The police arrived at the property on a Monday morning (at 7am) to discover sixty dogs being kept on what seemed to be a puppy farm. After finding that Lesley's dressing gown and slippers were missing, confirming that she had been kidnapped, Ronald Whittle immediately called the police.  Morris is also considered the chief suspect in the deaths of Margaret Reynolds and Diana Joy Tift.
 A police search of the Morris flat uncovered pornographic photographs of a young girl who was later determined to be Carol Morris's five-year-old niece. , Carol Morris would eventually become the chief witness for the prosecution and retract what she had initially told investigators about shopping on the day of Darby's murder. He died in 1970, aged 65.  At the time the A34 murders were committed, Morris and his wife lived at Flat 20, Regent House, Green Lane, Walsall – a council-owned flat in Birchills, directly opposite the police station. The offences regarding the shooting of security guard Gerald Smith were left on file, as Smith had died more than a year and a day after the shooting.  The hunt for the Cannock Chase murderer was led by Sir Stanley Bailey, Staffordshire’s Assistant Chief Constable at the time. We heard it was a severed head that was found and then cops found the body. In the car were a cassette tape with Lesley Whittle's voice on it, asking her relatives to co-operate with the kidnapper, her slippers, and a roll of plastic tape, all of which linked Neilson to the kidnapping. He had estimated that the Whittles could easily afford £50,000. The police were called, who in turn called out the local vehicle registrations officer for Walsall. Armed with a sawn-off shotgun, he was arrested with the help of several customers in a nearby fish and chip shop.  In December 1975, two police officers spotted a man seen acting suspiciously in Mansfield, who turned out to be Neilson.
Three weeks later he was convicted of the murder of three post office workers, and given three further life sentences.  He kicked her out of the house after eight years of marriage, then divorced her on the grounds of adultery when she had another man's child. That's the man that did it to me.
Little Mix Tour 2021: Confetti Tour UK Dates, Venues, Here's How Lockdown In England Will Be Different Second, 6 Cinema Releases Headed Straight To Streaming To Get You, Harry Styles And Don’t Worry Darling Co-Stars Forced To, Quarantine After Crew Member Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Download 'Dancing In The Moonlight' on iTunes. ", "Cannock Chase murderer Raymond Morris in new bid to overturn conviction", "Life meant life for wicked killer Raymond Morris", "Those were the days: All over – and we've won!  The girl was sexually assaulted, strangled and left for dead, and was only saved from exposure after she was spotted by a passing cyclist. He has asked not to be named. The message instructed him to:, GO TO THE TOP OF THE LANE AND TURN INTO NO ENTRY GO TO THE WALL AND FLASH LIGHTS LOOK FOR TORCHLIGHT RUN TO TORCH FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS ON TORCH.  It demanded £50,000 and instructed the family not to contact the police, but to wait for a telephone call at a phonebox at the Swan shopping centre in Kidderminster that evening. To avoid estate taxes, George Whittle gave three houses plus £70,000 in cash to Dorothy, £107,000 to his son Ronald, and £82,000 to Lesley during his life. A further 54 feet (16 m) down on a third landing, the team found a rolled up sleeping bag that was acting as a pillow, a yellow foam mattress and a survival blanket. If Morris's conviction was overturned it would be the longest running miscarriage of justice in British history. Despite trawling through 7,000 statements and 20,000 notes of telephone messages, police were no nearer to finding her killer and to add to their problems, a year later in August 1967, the body of another young girl aged 7 was found in Cannock Chase. , Cause of Whittle's death and post mortem findings, "Black Panther Donald Neilson is dead « Express & Star", "BBC ON THIS DAY | 1975: Heiress Lesley Whittle kidnapped", "1975: Kidnapped heiress found strangled", "BBC News – Murderer Donald Neilson, the 'Black Panther', dies", BBC Shropshire, Audio slideshow: Lesley Whittle remembered, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kidnapping_and_murder_of_Lesley_Whittle&oldid=982879446, January 1975 events in the United Kingdom, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 10 October 2020, at 22:52. West Mercia police officers put the blame for the failed operation onto Staffordshire Police, after a patrol car was seen driving through the area.  A statement from Morris's defence team said: The application for a judicial review is the first stage in his attempts to have the matter referred back to the Court of Appeal after 42 years in prison. Neilson held Whittle in an underground drainage shaft of a reservoir at Bathpool Park in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire.  The manhunt was larger than that of the infamous Moors murders.
Whittle, aged 17, was kidnapped from her home in Highley, Shropshire, by Donald Neilson, who by that time had committed over 400 burglaries and three murders.
This led them to concentrate their hunt in and around Walsall – a large industrial town which bordered, List of prisoners with whole-life tariffs, List of serial killers by number of victims, "Our Century 1950-1975: Chase killer jailed for life", "Murders left area asking: Whose child will be next?
 Having found her daughter asleep in bed, Dorothy took two sleeping tablets and went to bed herself. Morris died in prison in March 2014, aged 84, after serving 45 years, by which time he was one of Britain's longest-serving prisoners. ", "From the Archives: Was little Christine just ONE of Raymond Morris's victims?
, On 14 January 1975, Dorothy Whittle returned to the house in Highley, Shropshire, at 1:30 am. Furthermore, a 10-year-old girl named Jane Taylor had been abducted while riding her bicycle in the village of Mobberley in August 1966, and investigators could not disprove her disappearance was linked to what were colloquially known as the "A34 murders". After searching for thirty minutes, he found a Dymotape message that directed him to Bathpool Park, which was situated about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away.  The police were aware that Morris, who had been interviewed four times in four years, had owned a grey Austin A55 similar to the one used in the abduction of Darby.
To avoid estate taxes, George Whittle gave three houses plus £70,000 in cash to Dorothy, £107,000 to his son Ronald, and £82,000 to Lesley during his life. Ballistics evidence and finger prints on the cartridges also linked the same man to the Freightliner shooting, the previous post office robberies and thus the Black Panther murders.. After being arrested 11 months later in Mansfield, in July 1976 at Oxford Crown Court Neilson was convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Whittle, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment.  Alex Rennie, who was Chief Constable of West Mercia Police when Whittle was murdered, had all of the notes not used during the trial destroyed when he retired.
 Reynolds went missing on her way to school in Aston, Birmingham, on 8 September 1965, and Tift went missing on a short walk to her grandmother's house in Bloxwich on 30 December that year.
A week later, West Midlands Police contacted West Mercia. One man aged, 47, has been arrested in connection with the death and remains in custody for questioning. The investigation involved over 400 officers from the West Mercia Constabulary, Staffordshire and West Midlands police forces and the Metropolitan Police.. A spokesman for West Midlands Police confirmed officers were …
 Morris went through a variety of jobs before getting a position as a foreman engineer at a precision instruments factory in Oldbury, West Midlands, in 1967.  After what was later seen as a bungled police operation, including two failed attempts to engage with Neilson's demand for a ransom of £50,000, her body was found hanging in the shaft on 7 March 1975. On 5 March, Chief Superintendent Booth and Ronald Whittle appeared together on both national and local television. The Cannock Chase murders (also known as the A34 murders) were the murders of three young school girls that occurred in Staffordshire, England, during the late 1960s. In November 2010, Morris was granted a judicial review of the refusal of the Criminal Cases Review Commission to refer his case to the Court of Appeal, in a bid to overturn his conviction.  Morris's first wife would later describe him as a man with a need to express violent sexual dominance.
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