These two still unsolved murders down in the south east gave rise to the possibility of a serial killer doing the rounds. What gave severe grounds for concern, was the attempted abduction of a mother and daughter by a knife wielding thug. The circumstances of all three cases are very similar, plus the general description of men seen in the vicinity of the crimes, are similar. The first was that of 14 year old Kate Bushell, who had her throat cut by a fiend in November 1987. Kate had left her home in Exwick, Exeter, Devon, to walk a dog belonging to a neighbour. When she did not return home, her father contacted Police and an officer went with her father to search. They came upon the grisly scene, just 300 yards from her home. A man was seen running from near the murder scene, with blood on him, but he has never been traced.
The second attack, thought to have been committed by the same assailant was that on 41 year old mum of two Lynda Bryant, who like Kate, was walking a dog on a quiet country lane. A man was seen talking to her 100 yards away from the murder scene. Her body was found on Ruan High Lanes, near St. Austell in Cornwall in October 1998. She had been repeatedly stabbed in the neck and chest. The man seen talking to her was never found.
The third incident was when a mother and daughter were walking their dog on a quiet country lane, at Netherton, near Newton Abbot in Devon, on 31st December 1998. A car run into the legs of the girl, and when the mother bend down to check her, the driver held a knife to her throat, and ordered them into his car. He drove them about 3/4 of a mile before the girl grabbed him around the neck, forcing him to stall the car, then they fought to get out. The mother received slash wounds to her hands, but they managed to escape and summon Police. The kidnapper drove away quickly.
These have been given a cold case review but nothing seems to have unearthed to point to a suspect. How many similar crimes have been committed in Cornwall, Devon and other neighbouring counties? If it is the same assailant, then he must have been responsible for other attacks. Why should he stop? He obviously had a taste for it. He had not been pulled in by Police. He could have spread his activities much further afield. Judging by the circumstances, he could be a predator. By that, searching for victims in the right circumstances. Or he is an opportunist attacker, coming up on victims by chance and with the right circumstances. As ever, if anybody knows or suspects anybody, report it to Police.