UK - Lois and John McCullough, 70s, daughter accused of killing parents between 21 Aug 2018 and Sept 2023, Chelmsford, Essex, 15 Sept 2023




Neighbours said the married couple had not been seen at their three-storey property for at least two years. McCullough, who was known by neighbours as "Ginny", is believed to work as an artist. Her father John would be aged 74 if alive today, while her mother Lois would have been aged 75. Neighbours said that Mr McCullough was a former lecturer at the Chelmsford College of Further Education. He and his wife are believed to have had four daughters, with Virginia the youngest.

Retired systems engineer Phil Sargeant, 67, said Mr and Mrs McCullough had lived in their three-bedroom house for more than 20 years. He added: “Ginny grew up in the house and had been back living with her parents for a few years. She told me that she used to sell her drawings of horses. Her parents were quiet and kept themselves to themselves. They didn’t really mix at all. If you did see him, he would be scurrying around and looking busy. But I had not seen them around for a couple of years or longer.”
 
Strange case, just catching up with this thread. Didn't any family wonder where they were all these years? I need to read more as this doesn't make much sense.
There are many mysteries to this case, but this might be the greatest of them all. It looks like JMc and LMc had 4 other daughters all older than VMc. But for at least 2 years none of them raised an alarm?

Whatever the case, the police and the CPS and the police found enough evidence to charge VMc with double murder, but there must be a heck of a lot more discovery for this case!
 
There are many mysteries to this case, but this might be the greatest of them all. It looks like JMc and LMc had 4 other daughters all older than VMc. But for at least 2 years none of them raised an alarm?

Whatever the case, the police and the CPS and the police found enough evidence to charge VMc with double murder, but there must be a heck of a lot more discovery for this case!
I think finding 2 bodies might have been enough evidence to charge her!!
 
This is bizarre with the range of death being from 2018.
So the siblings never noticed mum and dad literally “ disappeared “ ?
IMO, it’s entirely possible that the other children of the deceased were, for whatever reasons, estranged from them and/or their sister, and thus might not have been aware of their seeming disappearance. Additionally, two of the years in this range provided by law enforcement (when the murders were presumably committed) saw widespread COVID lockdowns, which likely further obscured the comings and goings of this couple.
 
IMO, it’s entirely possible that the other children of the deceased were, for whatever reasons, estranged from them and/or their sister, and thus might not have been aware of their seeming disappearance.
As well, an evil-minded person could have worsened or manufacturered an estrangement.

I notice from photos, the forensics tent is attached to the front door/garage of the house, not the backyard. So I don't think they were buried in the yard.

Appalling case.
 
From some other cases I've come to believe that the position of the tent is not always because bodies were found underneath.

Sometimes it's because it's a convenient spot to put up an instant working space.
And the front of a garage to attach the tent to is a benefit.
 
The Crown Court
at Basildon and Southend

Daily Courtroom List for Tuesday 19 September 2023
FINAL 1​
Court 2 - sitting at 09:45 am

Her Honour Judge Leigh



SITTING AT 09:45 am

For Preliminary Hearing

U20231089R Vs Virginia McCullough

DEFENDANT VIA PVL, PRE - CON 09:30am LV07. COUNSEL VIA CVP.



www.courtserve.net
 
Either that or we may see some more arrests! It doesn't bear thinking about but perhaps the other siblings were aware. Five years is a long time not to spot any signs of life, even if you are estranged (social media posts etc.)
 



Ms McCullough appeared before Chelmsford magistrates on Monday, and appeared at Basildon Crown Court via video link from HMP Peterborough on Tuesday.
Judge Samantha Leigh remanded her into custody until a plea hearing on 1 December, with a provisional two-week trial scheduled to take place at Chelmsford Crown Court beginning on 13 May.
No application for bail was made.
 
Maybe the other siblings live far away and the remaining daughter had been sending emails pretending to be her parents. If you live in someone's house you can easily have access to their communications: phones, texts etc.

But no Christmas chats or birthdays?

Very strange.
 
Agreed we have the covid lockdown window but still it’s a 5 year period.
It does sound like a familial estrangement though to me.
I can see COVID being a good cover for her in terms of neighbours at least, especially as they would have been elderly and vulnerable to the virus at the time so she could have said they were isolating. And maybe in the same vein that they couldn't facetime as they would have boomer knowledge of technology. But... traditional phone calls?

Could she have attempted to imitate them on the phone? Looks like the parents were originally from Doncaster in the North of England and VMc grew up in Chelmsford in the South of England. Very different accents so she would have had to impersonate their accents on phone calls if she was pretending to be them to keep up the illusion that they were still alive.
 

A woman will face trial next year over the alleged murder of her parents, with police investigating fears their bodies were mummified.
(…)
Forensic experts are reportedly looking into the possibility Mr and Mrs McCullough were wrapped in a protective material in a bid to preserve the bodies.
 
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