Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Britain's Bizarre 'Hair-in-Hand' Murder Case

Nike Running Shoe

Similar Nike Terra trainer
Similar Nike Terra trainer

At one point in the investigation, detectives tentatively identified the footprints made in blood as having come from a Nike brand training or running shoe. Detectives traveled more than 5,000 miles to Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., a suburb of Portland, in an effort to identify the shoe, which turned out to be the Nike Terra trainer. Aside from learning more about the distinctive shoe pattern, little was learned during the long trip to the Pacific Northwest, but the investigators remained hopeful that they would eventually be able to identify the owner of the shoe.

Danilo Restivo, younger
Danilo Restivo, younger

During their inquiries with Heather's neighbors, detectives questioned a thirtysomething Italian national, Danilo Restivo, who resided in a flat opposite Heather's on Capstone Road. Lacking evidence at the time to do anything other than question him as a person of interest in the case, the Dorset detectives could not hold Restivo beyond a few hours. Nonetheless, Restivo would remain in their sights throughout the investigation, as will be seen. As the case moved forward with few results, Restivo would be arrested and questioned again in 2004, but due to lack of evidence he was again released without charge.

As the investigation continued, the police told members of Heather's family that whoever had committed the brutal murder had planned it and was aware of the forensic aspects of a homicide investigation. As a result, the killer had left very little forensic evidence at the scene that could be used to link him to the crime.


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