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  1. #1
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    UK - Betty Yates, 77, & Rev. John Suddards, 59, murdered, Jan-Feb 2012

    As police have not yet announced a cause of death, I'll take a chance and gamble it's a murder by placing it here in Crimes in the News. At least sounds like foul play was involved. Actually, after reading Daily Mail's headline ("...found by builders"), I thought perhaps a walled-up skeleton had been found - perhaps one of those 300-year-old whodunnits. Nope, new vicar, freshly dead and possibly stabbed. (Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, is about 12 miles north of Bristol, according to its Wiki page.)

    A murder at the vicarage? Police probe launched in quiet market town after body found by builders (Daily Mail)
    A vicar has been found dead at his home amid fears that a murderer is on the loose in a quiet market town.

    The body of Reverend John Suddards, 59, was discovered by builders who were carrying out work at his vicarage.

    There was speculation yesterday that he had suffered multiple stab wounds, but police could not confirm a cause of death last night pending the results of a post-mortem examination.

    Mr Suddards’s body was found the day after he had held his regular Sunday service in Thornbury, Gloucestershire.

    The Cambridge-educated vicar, who lived alone, was a former lawyer who had taken on his parish less than a year ago. Friends said he had settled well into the community.
    ---
    Avon and Somerset Police have launched an investigation into the death – which they described as ‘suspicious’ – and a cordon was set up as officers searched for clues.
    ---
    the rest, with pictures, at DM link above

  2. #2
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    A real live "Midsomer Murders"...?
    Just my opinion, of course.

  3. #3
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    Mirror's declaring it a stabbing death:

    Death at the vicarage: Reverend found stabbed to death

    Guardian plays up the "locked home" angle:

    Vicar found dead in locked home

    And, playing up the "Midsomer" angle, Daily Express:

    ‘MIDSOMER’ MYSTERY AS VICAR IS STABBED TO DEATH
    Last edited by wfgodot; 02-14-2012 at 11:09 PM.

  4. #4
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    All murders of clergy, particularly stabbing deaths, echo that of Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170 ("Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" -- Henry II, at least according to oral tradition). So, unlike U.S. cases, if this case indeed proves to be a killing, its historical antecedents can be said to go back 800+ years. And that's one of the things which make an English murder mystery interesting: they may lie on deep historical bedrock.

  5. #5
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    Now not only a tabloid but a broadsheet has called it death by stabbing, calling it a "suspected murder." The police were making their presence in town known to reassure frightened residents, according to another article I read. So surely it must be murder. Anyway, here's the Telegraph article, with a brief historical note:

    Rev John Suddards: vicar stabbed to death in his own home
    ---
    The vicarage stands in the shadow of Thornbury’s handsome Tudor castle, which was built by the Duke of Buckingham and hosted Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.
    ---
    more at link above, as they say

    Requiescat in pace, Rev. John Suddards.

  6. #6
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    Just a bit of new information this morning:

    Police investigation launched into death of Rev John Suddards at Thornbury vicarage (thisisbristol.co.uk)
    The Rev John Suddards was found in the hallway of the St Mary's Parish Church vicarage yesterday[.]
    ---
    A post-mortem examination is to be held after a vicar was found dead at his vicarage near Bristol.
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    Officers are treating the death as suspicious but said the investigation was at "an early stage"
    ---
    Tests due on body of vicar found dead in Thornbury (BBC)

  7. #7
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    BritsKate is offline Past mistakes should teach you to create a wonderful future.
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    I think this is likely to have been personal rather than some random attack. Most doors here (at least in my area) are self locking. I wonder if the Reverend opened the door to his attacker.

    How sad for a small, tightly knit community. The post-mortem is scheduled for today so hopefully we will know more soon.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-17038816

    As an aside we recently had a murder within just a few blocks of where we live. The shock of it alone was immense as we live in a relatively low crime area and certainly England has a much lower homicide rate than the States. West Midlands police were incredible in their assistance to the community. They informed us personally when an arrest had been made, sought assistance for evidence recovery, and requested the public not victimize the perpetrator's family.
    http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2...m-is-revealed/

  8. #8
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    Quick work, Avon-and-Somerset LE.

    Man arrested after vicar's body found by builders in vicarage of quiet market town (Daily Mail)
    ---
    Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp, who is leading the investigation, said: 'I am in a position to confirm now that body found yesterday in the vicarage was Reverend John Suddards.

    'He suffered multiple stab wounds, and therefore this is now a murder investigation.

    'A 43-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.'
    ---
    ---
    DCI Crisp said the 59-year-old reverend had only lived in the village for "a few months", and police "do not have a good understanding of his friends and family at the moment".

    He said detectives are appealing to churchgoers to come forward to tell them what they knew about him, who visited him and who he associated with.

    "In particular," DCI Crisp said, "I would be keen to speak to anybody who saw the reverend after 12.30pm on Monday.
    "Please don't let it rest on your conscience if you know something and you haven't told us, however small."
    ---
    Rev John Suddards: arrest over vicar murder (Telegraph)

    ETA:
    Last edited by OkieGranny; 02-06-2017 at 02:07 AM. Reason: broken link

  9. #9
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    Now I'm wishing I remembered from the Joanna Yeates threads how long a UK arrestee can be held before charges must be filed. #toolazytolookitup I know extensions of questioning time can be filed for. #awkward sentence

    Also, I found DCI Crisp's plea for info from the public somehow - different. #probablyjustme

  10. #10
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    Mail still hedging its bets as it maintains the phrase "the 59-year-old unmarried vicar" in the article's fifth paragraph.

    'I know I'm taking risks by letting vulnerable strangers in to my home', said vicar found stabbed to death (Daily Mail)
    A vicar stabbed to death in his own home had admitted in a sermon that he was at risk of attack because of the type of people he took in, it emerged yesterday.

    The Reverend John Suddards told his congregation in October how he regularly welcomed homeless and vulnerable strangers into his house as part of his ‘Christian duty’.

    He then added: ‘It’s a bit risky being a vicar. You don’t know who you’re letting in to your home.’
    ---
    more at link above


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Now I'm wishing I remembered from the Joanna Yeates threads how long a UK arrestee can be held before charges must be filed. #toolazytolookitup I know extensions of questioning time can be filed for. #awkward sentence

    Also, I found DCI Crisp's plea for info from the public somehow - different. #probablyjustme
    I think the time is 48 hours, but then The Police can apply for an extension if they have just cause.

  12. #12
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    Thanks, Sabot. That's sort of what I remembered, too, but wasn't sure. I know they can apply for extensions, sometimes several.

  13. #13
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    The Sun thinks it might have some vaguely expressed insight into matters:
    COPS probing the murder of vicar John Suddards swooped on a white van where a homeless man had been sleeping rough.

    The vehicle was towed away from a property half a mile from the vicarage in Thornbury, Gloucs, where Rev Suddards, 59, was found stabbed to death on Tuesday.

    A homeless man in his 40s — known only as Robbie — who had been put up by retired electrician John Dean, 68, had been sleeping in the van while Mr Dean was on holiday.

    He is said to hitch around the country finding work picking up litter.

    Police were yesterday given more time to quiz a suspect aged 43.
    ---
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage...by-dosser.html

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Thanks, Sabot. That's sort of what I remembered, too, but wasn't sure. I know they can apply for extensions, sometimes several.
    Maximum time is 96 hours but only after an application to a Magistrate. Seven days in cases of terrorism.
    But there's a lot of "As a general rule" which no doubt the Police make use of.

  15. #15
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    Broadsheet also reporting van seizure:

    Vicar murder: police seize van where homeless man slept
    ---
    While Mr Dean was away on holiday, Robbie - said to be from Chester originally - slept in his white van.

    Speaking from Malta, where he is on holiday, Mr Dean, 68, said: “Robbie is a gentle, meek, mild-mannered man. He was homeless but he didn't feel upset or angry about that.

    "He was happy with his situation and I had offered him a job and a place to pitch his tent in Truro.

    “I would never expect him to ever be involved in any violence towards anybody.”
    ---
    more at the link

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