July 20, 2013
It is nearly 30 years since my aunt, Hilda Murrell, was abducted, beaten, stabbed and left to die in a copse in the countryside outside Shrewsbury. Her murder has become a cause celebre, not just because of the shocking manner of her death, but because of the unanswered questions that refuse to go away. Hilda, a 78-year-old rose-grower and anti-nuclear environmentalist, was a keeper of dangerous secrets. Involved in top-secret work at Bletchley Park in the Second World War, she was an independent, well-connected and informed opponent of Britain’s plans for nuclear power and weapons. Because of her close association with me, she was suspected of having sensitive information about the sinking of the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano in the 1982 Falklands War. Someone wanted her silenced for this, or was it for even more politically damaging information?
The past three decades have seen a rising tide of evidence that the true perpetrators were the British security services. Meanwhile a man is languishing in jail, wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit. Hilda was my close friend and mentor and I was her next of kin. I was a commander in Royal Navy Intelligence at the heart of the Falklands War, thus I fear it is more than possible that having me as her nephew sealed her fate. – ‘They’ve rubbed her out.’ It was my immediate thought, an involuntary conviction. At 2pm on Saturday, March 24, 1984, West Mercia Police rang to say they had found an old woman’s body. Hilda had been missing since the Wednesday. Her mutilated corpse had been discovered in a poplar copse six miles outside Shrewsbury, some 500 yards from her crashed Renault 5.
THE ASTONISHING POLICE MISTAKES
The police account of Hilda’s death was riven with anomalies, and so was the handling of the case. The police inspected Hilda’s crashed car by sunset on the Wednesday. Yet they did not check her house until the Friday evening. There is evidence of changes to her home while she was missing, including doors and windows open and shut, and lights switched on and off. There were many reports of suspicious people and vehicles around the house and her crashed car. Yet the police ignored them all.
A white van was reported parked in her drive around the time of her abduction. According to the owner of the copse, the body was not there on the Thursday when he was checking trees for felling. So was Hilda abducted to a safe house for interrogation before being left to be discovered on Saturday? The pathologist concluded that, despite her many injuries, Hilda had died of hypothermia. She had several superficial stab wounds, but a lack of blood. Were some of the wounds inflicted after death to simulate an attack?
Was this to conceal that she had been murdered by breaking her neck before being carried into the copse and a false trail laid of her clothing plus boots, broken spectacles and kitchen knife? Did the police know about the crime before the body was discovered? Who were the mysterious officers a witness saw ‘on a murder hunt’ on farmland near the abandoned car on the Friday? Why did two detectives visit a Shrewsbury sex counsellor on the Friday evening before the body was discovered asking if he knew of any man with sexual problems and a preference for violence to old ladies and interfering with their clothing?
Source = Daily Mail
March 20, 2012
Hilda Murrell was murdered in March 1984. Who killed her – and why – has already been the subject of books, plays and films, and the conviction of a man for her abduction and murder in 2005 failed to answer many of the questions surrounding her death. The reasons for this enduring enquiry are exposed at length in A Thorn In Their Side, a book being launched this week to mark the 28th anniversary of her death. The author is Hilda’s nephew, Robert Green, with whom she had a close relationship and who was a commander in naval intelligence during the Falklands war. He has followed and chronicled the case meticulously. Was this just a random, bungled burglary by a lone 16-year-old – as the police would have it – or was it an operation involving several individuals on behalf of a government agency, namely the security services?
The book cannot definitively answer this question, but it raises serious and substantial doubts about the criminal investigations to date. The accumulated concerns make an overwhelming argument for these to be reopened by an independent police force unconnected with any previous enquiries, or by an independent commission of inquiry. “Nuclear disaster is both avoidable and inevitable. Nuclear technologies have too many inherent risks and widespread consequences to be a sensible choice for energy production.” The words are those of Rebecca Johnson, a former senior advisor to the Blix commission on weapons of mass destruction, writing about the disaster at Fukushima earlier this month. Back in 1984, this was exactly Hilda Murrell’s position.
Source = The Guardian
July 17, 2013
MPs are calling for a Hillsborough-style inquiry into the death of Hilda Murrell, a peace campaigner who was abducted and murdered in 1984. Andrew George was convicted in 2005 of the murder of the 78-year-old anti-nuclear campaigner from Shropshire. A Commons motion claims there are “serious and substantial doubts about the criminal investigations”. It calls for all the relevant papers be published by the Home Office and West Mercia Police.
The motion backs calls by human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield QC for a commission of inquiry into the case along similar lines to the Hillsborough Independent Panel. West Mercia Police spokesperson said: “We are satisfied with the policing and judicial processes which led to Andrew George being charged and subsequently receiving a life sentence, for murder.” The force said there are currently no new grounds for a further police investigation, but added it was not up to them to decide if a case of this kind should be reinvestigated.
Source = BBC News
Date tabled: 16.07.2013
That this House notes with concern that, as documented in the new edition of the book about Hilda Murrell’s murder, A Thorn in Their Side, by her nephew Commander Robert Green, Royal Navy (Retired), key forensic and other evidence was not disclosed at the 2005 trial and the 2006 appeal of Andrew George, who was convicted of the abduction and murder of the internationally renowned rose grower and anti-nuclear campaigner in 1984; further notes Michael Mansfield QC’s view that the book raises serious and substantial doubts about the criminal investigations to date into this controversial case; supports Mansfield’s call for a Commission of Inquiry into the case along similar lines to the Hillsborough Independent Panel; and recommends that all relevant papers be published by the Home Office and the West Mercia Police.
Source = British Parliament
January 27, 2002
POLICE believe that a man, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, can help unravel one of Britain’s most mysterious unsolved murders. John Nicholas Evans, 56, could unlock the secret behind the case of Hilda Murrell, the anti-nuclear campaigner whose death has been variously linked to MI5, the nuclear power industry and even the sinking of the Argentine flagship, the General Belgrano, during the Falklands War. Detectives will announce next month that they are officially re-opening the 18-year-old case, which has been the subject of several books and dozens of parliamentary questions.
An incident room is being set up and a team of officers has been assigned to the investigation. West Mercia police have new evidence and they believe that Mr Evans may hold vital information which could disprove the many conspiracy theories surrounding the case and confirm their long-held belief that the killer was a burglar whose raid had gone wrong. Mr Evans was one of many people who helped police with their inquiries soon after Miss Murrell’s death in March 1984. The 79-year-old had been kidnapped, sexually assaulted and left injured and half-naked in a copse six miles from her home in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
She died from hypothermia days later. No charges were ever brought and the case became the subject of increasingly wide speculation due to the victim’s intriguing family and social connections. Some campaigners, including MPs, have long claimed that the secret service was somehow involved as Miss Murrell was the aunt of Cdr Robert Green, a naval intelligence officer who in 1982 passed the order for the controversial sinking of the Argentine ship to the submarine Conqueror. Margaret Thatcher, then prime minister, insisted that the Belgrano was a danger to British troops. It was alleged, however, that Miss Murrell was in possession of top-secret naval papers which cast doubt on her statement.
Source = The telegraph
September 20, 2013
Now almost 30 years on Hilda’s nephew has written a compelling account of his hunt for the truth and how he believes she was really abducted because she knew too much.
Source = Express