This unsolved murder is one that is being re-examined with the latest advances in forensic technology by the newly set up Murder Review Group. This savage and horrific murder took place in broad daylight in a congested area, on June 6th 1991. The victim was 43 year old businesswoman Ruth Penelope Bell, a married woman with two children, from Denham in Buckinghamshire.
Born in February 1948, she helped start up a successful catering agency based in Kilburn, North London. On June 6th, she left her home, telling workmen who were doing jobs on her house, that she was off to an appointment. This appointment was not noted in her diary. Later she was found stabbed to death in her car in Perivale, Greenford, in West London. She had been stabbed FIFTY times! Another unusual occurence was that she drew just over £8,000 from an account, yet this was not noted in any of her record books, despite the fact that she was very meticulous. Witnesses came forward saying that they had seen her in the car with another man, mouthing the words "Help me!" yet they did nothing. Others told how she drove very slowly with her hazard warning lights flashing, causing a traffic build-up, but yet again, nobody did anything. Then a forensic report stated that the passenger had stabbed her from his seat but had to have gotten out of the car and walked around to the drivers door, to carry on the attack. Yet again, no person intervened!
Theories have sprung up that she was being blackmailed, this accounting for the money withdrawal and not keeping a record. If this was a pay-off gone badly, then what reason was there for the frenzied attack? Another theory was that she was meeting a secret lover. This has been dismissed by her husband and friends. One man has claimed that he was to become her lover but was surprisingly tight-lipped about his supposed involvement with her, to Police. This has led to his claim being dismissed.
So what does the attack on Mrs Bell tell us? For such a frenzied attack and so many wounds, the assailant would have to be well known to her, and the attack says immense rage was being directed against her and the killer literally wanted to obliterate her. Nobody knows any person wielding such anger and venom towards her. That leaves a mentally disturbed person. Somebody like Robert Napper. He lived not far away from the scene, and he had already committed three KNOWN murders; Rachel Nickell and Samantha & Jazmine Bissett. Rachel Nickell - the woman Paul Britton and Keith Pedder were so sure had been murdered by Colin Stagg. DCS Mick Banks had believed that Napper was the Green Chain Rapist and the murderer of the Bissetts and Rachel. Who was right? Napper has been interviewed over this murder and two other similiar cases. Time will tell if he is a modern Jack the Ripper.