From Hammersmith to Catterick would be quite a trek for a hitch-hiker – but Barbara Mayo had done it before and wanted to do it again. This time her boy friend’s car was ready to be picked up in a Catterick garage, where it had gone for repairs, and she had offered to collect it and drive it back to London.

She set out on Monday, October 12th, 1970, but she never returned to London. After a widespread hunt, her body was found by a family of chestnut pickers in a wood near the Heath roundabout, now Junction 29 on the M1. She had been raped and strangled.

A motorway dragnet operation proved valuable when information was received that a girl resembling Barbara was seen getting into a Morris 1000 estate car on the A610 at Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, at around 4 p.m. The A610 provides a cross-country link to the M6, near to where 18-year-old student teacher Jacqueline Ansell-Lamb was murdered in Cheshire six months earlier, in March, 1970.

Like Barbara, Jacqueline was hitch-hiking north along the motorway and like Barbara she was raped.

Investigators wondered, could there be a link between the two identical killings? There was at first no hard evidence for that, but in 1997 the link was definitely established when DNA recovered from Jacqueline’s clothes was found to be the same DNA found on Barbara. Almost certainly, then, the same man was involved. The question is, who was he?