UK UK - Diane Jones, 35, Coggeshall, Essex, murdered 23 July 1983

Pinkizzy

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Pinkizzy

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Dr Jones was familiar with the route from Coggeshall to Felixstowe (A12 + A14) after his numerous trips to the south of France for caravan holidays with his wife and friends.
 

Terryb808

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Hence the hammer blows delivered post mortem to disguise the outline fracture - see my post #55 above.

UK - UK - Diane Jones, 35, Coggeshall, Essex, murdered 23 July 1983
I did note this, however, IMO this would tend to indicate a cold & calculated killer. This is at odds with all the things RJ did after the event.
The poor account of what happened (disappeared while putting the car away), 9 day delay in reporting her missing, selling his car and leaving her things inside.
These are not the actions of a cold and calculated killer.
Without seeing the post mortem report it’s difficult to tell just how obvious the possibility of the spike on the gate would have been.
The 9 day delay and the subsequent 3 months before Diane was found effectively destroyed any possibility of DNA and would have seriously hindered a forensic examination.
This action fits with the cold & calculated killer and with the hammer blows to conceal the head wound being via the gate spike.
Which one is RJ?
 

Pinkizzy

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He was a very high risk taker by driving 33.2 miles (38mins) along two main roads to the deposition site with a dead body in the boot.
Dr Jones was familiar with the route from Coggeshall to Felixstowe (A12 + A14) after his numerous trips to the south of France for caravan holidays with his wife and friends.
 

Pinkizzy

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Dr Jones may have used a friend's car to transport the body of his wife to Brightwell and he sold his car to throw them off the scent.
 
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IslandGirlTC

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If you google spiked gates, there are many examples that could easy match the spike of a slaters hammer. Here's one that stands out to me. This sort of gate could easily create wounds similar to the spike of a slater hammer, imo. She had three months of decomp before she was found. Were they absolutely sure it was a slater hammer that killed her or was it what they felt was most likely? Wound shapes do change as the body goes through decomp.

I wonder if there's any way to tell if there was recent roofing work being done on Lee's farm or other houses nearby around the time DJ went missing. Like permits or something. That could be how the murderer got a hold of a slater hammer (imo) since its used for roofing. Were any of her lovers doing that kind of work?

The gate theory seems to fit and make the most sense to me as well.

A couple other things that make me suspicious of RJ aside from the situation with the car and gate.

His obvious dislike of the media involvement from the get go. Even when she was only known to be missing. It really doesn't seem like the actions of someone wanting to find their missing wife, imo. Most family and friends of the missing welcome the coverage because it keeps their missing loved one out in the public eye. At one point even saying "I did not kill her!" While she was still missing! Why did he feel the need to defend himself if he had nothing to worry about???

His "vacations to get away from it all." Again this doesn't feel like the actions of a man trying to find a missing wife, imo. Wouldn't he want to stay close in case she somehow came home on her own or was found?
 
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He changed his fence in a short time frame, he may have changed it again after an accident
 
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IslandGirlTC

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Do we know when those photos of the gate change were taken? Because if he made that change while she was missing, that's extremely suspicious, imo. I wish we could tell if the roof had work done on it. Which would mean possible access to a slater hammer.
 

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Here's another photo of the farm, attempt to compare and contrast with the previous images. The wooden fence looks temporary and was probably erected quickly and easily imo
 

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Do we know when those photos of the gate change were taken? Because if he made that change while she was missing, that's extremely suspicious, imo. I wish we could tell if the roof had work done on it. Which would mean possible access to a slater hammer.
The dates given by Shutterstock are 9th August 1983 for the ‘up the driveway’ photo and 8th August for the other one (on mobile devices press and hold the image on the search results page for dates).

Dr robert jones Stock Pictures, Editorial Images and Stock Photos | Shutterstock

However…

The angles are deceptive - the driveway is on the far left of the 8th August photo and if you zoom in on the French windows/porch area you can see the left hand gatepost. The gate (and the right hand gatepost) appear to be missing in this photo (see photo attached below).

What is also noticeable in the 8th August photo is the lack of leaves on the trees and bushes - suggesting this photo is incorrectly dated and was actually taken in the winter/spring of 1983/84 - after the gate was removed by police in the week following the discovery of DJ’s body (around 26th October), but before it was returned.

4E8F0AFD-D8F1-4B39-B66C-EF4C87088A05.jpeg
 
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Pinkizzy

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It looks like a concrete wall was erected to protect the Dr's home and privacy whilst the fence was examined by the police.
 

Terryb808

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If you google spiked gates, there are many examples that could easy match the spike of a slaters hammer. Here's one that stands out to me. This sort of gate could easily create wounds similar to the spike of a slater hammer, imo. She had three months of decomp before she was found. Were they absolutely sure it was a slater hammer that killed her or was it what they felt was most likely? Wound shapes do change as the body goes through decomp.

I wonder if there's any way to tell if there was recent roofing work being done on Lee's farm or other houses nearby around the time DJ went missing. Like permits or something. That could be how the murderer got a hold of a slater hammer (imo) since its used for roofing. Were any of her lovers doing that kind of work?

The gate theory seems to fit and make the most sense to me as well.

A couple other things that make me suspicious of RJ aside from the situation with the car and gate.

His obvious dislike of the media involvement from the get go. Even when she was only known to be missing. It really doesn't seem like the actions of someone wanting to find their missing wife, imo. Most family and friends of the missing welcome the coverage because it keeps their missing loved one out in the public eye. At one point even saying "I did not kill her!" While she was still missing! Why did he feel the need to defend himself if he had nothing to worry about???

His "vacations to get away from it all." Again this doesn't feel like the actions of a man trying to find a missing wife, imo. Wouldn't he want to stay close in case she somehow came home on her own or was found?
Agree with you, his actions all look very suspicious, the brief TV footage tend to indicate someone who is more annoyed than distressed that his wife went missing and was murdered.
The gate theory is a good one, he appears (if Diane’s black eye and bruises are down to him) to have a temper and may have hit her when they got home.
This thread certainly makes this theory workable and his actions after Diane disappeared don’t make him look innocent.
 

shadwell

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Approximate angles and photographer positions of the two photos with 1983 gate position (in blue):

53BA22D5-004D-421C-AB87-1D4477334BE3.jpeg
 

IslandGirlTC

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I agree. The wooden fence doesn't match the style of the farmhouse so it could have been an emergency repair, imo. I feel like historical photos of the farm from close to but before DJ went missing might help. Especially if we can see the type of gate/fence it had. Maybe even historical records that describe the property. There does seem to be entries for a Lees Farm in the Essex archives online search tool. I live in Canada so I'm not even sure if It's the same farm or I'm looking in the right place.
 

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There's a black metal fence between the house and the road (Colchester Road) on Googlemaps. this may have carried on to the front of the house at some point.

This image shows Lees Farm in the 1930s
 

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Zoomed in view of the above photo on my browser. There are ways of getting a better enlargement but WS won't allow us to do anything like that. The entryway definitely looks like one of those wrought iron fences that would have had a spiked gate. The site says it's from the around the 30s. Those gates are pretty though, and could have easily still been there in the 80s. But if someone were to hit it with a car for example, the damage would have been obvious and the gate/fence would need to be replaced to cover up what happened. jmo

Here's an example of a metal fence hit by a car.
 

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IslandGirlTC

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Another possibility is that she was still intoxicated enough that he had to carry from the car to the house. If the fight was still continuing she might have been struggling and fell of his shoulder onto the fence spike (assuming there was a spiked fence/gate). He's a doctor so he would have known if her injury was too severe for her to survive. He panics thinking he'll be accused of murdering her and goes into cover up mode. This scenario means there's no car crash but there could have been something suspicious looking about the fence that a panicked mind would want to hide. This could also explain why her things were left in the car. He was trying to get her inside but something happened to DJ and he completely forgot they were in there. Just another angle of the fence theory.
 

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Here are the blàck railings outside Lees Farm (Colchester Road)

Screenshot_20220529-085653.png
 

Pinkizzy

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Lees Farm is on the right
Zoomed in view of the above photo on my browser. There are ways of getting a better enlargement but WS won't allow us to do anything like that. The entryway definitely looks like one of those wrought iron fences that would have had a spiked gate. The site says it's from the around the 30s. Those gates are pretty though, and could have easily still been there in the 80s. But if someone were to hit it with a car for example, the damage would have been obvious and the gate/fence would need to be replaced to cover up what happened. jmo

Here's an example of a metal fence hit by a car.
 

Terryb808

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Another possibility is that she was still intoxicated enough that he had to carry from the car to the house. If the fight was still continuing she might have been struggling and fell of his shoulder onto the fence spike (assuming there was a spiked fence/gate). He's a doctor so he would have known if her injury was too severe for her to survive. He panics thinking he'll be accused of murdering her and goes into cover up mode. This scenario means there's no car crash but there could have been something suspicious looking about the fence that a panicked mind would want to hide. This could also explain why her things were left in the car. He was trying to get her inside but something happened to DJ and he completely forgot they were in there. Just another angle of the fence theory.
Some very interesting stuff from you, just to add to your theory. We know Diane was drunk and probably difficult to deal with that Saturday night.
If RJ was also a little drunk himself, and it took two to load her into his car, what if he tried to carry her from the car, she struggled and she somehow ended up hitting her head on the spiked gate.
The rest is as you say, she’d said he’d beat her in front of all in the pub. So in a panic he conceals what happened.
 
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