Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The UK Hammer Murders

More Attacks

On November 5, 2003, accounts clerk Dawn Brunton, 36, left a bus station and was walking down a footpath to the Hatton Cross tube station in Feltham, London, when an unknown assailant attacked her from behind with what authorities believe was a sledgehammer. Dawn suffered severe injuries, including a fractured skull, cheekbone and eye socket, several stab wounds to the back of her head, [and] severe bruising to her stomach area, possibly from kicking, the Hounslow Guardian reported in November 2003. Investigators believed that whoever attacked her was likely the same person who murdered Marsha and attacked the 17-year old girl the previous January.  

Then on April 18, 2004, yet another young woman was assaulted. While walking on Trafalgar Road near Twickenham Green in west London after an evening out with friends, Edel Harbison, 34, was bludgeoned with a hammer-like instrument from behind. Even though she suffered severe injures, she was lucky enough to survive the horrific experience.

Like the previous victims, Edel was not sexually assaulted or robbed and had little or no memory of the attack or the attacker. Detectives working on the case believe that the offender may have a particular dislike of women with light-colored hair because all of the victims had either blond or light-brown hair, The Mirror reported in August 2004. His hate would result in yet another murder on August 20, 2004.

Amelie Delagrange
Amelie Delagrange
After an evening out with a friend at the Cristalz Winebar, French national Amelie Delagrange, 22, said her goodbyes and left for home. Shortly before 10 p.m., she got on the bus alone and traveled towards Hampton, but accidentally missed her stop.  Justin Davenport of The Evening Standard suggested in an article that she continued until the bus terminated at Fulwell (Bus) Garage before realizing that she had gone too far. Slightly anxious, she asked the bus driver for directions and then began the long walk back home. On her way, she passed through Twickenham Green, where she was attacked and killed.

Amelie Delagrange, getting on the bus
Amelie Delagrange, getting on the bus
 

Half an hour later, a passerby found Amelies battered body by the cricket pitch and flagged down police. She was immediately taken to a nearby hospital, but her injuries were beyond treatment. Amelie died shortly after midnight from head wounds believed to have been caused by a hammer-like tool or crowbar.

Amelies family was devastated by the news. Amelie was excited about living and working in England, and she had been living there for only a few months before her life ended so abruptly. As arrangements were being made for her funeral, investigators clamped down and began a more intensive search for the Hammer Murderer who was terrorizing the southwest of London.

Amelie's parents at her funeral
Amelie's parents at her funeral

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