When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
The key areas that need to be re-examined
Here we outline key areas of the original investigation that may need to be re-examined
THE TAXI DRIVER
Who is the taxi driver who may have picked up Teresa’s killer?
Police tried unsuccessfully to find the cabbie who picked up a man – possibly the murderer – and took him from the Civic Centre to the Blenheim Avenue, Oakmount Avenue or Brookvale Road area of Portswood sometime after 1am on December 5, 1979. Although 50 drivers contacted police, the actual driver who took this fare never came forward. Is there any chance this taxi driver could still be working in Southampton today and hold information that could lead to Teresa’s killer?
WHERE IS THE JEWELLERY?
THESE were the items stripped from Teresa’s body which have never been found.
Were they thrown in the bin, tossed down a drain, hidden in cupboards or sold to unsuspecting buyers? Or has the guilty man kept them as gruesome reminders of his sickening crime? Has anyone seen any of these items during the last three decades and not realised their significance?
Although Teresa’s blue leather handbag was found in nearby Blechynden Terrace, the hunt now resumes for these seven other jewellery items and a bunch of keys.
The wristwatch: A Rotary with an oval champagne face on a gold mesh strap.
The keys: Seven in all, on a huge safety pin keyring.
Two necklaces: A fine gold chain and crucifix with which she was strangled and a chain with silver letters spelling Teresa.
Three rings: A gold band set with a blue Burma and white stones; a modern gold ring with a twist and a silver ring with a brown stone.
The bracelet: A silver chain with a narrow silver bar.
An artist’s impression of the missing items of jewellery belonging to Teresa, which were never found.
WHAT WAS THE MOTIVE?
At the time, police believed the theft of Teresa’s jewellery was “a red herring” to make detectives think the motive was robbery.
In the 12 frustrating months after Teresa’s murder Hampshire police interviewed 30,000 people, took 2,500 statements and traced 500 people who were in the area on the night of the murder. At one point the list of possible suspects totalled 300 men.
But the motive for Teresa’s brutal killing remained a mystery. Police said the 22-year-old was the victim of a “vicious rape” at the hands of a “brutal and merciless killer”. Was the killer’s initial motive to rob, rape or murder – or all three? Or was there another motive?
WHO MADE THE TWO ANONYMOUS CALLS?
Were the two anonymous calls made to police nine months after Teresa’s death a murderer’s cry for help?
Det Supt John Porter, who led the investigation, told the Daily Echo at the time: “The calls came from a man who said that he had committed the murder. He gave the impression that he was under severe strain and was asking for help and advice. From the nature of his conversation we think there is a possibility that the calls could be genuine.”
Were these calls taped? Can police replay them now to see if anyone recognises the voice?
THE CRUCIAL TIME: 12.30am-2am
Fellow barmaid Jenni Savage was the last person to see Teresa alive after she dropped her off at the Tom Tackle just after 12.30am. What happened during the next hour-and-a-half remains a mystery.
It was some time after 12.30am that Jenni gave Teresa a lift back to the car park of the Tom Tackle pub, where she had left her Ford Escort.
Jenni told police she drove into the car port and watched Teresa walk to her car before reversing out and driving away.
Police believed that Teresa was killed or met her killer seconds after Jenni drove off. A pathologist pinpointed the time of death as sometime between 1am and 2am.
At the time, Det Supt John Porter said: “It is 99 per cent certain that the girl was murdered, attacked, chatted to or met by her killer in a matter of seconds after Jenni Savage left her. He could have been waiting, and seen Jenni leave. It is possible that he was actually sitting in Teresa’s car, as we found the nearside door unlocked.”
DID TERESA KNOW HER KILLER?
During the early stages of the inquiry, police said that Teresa may have known her murderer. An officer at the time said: “Teresa was not the sort of girl who would have sat willingly in her car with a stranger.”
Speculation grew that she was attacked by someone she knew. Teresa had only begun working as a part-time barmaid two nights a week at the pub a few weeks before her murder, in order to meet new people and help pay for the Ford Escort that she bought three months earlier.
She had attended Foundry Lane Primary, and St Anne’s School, leaving with nine O-Levels and two A-Levels to work as an accounts clerk for Southern Gas. She worked full-time and was said to be happy there. Described as a “sensible girl”, Teresa also enjoyed squash and badminton.
Teresa had previously gone out with a boyfriend for two years, who she broke up with in the summer of 1979. She was single at the time of her murder.
Will police have to delve into Teresa’s circle of friends and acquaintances to try and piece together exactly what happened?
WHY WAS A KEY WITNESS STATEMENT IGNORED?
On the night Teresa died she had left the Tom Tackle pub with fellow barmaid Jenni Savage to go to Friday’s Discotheque in London Road for a friend’s birthday party.
Jenni told police that a detective she knew was at the disco the night her friend was killed – but police said that was irrelevant.
During Hodgson’s trial Jenni was recalled as a key witness to give further evidence. She described how initially police had dismissed her account of meeting the detective as “irrelevant”.
She told the court that there had been two officers at the disco: “Something gave me the impression they were on duty or just finished,” she told the court.
She said that she had mentioned to one that they were going to Friday’s. She said: “There was no arrangement made to meet them, but they were both there. We went and talked to them but did not dance with them.”
She said she knew one officer because he had been to the Tom Tackle for a drink and had chatted her up and on another occasion asked her to a party, despite the fact he was married.
HODGSON’S ORIGINAL INTERVIEW
Det Con Ronald Wilton interviewed Hodgson two days after Teresa’s murder, when he told them he was a fitter at Southampton airport and had some information. He said he had met a man called Paul who had bloodstained trousers and scratch marks on his face. Hodgson told police they went near the Tom Tackle and when they saw the police Paul said “there is a murder going on in there,” and that he wanted to go away. Should police take a look at Hodgson’s original interview and try to trace ‘Paul’?
Comments are closed on this article.