In the late 1980s Yardie criminals were running a big money racket by buying American visas at $6,000 a time. Someone at the American Embassy in London must have been involved, and that someone may have been confronted by Marie Burke, second secretary in the embassys consular section. For that discovery, Marie Burke may have paid with her life.
A 63-year-old widow, she was stabbed to death at her £300,000 flat in The Quadrangle, Sussex Gardens, Paddington, on Thursday, May 25th, 1989. She was last seen on the previous evening dining with a friend at The Monkey Puzzle, a celebrated local restaurant.
Her killer took her handbag, but left valuable paintings and antiques untouched. Did she discover the visa racket? Did she tackle the embassy official concerned? Or did someone take the money and then blame Marie when a visa was not forthcoming? It all remains a mystery to this day.