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  #11  
Old 06-05-2016, 02:20 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Default Definition of term?

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Originally Posted by Limehouse View Post
Hi Graham,

Gas meter job....?

Julie
Hello, pardon my unfamiliarity of the term you've used, but what is a "gas meter job"?
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Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
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  #12  
Old 06-05-2016, 02:30 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Basically an 'inside job', like someone stealing the money out of his own gas-meter.

Graham
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  #13  
Old 06-05-2016, 03:18 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Originally Posted by Graham View Post
Basically an 'inside job', like someone stealing the money out of his own gas-meter.

Graham
Thanks, Graham.

So what does that suggest?

Victim and killer were in on something together, but it fell apart in a quarrel with fatal results?

Husband set up his alibi and arranged for wife to be on the road, where a hired hit man waylaid and murdered her? Motive-- insurance or inheritance?
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  #14  
Old 06-06-2016, 03:12 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Quote:
Husband set up his alibi and arranged for wife to be on the road, where a hired hit man waylaid and murdered her? Motive-- insurance or inheritance?
Pat, I don't know and I would doubt if we'll ever know. The fact that the police interviewed the husband for three days even after they accepted he was out of the country at the time of his wife's murder strongly suggests that something untoward was going on.

Graham
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  #15  
Old 09-19-2018, 03:17 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Thanks to a head-up from Julie Limehouse, I found out that Bedfordshire Police have re-opened this unsolved murder, which took place 35 years ago on 11 September 1983. Checking some recent media reports of the re-opening of the case, I found that:

- police forensics found oil on Janice's fingers, which tends to prove that she was changing a tyre on her car in the lay-by in which her body was found. (The new tyre which she had collected that morning was on the car, but the tyre that was removed was never found).

- Janice had been so badly assaulted that it took three days for the police to identify her.

- Janice was apparently a karate exponent, so must have put up a terrific fight for her life, and it is very evident that whoever attacked her meant to kill her.

Despite questioning several suspects, including her husband, no-one was ever charged with Janice's murder. See my Post No 10 on this thread for further details.

Unsolved murders are always (unfortunately) fascinating, and this one is particularly fascinating in my humble opinion.

Graham
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  #16  
Old 10-02-2018, 09:44 AM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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Hi Graham,

I know you often make a link between the lack of forensic evidence from the cars in this, the Weston Case and that of the A6 Case. A couple of differences though: the Weston car was found on the Wednesday I think, a few days after the crime was committed, so perhaps some forensic evidence had deteriorated. Also, Mr. Weston’s DNA (although that technology had not been developed at the time) would presumably have been found in the Alfa Romeo, although in no way indicating culpability.

The case itself is quite a mystery, based on what has been made available. Two punctures in a few days seems too much of a coincidence, especially with the second one affecting what was presumably a new tyre. The detail of the stranger asking for new registration plates is really what gives the case that Miss Marple factor, rather like the telephone call to William Herbert Wallace’s chess club. A deliberate red herring?

A random stranger attack like the later one on Gillian Wilkes? Unlikely since the attacker took the car with him, suggesting he would have to have arrived on foot.
A liaison in a lay-by which went wrong? Again unlikely, since one lay-by can be confused with another. A hotel car park near the roundabout would have been a more reliable bet.
My own suspicion is that Janice Weston did not leave her flat alone on the Saturday evening. The man accompanying her was seen changing the tyre in the lay-by, whether genuinely or under some pretext I have no idea. The attack, as you point out, was murderous, more than a lover’s tiff or drug deal turned sour. He then drove back to London, dumped the car and presumably it was he who was looking for new registration plates on the Sunday morning. Maybe to put false plates on a similar vehicle for some criminal purpose, or simply to muddy the waters.
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  #17  
Old 10-02-2018, 10:33 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Cobalt,

thanks for your interest in this baffling case. Just for the record, Tony Weston was Suspect No 1 for about 56 hours, but was able to prove that at the time of the murder he was in a hotel in Paris. That the police interviewed him for so long strongly suggests to me that even though they fairly quickly decided he didn't do it, they questioned him on other associated matters.

Please read again my Post No 10, which outlines the basics of this murder. I mention in it that an Italian firm of lawyers became interested in this case, for reasons I never discovered as they never replied to my e-mails. However, they did publish on their website (now also defunct as far as I can tell) a communication from an anonymous person claiming that the key to the case was not the changing of the tyre, but what was contained inside the tyre, i.e., drugs. I do not know if any traces of drugs were found in the car.

The purchase of the new number plates has never been explained. I don't think it was an intentional red herring.

The car was discovered abandoned only a short distance from Janice's home, which strongly suggests a London connection.

The name 'Charles Fowler' refers (according to the Italian lawyer's website) to a man the police looked for in connection with the murder, but apparently never located. I have a (very) vague memory of this name being associated with another murder around that time. Peter Tobin's name has also cropped up, but it seems he was eliminated.

As the Cambridgeshire Police have re-opened this case, I wonder if some new information is in their possession, and I'll follow progress (if any) with great interest. I'm surprised that no enterprising investigator hasn't produced a book about this case.

Graham
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  #18  
Old 10-02-2018, 12:39 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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I would not put any faith in Giovanni di Stefano, a self-styled lawyer who has been convicted for fraud across several European countries. He is narcissist and self-publicist without a track record of ever winning a legal case, which is unsurprising since he is not a qualified lawyer. He makes Jean Justice look like Cicero.

It would not surprise me if the idea of there being drugs inside the spare tyre came from di Stefano himself, since there is a juvenile aspect to his character. Not that we could rule the possibility out of course, although as a method of smuggling drugs it is presumably well known by customs officers. It might explain a ferocious attack if Janice Weston had been unaware of her (husband’s?) entrepreneurial activities until a heated exchange that evening.

The killer made no great effort to hide the body, which was found a matter of hours later on early Sunday morning. He seemed to be confident he could drive the car back and even buy new registration plates before Mrs. Weston could be found and identified. Even allowing for Mrs. Weston’s face being damaged beyond immediate recognition, that indicates someone who knew her non-appearance would not be reported for a day or two. The car, from memory, was ticketed by a traffic warden on the Monday morning and only recognised as Mrs. Weston’s on the Wednesday, which does seem a bit sloppy from the police. One report claims there was blood smeared inside the car although you would imagine given the savagery of the attack that the fatal blows were delivered, courtesy of the car jack, outside the vehicle.

I’ve never been so convinced by the husband’s alibi. I don’t think the prospective buyers who alibied him knew him before they they met and the hotel staff could easily have been confused by a friend who resembled him, equipped with his passport and credit card. The French police probably could not care less about the case and their investigations might have been little more than perfunctory.

The case should be better known, and as I said the registration plates and the missing (and replaced!) tyre provide that marvellous sense of mystery. The husband was not convicted though, and neither he nor the police seemed to believe the case could be taken much further, so it kind of faded away. I don’t recall any appeals made by the husband to ‘catch the killer’ which maybe indicates the police’s feelings about the murder of Mrs. Weston, namely that the murder was less about mystery and more about a lack of conclusive evidence.
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  #19  
Old 10-02-2018, 03:02 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Well, you're up to speed concerning good old Giovanni, that's for sure! I'm not sure if he's even still in practice, but I believe he was involved in some fairly high-octane cases a couple of decades ago. Again, quite where his interest in the Weston case originates, I really don't know.

There really is no doubt that Tony Weston was in France at the time of the murder, as in addition to concerning himself with the purchase of a property near Paris he also showed an English couple around another property he had an interest in, and they identified him as Tony Weston. In addition, the clerk of the Paris hotel where he stayed remembered him and also identified him. There is a photo of him leaving St Neot's police-station with a blanket over his head, so obviously the police meant business yet even so released him.

Janice was a partner in the legal firm Charles Russell, and at 5.00pm on the Saturday afternoon (10 Sept 1983) another partner called at the office and found her there, working alone. Some time after this, she returned to her flat in Holland Park, prepared a meal which was only partially eaten, and it seems left the flat in a big hurry as her handbag was not taken with her. Her purse was later found under a seat of her car, still containing money.

So - what was she doing? Going somewhere obviously, but was she alone or with another person? If alone, was she going to meet someone? Was she going to Clopton Manor, not too far from the lay-by where her body was found? However, the flat she and Tony shared at Clopton was unfinished and not even furnished, having only sleeping-bags.

There was an odd occurrence in her life previous to her marriage to Tony Weston, when she became close to the elderly Heinz Isner, who owned the company that made Corgi toy cars. He died in 1977, and left her a total of about 150000 in money and material goods. This, on top of her earnings as a company lawyer, made her a very wealthy woman. A member of Isner's family was interviewed concerning Janice's murder, but no further action taken.

To my mind, her obvious wealth and prospects make it rather unlikely that she would have been personally involved in drug dealing, but her husband (now dead) was a property speculator, an often precarious living.

I love a mystery, me!

Graham

PS: I just this minute discovered that Giovanni is doing time for fraud and deception, and is in fact Italian-born but has lived nearly all his life in England! Well, well. I would still like to know how and why he became interested in the Janice Weston case. G
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  #20  
Old 10-03-2018, 06:18 AM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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I found a reconstruction of the Janice Weston case on youtube last night, one of the early Crimewatch episodes.

The investigating officer was clearly leaning towards the idea that Janice was accompanied in the car prior to her unfortunate death.

The actor asking for the new registration plates was not shown very clearly, but in general terms resembled a well dressed ‘yuppie’ rather than the mythical ‘Charlie Fowler’ character di Stefano probably plucked from an Alf Tupper story in the Victor comic he read in his childhood. The suggestion was that this case revolved around money and shady business dealings. Significantly, Mr.Weston did not appear either in person nor was he represented in the reconstruction.
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