Shani Warren
Home » Shani Warren Murder Case: Who Is Killer? Police Investigations, Suspect And More Details You Need To Know

Shani Warren Murder Case: Who Is Killer? Police Investigations, Suspect And More Details You Need To Know

Who Killed Shani Warren?

On April 18, 1987, the body of Shani Warren, 26, was found on the shore of Lake Taplow in Maidenhead, England. Her mouth had been gagged with a blue handkerchief, her hands were tied behind her back with lead wires, her feet were tied with rope. She was wearing high-heeled shoes and was found on the muddy shore of the lake. She had drowned in a foot and a half of water.

Home Office pathologist Dr. Ben Davies performed an autopsy and discovered that she had drowned. However, he also discovered that she had been sexually assaulted; she had a strangling mark around her neck, which had probably been made from a car jump cable; she had used a jump strap to tie her wrists and ankles; and she was gagged. And yet, Dr. Davies concluded that she had committed suicide.

In the investigation, Shani’s mother insisted that her daughter was not suicidal, a psychiatrist who had examined her diaries agreed, but Dr. Davies, who had previously been removed from the Home Office’s approved list of pathologists. and then reinstated, he insisted that this was a suicide case. Faced with such a conflict, the coroner recorded an open verdict, and little else was done to track down her attacker.

Shani had disappeared the day before. Shani had mowed the lawn at her home in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. She had placed the grass clippings in black garbage bags, before loading them into the trunk of her car, a nearly new Vauxhall Cavalier. She told her parents that she was going to take the cuttings to her uncles. She had also bought some flowers for her boyfriend and a bottle of champagne to celebrate the payment for her new car. That was the last time she saw her alive.

Her car was examined shortly after her death and it was discovered that she had a defective gearbox. This meant that she couldn’t drive in first or second; however, her parents testified that it was a new car and that she had gone safely the day she disappeared.

A knot expert concluded that Shani would have found it impossible to tie the knots on her back, especially when she was using car jump cables. However, a month later she changed her mind and said that it might be possible after all.

The investigation yielded an open verdict, but the police treated it as suicide.


SUSPECTS: Shani was a secretary for a manager at “Micro scope” – an “intelligent computer systems” manufacturer. Micro scope was taken over by GEC-Marconi four weeks after the date of Shani’s death at a cost of sixteen million pounds. It was the first such acquisition in seven years for GEC-Marconi.

GEC-Marconi was a major, high tech, electronics company, and the UK’s only supplier of torpedos. In the 1980’s Marconi was working on top secret weapons projects for the British and American Governments, especially the Strategic Defense Initiative (the so called “Star Wars” project). During the 1980’s, between 22 and 25 scientists died, some in very suspicious and bizarre circumstances. All the scientists were in some way connected to Guidance missile systems. Nearly all were connected with Marconi, yet nearly all their deaths were ruled suicide or accidental.

The first death occurred in March 1982. Dr Keith Bowden, a senior computer scientist, who had been contracted by Marconi to work on a top secret programme. drove his car across a dual carriageway and plunged off a bridge, down the embankment, into an abandoned rail yard. He died instantly. The police said Dr Bowden was speeding, and the coroner found high levels of alcohol in his system, so it was ruled an accident.

Dr Bowden had attended a social gathering that evening, but everyone there agreed that he hadn’t been drinking. His wife and Solicitor hired an accident investigator to examine the wrecked car. He found that someone had swapped the normally pristine tyres on Dr Bowden’s Rover and replaced them with a set that were old and almost threadbare.

April 1983, Lt Colonel Anthony Godley, went missing. Godley was head of work study at the Royal College of Military Science. They had a close working relationship with Marconi. Godley has never been found.

Three years later in 1985, Marconi Radar expert and Draughtsman, Roger Hill died from a shotgun blast to the chest – it was ruled suicide.

A few months later, Jonathan Walsh died after falling out of his Ivory Coast hotel balcony window in West Africa. He had been complaining for months that he was being watched and followed, and that his life was in danger. His death was ruled an accident.

One year later in August, Vimal Dajibhai, 24, a computer control systems scientist. Working in Marconi’s Stingray torpedo department, Vimal phoned his wife to tell her he would be late home, then he drove to Bristol (135 miles away) and jumped from the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Dajibhai was found with his trousers around his ankles, and a small “needle sized” puncture wound on his left buttock. His death was ruled a suicide although the Coroner did mention his concern about the death. Vimal had handed in his notice to Marconi and only had four days to go before he left. His family and friends say he was looking forward to starting his new job in London.

Six weeks later, Arshad Sharif, 26, another computer scientist who worked on satellite guidance systems at Marconi, also travelled to Bristol, tied one end of a rope to his neck, the other end to a tree, then jammed his foot on the accelerator of his car and decapitated himself. The day before his death, Sharif had been acting oddly and was seen paying for accommodation in a rooming house (popular with Aerospace employees) with a bundle of high denomination bank notes, although none of these notes were found post mortem. A relative summoned to identify the body noticed what appeared to be a metal rod was lying on the floor of the car next to the accelerator. Had it been used to wedge down the pedal? The Bristol Coroner wasn’t happy with the coincidence of these latest two deaths, especially when it was discovered both men were working on “Cosmos”, an underwater missile, guidance system, but he eventually recorded a verdict of suicide.

A few months later, around Christmastime 1986, Dr John Brittan was lucky enough to escape with only minor harm when his car suddenly and inexplicably, veered across a busy road and he ended up in a ditch. A few weeks later, in January 1987, after returning from a top secret trip to America, Dr Brittan was found dead in the garage at his home. He died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. His death was ruled suicide.

Two weeks later, the body of Richard Pugh was found at his flat. Pugh was a computer expert for the defence industry but it is not known if he was connected to Marconi. Pugh was found with a plastic bag over his head. A thick rope was coiled around his body, and four times around his neck. His feet were bound together with rope. His death was ruled an accident through sexual misadventure.

At the same time Pugh died, Avtar Singh-Gida, an employee of the British Ministry of Defence, who worked on a number of Marconi’s top secret programs, vanished from his home in Loughborough, England. He was feared dead but he was found in Paris’ red-light district, fifteen weeks later. He had no memory of where he had been, or what he had done in that period. He returned to work and refuses to discuss what might have happened.

Still in early 1987 (February), Peter Peapell, a Metallurgy expert working for Marconi was found dead in his garage. Like Dr John Brittan, he died from carbon Monoxide poisoning. His wife stated that they had gotten home from a pleasant evening out. Peter went to put the car away and she went to bed. He was found the next morning with his body jammed under the car in an unnatural position. His death was ruled open.

In the same week, Marconi Engineer, David Skeels was found dead in almost exactly the same circumstances – in his garage. He died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. This time a hose pipe had been affixed to the exhaust. Skeels was sitting in the front seat. His death was ruled a suicide.

A few days later in February 87**, Victor Moore**, another Marconi employee died from a drugs overdose. His death started an investigation by M.I.5 – although it remains classified to this day.

A few weeks later, John Whiteman died by drowning in his bath. His body was surrounded by alcohol and prescription drugs – though none were found in his system.

Less than a month later, in March 1987, David Sands packed his car with containers of petrol and drove very fast into an empty restaurant. He died in the ensuing fireball. He was on his way to work, wearing his seat-belt, when he made the sudden U-turn and drove at speed into the building. Sands worked for Elliott Automation Space and Advanced Military Systems Ltd – a sister company of Marconi. His family and friends all agreed that he was not showing any signs of stress or strain. His death was ruled suicide.

Less than a month later, in April 1987, Stuart Gooding, an employee of the Royal College of Military Science , died when he slammed his car head-on into a truck on the island of Cyprus. Colleagues of Gooding expressed doubt at the accidental death verdict.

On the very same day Stuart Gooding died, David Greenhalgh also died, after falling (or being pushed) off a railway bridge in Berkshire. Greenhalgh just happened to be working on the same program as David Sands. Greenhalgh survived for a few days but had no recollection of why he jumped or if he was pushed.

It is here in the timeline that Shani Warren was found dead. It should be noted that David Greenhalgh and Shani Warren died in the same week. They also lived around the corner from each other.

On the same day as Shani died, George Kountis travelled over 3000 miles to Liverpool, and drove his car into the river Mersey. His sister has always maintained something sinister happened. The Coroner ruled suicide by drowning.

One week later on April 24th, Mark Wisner was found dead in a house he shared with two colleagues. He had several metres of cling film wrapped around his face, and a plastic bag on his head. Wisner Was a Software Engineer for the Ministry of Defence. The Coroner said the death was an accident from sexual misadventure.

One week later on May 3rd 1987, Michael Baker, a Digital communications expert working on a defence project at Plessey, died when his car crashed through a barrier near Poole in Dorset. Plessey are important because the previous year they had been bought by Marconi. The Coroner’s verdict was Misadventure.

One month later, in June 1987, Frank Jennings, an Electronic Weapons Engineer with Plessey, was found dead from a heart attack. There was no inquest.

On March 25th,1988, Trevor Knight, a Computer Engineer with Marconi Space and Defence Systems, was found dead at his home in Hertfordshire. He was in the garage, at the wheel of his car with a hosepipe connected to the exhaust. Knight’s friend, Miss Narmada Thanki found three suicide notes written by him. Miss Thanki mentioned that Knight disliked his work but she did not detect any depression that would have driven him to suicide. Coroner’s verdict:Suicide.

In August 1988, Alistair Beckham, a Software Engineer with Plessey, was found dead after being electrocuted in his garden shed with wires connected to his body and a handkerchief stuffed in his mouth. Apparently after doing some light gardening on a Sunday afternoon, he entered his shed, placed a Handkerchief in his mouth, attached wires to his body then jammed the wires into a power socket. The Coroner recorded an open verdict. His wife refuses to believe he took his own life. Hours after his death, men from the Ministry of Defence turned up at his home and removed files and folders.

In the very same month Beckham died, Peter Ferry, an Assistant Marketing Director with Marconi, was also found dead by electrocution. In his company flat, he stripped some wires, then jammed them into his tooth fillings, before inserting the other end into a plug socket. The Coroner recorded an open verdict.

One month later, in September 1988, Andrew Hall, an Engineering Manager with British Aerospace, was found dead of Carbon monoxide poisoning in a car with a hosepipe connected to the exhaust. I’m unable to determine the location. British Aerospace and Marconi amalgamated to create BAE Systems. Death ruled a suicide. In late 1991, Malcolm Puddy, who worked for Marconi, told his bosses, in an excited state, that he had “found something amazing”. A week later he was pulled out of a canal dead. He had a painter’s palette tied around his neck. All of his work computers had been emptied.

No doubt much of the above is speculation. Finding out about the Government Defence employees is always extremely difficult, and a lot of misinformation will have been thrown into the mix.

Second Suspects

(the following is copied from )

Clive Barwell.

At about half past two in the afternoon on May 14 1993, a 23-year-old woman from Leicestershire drove her mother’s car into the centre of Nottingham and parked on the ground floor of the concrete multi-storey car park which squats on the edge of the Broadmarsh shopping centre. For a few moments, she sat there, sorting through her handbag.

A man suddenly pulled open the door beside her, clamped his left hand over her mouth, pushed the blade of a knife against her throat and shoved her across the car into the footwell. He threw her coat over her head, threatened to slit her throat and drove off. For a while, he seemed to be intent on theft, rifling through her handbag and pulling her watch and rings off her when he stopped at traffic lights. He asked her if she was religious, and she told him she was a Catholic. “You’d better start praying,” he told her.

After a while, he drove away from the city and turned off down a long gravel path where he raped her, doing his best to cause her pain and to terrify her with his knife. When he had finished, he tied her naked in the footwell of the car, drove to a bank where she told him her PIN number so he could use her credit cards to take her money, and then he stopped again in some rural spot and, while she lay naked and bound in the car, he took the cap off the petrol tank and attempted to set fire to it. He failed and, a little later, he abandoned the car, with the 23-year-old woman crying alone inside it.

This was a strong woman. Despite all that happened to her that afternoon, she has gone on to marry and to rebuild her life, a battle with pain which has been made none the easier by the discovery by detectives last year that the man who assaulted her with such unbridled ferocity was supposed to have been locked up in prison at that very moment, serving a 16-year sentence for armed robbery.

Clive Barwell was eventually arrested for sex attacks after a highly successful inquiry of unprecedented scale, named Operation Lynx and led by the head of Notts CID, DCS Phil Davies. But by the time they arrested him, in March last year, Barwell had been able to spend some 16 years years traveling the country abducting, raping and attempting to murder women, profiting along the way from a series of blunders by detectives who originally dealt with his crimes and, most alarmingly, by the prison service who had been entrusted with locking him up when he was caught for other, non-sexual crimes.

Barwell has become the latest in an unsettling history of notorious cases in which serial sex offenders have left the law looking foolish: the Yorkshire Ripper who killed 13 women while police followed false clues; Denis Nilsen who killed 15 young men before the police even realised a crime had been committed; Operation Orchid which traced the paedophile murder of up to nine young men, only to have most of the cases dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. The murders of nine prostitutes, some allegedly by the ‘Midlands Ripper’, remain unsolved; and the National Crime Faculty at Bramshill, Hants has been investigating some 200 unsolved murders of women, some of which are also believed to be the work of undetected serial killers.

In retrospect, the problems with Barwell can be traced right back to his first known sex attack, in December 1982, when he drove into the middle of Bradford on a dark and foggy night and waited in a car park on derelict land behind St George’s Hall until he saw a woman alone in a car. It was a symbolic location: Bradford had been a regular hunting ground for Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, who had been jailed the previous year, and the West Yorkshire police were still reeling from criticism over their mishandling of the case. Their competence was about to be challenged again.

When the 30-year-old woman, half naked and weeping, went to police later that night and described how a man had forced his way into her car and driven her off and raped her, West Yorkshire detectives checked the local airports, searched the lane where the woman was raped, checked records of cars which had been stolen or abandoned that night and got nowhere. By embarrassing chance, the inspector who dealt with the woman was one Brian Harry Jackson who was later to be sent to prison himself for indecently assaulting young girls.

A month later, on January 3 1983, Barwell was back on their patch. He was visiting his girlfriend, Alwyn, who was in Leeds General Infirmary with appendicitis, but in the car park that night, he forced his way into a 26-year-old woman’s car, drove her off, threatened to shoot her in the back of the head and raped her. When he had finished with her, he gagged her and bound her ankles and wrists with electric cable, pulled a shopping bag over her head and drove her to the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool canal, where he shoved her in. The woman was out of her depth in freezing water which rapidly filled the bag over her head. Barwell stood on the bank and watched her struggling. Kicking out, the woman felt a large stone on the floor of the canal and managed to get her feet onto it and to push her face above the water. She wriggled free from the cable and took the bag from her head. Barwell cursed her from the bank and, in fear, she turned and thrashed through the water to the far bank and safety. Barwell fled in her car, which he abandoned and torched.

West Yorkshire police rapidly realised the two offences were linked and set up an incident room to catch the serial rapist. They re-interviewed the first victim, ran an extensive inquiry, knocked on 14,153 front doors in search of witnesses but got nowhere. Along the way, they made mistakes. Some were small: a Leeds man saw the second woman’s car in flames and got a close look at a man who walked away, but when he went to West Yorkshire police to tell them, he complained he was treated more like a suspect than a helpful member of the public.

Other errors were worse. West Yorks police knew the rapist had used a stolen blue Ford Cortina before and after the abduction of the second victim. They knew, too, that someone had stolen a car in Leeds a week earlier in very similar locations and then gone on a shopping spree with a credit card from that car. If the two incidents were linked, this would yield a harvest of clues: there might be a pattern to the use of the credit card which could indicate the home area of the rapist; possibly he had even used the card in a shop where his name was known. The inquiry sent off for copies of all of the vouchers that had been used in the shopping spree – 20 of them. One of these vouchers proved there was indeed a link: it had been used to buy petrol for the stolen Ford Cortina driven in the second rape. The garage assistant had carefully written the Cortina’s number on the back of the voucher. But the detective who checked the vouchers simply missed the clue and reported that there was no link between the stolen credit card and the rapist. The harvest of clues remained untouched. The officer responsible has since been promoted to superintendent.

With both rapes, West Yorkshire police followed correct procedure in gathering numerous swabs and body hairs and other evidence from the victims and their cars but, when they failed to find their attacker, even though they knew it was highly likely that their serial rapist was still at work, they simply threw out the lot. When Operation Lynx re-opened the two cases, they had no usable scientific evidence to work with. The first woman had produced a photo-fit of her attacker, but West Yorkshire police had lost it.

Barwell continued to enjoy his liberty, living with his wife and two young sons in Leeds, committing armed robberies and stealing cars to order and, from time to time, abducting and raping women. Police are still putting together the full picture of his career. It is known that some 15 months after getting away with his rapes in Bradford and Leeds, he waited in a car park in Leicester until he saw a 20-year-old woman parking. Once again, he abducted her in her own car, drove her away and raped her, using his knife to cut her breasts, belly and neck. Leicestershire Police investigated but soon became embroiled in embarrassment.

This victim was so horrified by her experience that she never told her husband and reported it to the police on condition that they would protect her identity. However, her husband worked occasionally for police in a civilian role and subsequently walked into a CID room to find the intelligence board displaying pictures of his wife as a rape victim, naked to reveal her injuries. When he confronted his wife, she was furious and withdrew her co-operation from the inquiry. In the meantime, a detective inspector had stolen papers dealing with her rape and started visiting her at home, apparently hoping to have sex with her. This inspector, like his predecessor in West Yorkshire, was subsequently jailed for separate indecency.

The Leicestershire police contacted West Yorkshire to point out the similarity between the three attacks but, although they agreed to stay in touch, they set up no joint inquiry and, when they failed to find their man, Leicestershire like West Yorkshire before them gave up the hunt and threw out all of the scientific evidence which they had collected. Barwell carried on raping.

On November 15 1985, he marked the birth of his daughter by attacking a 20-year-old woman who was parking her car in central Doncaster. South Yorkshire police made no link between this and Barwell’s other offences, failed to make any progress with the inquiry and lost or destroyed every single piece of evidence and every single piece of paperwork from the case. When Operation Lynx finally solved the crime, they had to go to the files of the local newspaper to get a contemporary account of the victim’s ordeal.

Barwell was now working as a long-distance lorry driver, using his spare time to referee football matches in the Northern Counties League and also to attack women. His next known attack raised new worries. Shani Warren, aged 26, disappeared on April 17 1987. She had been mowing the lawn at her home in Stoke Poges, Bucks and had apparently set off in her car to dispose of the grass cuttings. She never returned and, the next day, she was found dead, in Taplow Lake, Berks. A Home Office pathologist, Dr Ben Davies, found that she had died of drowning. However, he also discovered that she had been sexually assaulted; she had a strangling mark around her neck, which had been probably been made with a car jump-lead; a jump-lead had been used to bind her wrists and ankles; and she was gagged. And yet Dr Davies concluded that she had committed suicide.

Thames Valley Police tried to start a murder inquiry. When an inquest was held, Shani’s mother insisted that her daughter was not suicidal, a psychiatrist who had examined her diaires agreed, but Dr Davies – who had earlier been removed from the approved list of Home Office pathologists and then reinstated – insisted that this was a case of suicide. Faced with such a conflict, the coroner recorded an open verdict, and little more effort was made to trace her attacker.

Operation Lynx has since established that on the day of Shani Warren’s death, Clive Barwell was driving near her home in Stoke Poges and also near Taplow Lake, which is some 25 miles away. They also noted the similarity between her death and the attempt by Barwell to kill the woman who was thrown into the Leeds and Liverpool canal. But at the time, Barwell once again was allowed to slip away.

Six and a half months later, however, on November 6 1987, Barwell’s career as a sex criminal finally ran into trouble when he was arrested for using a sawn-off shotgun to rob half a dozen security vans and for stealing numerous cars – including 16 from one car park in York in a single day. He was denied bail and when his trial ended, on January 13 1989, he was sent to prison for 16 years as a Category B security prisoner. The police had not begun to suspect that he was a serial rapist but they had at least locked him up where he could do no more harm to women. And yet within three and a half years, he was able to rape again – from within prison.

Barwell behaved like a model prisoner, obeying the rules and taking educational courses; persuading prison officers, governor grades and probation officers that he was trustworthy and reformed. After only two and a half years, he was reduced to Category C and, a year later, on August 24 1992, he was reduced to Category D, the lowest possible security status, and sent to an open prison, in Sudbury, Derbyshire. According to Prison Rules, he was not entitled to go on home leave until he had complete a third of his sentence, in March 1993. In fact, he was immediately allowed to return home on ‘resettlement licence’, which also allowed him to work locally as an electrician. On January 7 1990, he went to Leeds to visit his sick father on a four-day leave and at ten o’clock the next night, he attacked a woman who was leaving her car in Belgrave Street in the city centre.

The woman fought him off. She told police he had grappled her towards her car door, holding a butcher’s knife at her throat and ordering her to get in. She had no doubt he was trying to abduct her and later suffered severe bouts of depression and anxiety, but West Yorkshire police not only failed to find her attacker but recorded the incident as an attempted robbery, apparently an attempt to reduce the level of reported sex crime on their patch. Her car, which had been touched by Barwell, was never examined for prints. Her clothing, which had been torn, was never examined for body hairs. Four months later, Barwell left the prison on a day release to go to work as an electrician, ignored his job, travelled to Nottingham and abducted, raped and attempted to burn to death the 23-year-old woman whom he found in the multi-storey car park there. The Prison Service say there is no trace of his being disciplined for failing to go to work.

Although he was still only five years into his 16-year sentence, Barwell continued to enjoy a life of liberty. On one of his many trips to Leeds, he met a 33-year-old divorcee, Margaret Teasdale. Barwell had divorced his former wife and, on Valentine’s Day 1994, he and Margaret were married in Leeds register officer. The two of them then set up home not far from Sudbury Prison, in the Beresford Arms Hotel, in Ashbourne, where they worked as managers. Barwell – still supposedly a prisoner – regularly slept in the hotel for up to three nights at a time, drew a salary of £10,400 a year, bought a car for himself and, according to Home Office sources, was disciplined for parking in the governor’s reserved space on one of his occasional visits back to the prison. A year later, Margaret was pregnant with his son. The Prison Service now say that they were aware of all his activities, which broke no rules and were explicitly approved as part of his resettlement programme.

Detectives want to question Barwell about a number of unsolved rapes which were committed in the area during his time in Sudbury. On June 19 1995, seven and a half years after his arrest, Barwell was released on parole. Five weeks later, at around midday on July 26, he pounced on a 22-year-old student as she went to get into her car in a multi-storey carpark in the middle of Leeds. He tied her up, smeared superglue over her eyes and drove her off to a remote spot where he started cutting off her clothing. She fought with him and he abandoned the attempt to rape her, leaving her tied up in her car.

West Yorkshire police made more errors. A passer-by who found the victim in her car made notes of what she said, but the police lost them. An ambulance officer also made notes of what she said but destroyed them several months later when police failed to ask for a statement. A detective inspector from Notts contacted them to suggest that the abduction of this student could be linked to the abduction of the 23-year-old woman from the multi-storey car park in Nottingham. West Yorks detectives, in the words of one police source, “told him to fuck off”. However, despite the errors, this time, they also made a breakthrough.

Struggling with his victim, Barwell had cut himself and left a trace of his blood in the car. Searching through her handbag, he had left a finger print on an envelope. In January 1996, forensic scientists in Wetherby matched the DNA in the blood sample from the car in Leeds with the DNA in semen taken from the Nottingham victim. Now, at last, police from the two forces began to work together in what became Operation Lynx. Reviewing the records of unsolved rapes, they made links to the rapist’s behaviour in three of the earlier attacks, one of them in Leicestershire, whose detectives now also joined the inquiry.

They knew their best leads were the blood and the fingerprint they had found. Offender profilers suggested they were likely be dealing with a known sex offender. The pattern of offences suggested he was linked to Leeds. They took saliva samples for DNA comparison from 2,177 suspects – but Barwell had no history of sex offences. They ran the fingerprint through the Automatic Fingerprint Recognition system. Barwell’s prints were in there, but they found no match because the print they were working with was only partial. They decided to order a manual search, a potentially enormous exercise. To narrow the field, they turned once again to offender profilers and hit a new problem. Possibly inspired by the errors of the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry, where the entire hunt had been pushed off course by misleading tapes and letters, Barwell had deliberately left false clues as to his background.

He had spoken in a strong Scottish accent, although his real accent is Yorkshire. He had cursed his wife as ‘a blonde bitch’, although she was dark. He had referred to his Catholicism, when he was brought up a Protestant, and he had crashed car gears and driven erratically, even though he was a professional driver. The immediate result was that detectives asked the fingerprint labs to check through the records of Scottish men with links to Leeds. They found nothing. Then they searched through all men with links to Leeds who had criminal records for stealing cars. There were thousands of them.

While that search ground on, Lynx officers made another appeal on Crimewatch and linked two more rapes and the murder of Shani Warren, bringing South Yorkshire and Thames Valley into the operation. This was now a very big inquiry involving 180 officers from five forces. Apart from the 2,177 suspects whose saliva was tested, a further 9,945 were checked and excluded. Detectives raised 24,324 actions and entered 33,628 names (‘nominals’) on their computer system, more than in any other inquiry in the history of British policing. And on March 19 1998, after 940 hours of sifting manually through more than 7,000 prints, a specialist in Leeds came up with a name: Clive Barwell. He was arrested the next day.

Barwell turned out to be a very ordinary man: father a delivery driver; mother a cleaner and bar woman; the second of five children; truanted and did badly at school; a record of petty crime since he was eleven; good at swimming and running. If there were clues to his disposition, they lay in childhood incidents – father reportedly beating mother in front of the children and recruiting the 12-year-old Clive to keep guard on her, the mother walking out with the children but leaving Clive behind with the father, Clive stealing money from her to punish her and being beaten by her when she found out. He had been married three times, and although he had shown some signs of violence, none of his wives had suspected his true nature.

Now, he starts his life sentence, leaving police once more to review the errors of their ways. While he was waiting for his trial, the woman he tried to burn to death in Nottingham gave birth to a child. She says it marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one in her life.

It doesn’t mention in this article but the knot used to tie Shani’s hands behind her back, is a knot commonly used by lorry drivers. The area where Shani’s car (and close to where her body) was found, is a dead end road, popular with lorry drivers, as a place to park up and sleep. That coupled with the fact he was in the vicinity of Shani’s last known location (delivering car parts), are the reasons the police suspect he is the killer.