drawers was pushed against the door to prevent entry.

Retired Sarah Bowdler, also aged 68, was discovered in a bedroom of her home in Somers Road, Pleck, Walsall, on September 17, 1991.

Her hands were tied and she had been gagged. She was strangled with a ligature. There was no sign of a forced entry to the property nor was there any sign of theft.

Harold Smith, his wife Mary and their disabled son Harold Jnr were subjected to one of the most horrific killing sprees ever seen in the West Midlands at their home in Overbury Close, Northfield, Birmingham.

Mr Smith Snr, aged 71, his 72-year-old wife and their son, who was 47 and confined to a wheelchair, were all bound at the wrists with items from the house. Mr Smith Jnr had also been gagged with a sock held in place with a necktie sometime between November 30 and December 2, 1992.

An attempt had been made to remove Mrs Smith's underwear, but there was no obvious sign of a sexual attack.

All three victims had been subjected to a sustained series of assaults with both sharp and blunt instruments, resulting in multiple stab wounds to the chest, neck and face and severe lacerations to the head.

Sisters Alice and Edna Rowley, aged 87 and 77 respectively, ran a small shop and lived on the premises in Greswolde Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham.

They were murdered between December 22 and 23, 1987. Alice's body was discovered on the living room floor at the back of the shop. She had been strangled with a ligature.

Edna was found in an upstairs bedroom and had been smothered to death. A search of the drawers and cupboards had been made and Christmas presents and money were stolen.

Donuta Kaczmarska, aged 52, who worked as a GP, was found dead in the kitchen of her home in Coniston Close, Hall Green, Birmingham, on January 22, 1986.

Her body was almost destroyed by fire, but several wounds were found on the scalp thought to have been caused with an axe. She had also been gagged with a tea towel.

Yvonne Coley, a 28-year-old prostitute, was discovered hidden under a hedge on the edge of a municipal golf course at Warstock Lane, Kings Heath, Birmingham. She had been strangled between May 24 and 25, 1984.

Thomas Morris, aged 79, was attacked in his home on June 8, 1977. He was beaten about the head and body with his own spanner and was found by the meals on wheels service, injured but still alive at Trident House, Farnborough Road, Castle Vale, Birmingham. He died three days later in hospital.

Edward Bransfield, aged 25, unemployed, who was believed to be a drug dealer, had parked his car intending to meet an associate on December 29, 1994. Two men approached the vehicle and shot the victim in the head and neck with a 9mm handgun.

An associate of Bransfield said he had been in possession of a kilogram of cannabis, but this was not found in his car in Arthur Street, Hillfields, Coventry.

Other shooting victims include Junior Carter, aged 34, who was shot in Dudley Road, Winson Green, Birmingham, on February 29, 1996. Trevor Lee Hamilton, aged 37, was chased into a residential street and shot in the chest with a 9mm handgun on December 27, 1995, in Beechglade, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham.

The body of unemployed Glenn Ford, aged 35, was discovered in a factory yard in Adderley Road/Landor Street, Saltley, Birmingham, on November 23, 1993. He also had been shot with 9mm firearm.

Bricklayer Patrick McCluskey, aged 52, was killed between March 15 and 17, 1985, and found hidden beneath a mattress on waste ground at Dart Street, Small Heath, Birmingham.

A strand of barbed wire was around his throat, he had severe stomach injuries caused by a broken bottle and facial injuries from blows with a brick. It is believed that bank books and pounds 50 were stolen.

Intaz Ali, who was 35 and worked nights as a die caster, was murdered on June 7, 1974. He returned home from work and went to bed.

He was discovered having been stabbed repeatedly in the torso. A rear window had been smashed and the bedroom door had been forced in Alston Street, Ladywood, Birmingham.

Foundry worker Arif Khan, aged 28, was found dead at the back of Barrys Garage, Coneygre Road, Tipton, on May 9, 1986.

He had suffered burns to the chest and neck. Police believe he had been tortured.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 24, 1999
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