Police vow to catch killer of mum on 40th anniversary of sexually-motivated murder

UK

Police have vowed to catch the killer of a mum-of-two who was murdered in a sexually-motivated attack 40 years ago.

Shelley Morgan, 33, was stabbed to death in a frenzied attack after she had dropped her children off at school in Bristol on 11 June, 1984.

The mum-of-two was heading towards Leigh Woods, near Ashton Court, where she had intended to spend the day sketching and taking photographs.

However she never made it, and when she failed to pick up her children from school or return to her home in Bedminster, police were alerted.

Four months later, on 14 October, children playing in a wooded copse, in Backwell Hill, accidentally stumbled across her remains.

A post-mortem examination concluded that Mrs Morgan, who was married, had suffered multiple stab wounds and there was evidence the attack was sexually motivated.

Police launched a murder investigation, but despite the case being reviewed several times, the killer has never been found.

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Image:
Authorities have never recovered Mrs Morgan’s clothes or her camera – a 35mm Olympus OM20 with the serial number 1032853. Pic: PA

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A scene picture taken during the initial investigation – police said the killer may know the local area of the attack well. Pic: PA

The killer is believed to have been familiar with the Leigh Woods and Backwell areas and police said they could have links to the both either through work, or other means.

Officers are appealing once more for any information linked to the killing in the hope of finally solving the cold case.

Detective Inspector Dave Marchant said: “We will never give up trying to identify the person responsible for Shelley’s murder and for leaving her two young children without their mother.

“Forty years may have passed but our resolve has not lessened, and we remain committed to providing her family with answers and, if her killer is still alive, to bringing them to justice.”

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Police said that it wasn’t known whether Mrs Morgan ever made it to Leigh Woods, and that authorities have never recovered her clothes or her camera – a 35mm Olympus OM20.

They appealed to anyone with that type of camera from the 1980s, with the serial number 1032853, to reach out to police as it may aid the investigation.

At the time, Mrs Morgan was wearing “a scarlet-coloured top, a white skirt and maroon-coloured tights along with large red circular glasses” and carrying a homemade patchwork bag.

Speaking five years ago, Mrs Morgan’s sister, Hollie Brian, said: “Shelley’s death had a profound effect on our family and her loss has been felt ever since.

“I’ve come to believe that people aren’t really dead until the people who love and remember them have passed also.

“As long as we carry Shelley in our hearts she’ll always be with us but we’re all getting older and the time is going to come when all those doors are closed.

“We beseech you if you know anything about what happened that day back in June of 1984 please come to the police.

“Maybe you were afraid to speak out at the time. Maybe your situation has changed.

“Out of love and respect for my sister we really want to know what happened and be sure the person who killed her will never hurt anybody ever again.”

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