Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jack The Stripper

Spots of Evidence

Detectives' firm conviction that they had a serial killer on their hands had been reinforced further only three days before Archibald's startling statement, when police were confronted with a fifth naked body, one for which, again, Archibald could not have been responsible.

Helen Barthelemy
Helen Barthelemy

The naked body of 22-year-old Helen Barthelemy was found dumped in an alleyway in Brentford on April 24, 1964, barely two weeks after Irene Lockwood had been found. Despite the dry land location, a couple of miles from the other murders, any doubts that this murder was an isolated incident soon disappeared. The signs of strangulation or asphyxiation were there, and once again the dead woman was a small street girl who had suffered from an STD in the past.Whether these facts were significant to their murderer's motive or not, the similarities were too numerous to ignore.

Barthelemy Crime Scene
Barthelemy Crime Scene

Before she arrived in London from the Northern seaside town of Blackpool, Barthelemy had previously been convicted of luring a man to a desolate spot where he was attacked with a razor and robbed, and she frequented similar pubs and drinking dens to Irene Lockwood. In fact she had left her handbag with a friend on one such club saying she was just going out for a short time. She never returned.

Despite the usual lack of clothes, the state in which her body was found would later become significant to the investigation. For a start, it was filthy. That suggested that it had been stored somewhere before being left in the alleyway. More promisingly, there were microscopic specks of different colored paints on her skin. Analysis of the paint revealed that it was identical to that used in automatic paint-spraying of cars, furniture and metal work. Detectives concluded that the body had been hidden in some kind of storage building to which only the killer would have access, since this kind of paint could be carried in the air and penetrate tiny gaps in the walls of such a building.

If forensics and police could work together to narrow down that location, they would surely be halfway to catching their killer.

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