Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The UK Hammer Murders

The Investigation

Investigators working on Amelies case quickly realized that her murder was likely committed by the same person who had killed Marsha and committed the other three attacks. Amelies physical description closely resembled the other victims, and all of the attacks occurred at night within a five-mile radius of one another. Moreover, the weapon used in the attack left marks that were similar to the ones left on the other victims, indicating that the murderer probably used the same or similar instrument in all the attacks.

Although Amelies murder bore marked similarities to the other attacks, there was an important difference: This time, the killer stole some of his victims personal belongings. Missing from the crime scene were Amelies Sony Ericsson T300 mobile phone, her purse, house keys and CD Sony Walkman. Burglary is not expected to have been a motive for the killing; the killer had probably taken the items as trophies.

Amelie's purse, police sketch
Amelie's purse, police sketch

Just days after the murder, there was a significant breakthrough in the case when some of Amelies missing belongings were recovered, including her mustard-colored purse, Walkman and house keys. The items were found by police divers in the River Thames close to a bridge in Walton Surrey, five miles from where she was attacked, according to the BBC. The police tracked her mobile phone signal to the location, which enabled them to find the objects. However, although they were able to pick up the phone signal, they could not find the mobile itself.

In the meantime, detectives released CCTV photos of Amelie in the hopes that they might trigger someones memory. The images depicted Amelie on the bus approximately 20 minutes before she was brutally murdered. Investigators believe that the killer might have spotted Amelie after she got off the bus and waited for her between two cricket sight-screens on Twickenham Green. Jonathan Brown reported in The Independent that the screens were dismantled and removed by police for forensic examination.

Not long after the release of the CCTV footage, reports were released suggesting that minutes before Amelie was murdered, a young blond schoolgirl was stalked as she crossed Twickenham Green after getting off a bus. Justin Davenport of The Evening Standard stated in his article that a short man in his thirties with a side parting followed Emily Dillon, 16, as she tried to catch up with her sister and two friends walking further ahead of her. In the report, Emily was quoted as saying, Its very scary to think what might have happened. It is likely that she, instead of Amelie, could have been the killers next victim. The fact that she was not completely alone might have deterred the murderer and saved her life.

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