The States of Jersey Police have never been great when it comes to major crime. We are a fortunate island and bad stuff doesn’t happen that often but when it does the investigation is normally a mess.
Young Finnish au pair Tuula Hoeoek was found battered to death in a muddy field in December 1966 and her murderer could well be still among us for all the progress that’s been made. The ‘Beast of Jersey’ Edward Paisnel stalked the lanes by night and assaulted and raped children for 14 years before he was apprehended in 1971 – for running a red light.
In November 1993 the world’s Press set up camp at the bar of the former Caesar’s Palace nightspot at Greve de Lecq on Jersey’s north coast. Down the road the bodies of Nicholas and Elizabeth Newall, wrapped in tarpaulin, were being dug up. They say the smell would have knocked out an elephant. They’d been there for six years.
In October 1987 they’d gone missing from their home, having earlier the previous evening enjoyed a meal with their sons Roderick and Mark at the Seacrest, near Corbiere. (Great restaurant that was, now apartments.) The sons, who had returned to England the day after, returned and co-operated with the missing persons enquiry
Months later it turned into a murder enquiry. The remains of a bonfire with blood-stained clothing was discovered nearby. At last a forensic examination was done on the house – extensive blood marks, scrubbed clean, were found. A search for the bodies was now begun and people were marching and poking everywhere for months. Mediums were brought in, and the finest UK search dogs. Nothing. Only when Roderick was trapped into a confession and was arrested and extradited back to Jersey did he lead the police to the bodies.
Roderick served 12 years of his sentence and was released in 2006. Mark, charged only with covering up the murders, served three years.