Was the gunman who stalked a well-known courting spot in Epping Forest on the evening of Friday, December 22nd, 1989, a contract killer? All sorts of theories have been advanced for the shooting of Maxine Arnold, 32, and Terry Gooderham, 39, as they sat in his parked Mercedes.

Gooderham, an accountant and auditor for pubs and wine bars across London, had a double – possibly treble – life. He lived half the week with Maxine and the other half with another blonde. Possibly both women knew of his relationship with the other

That evening the couple had left their Walthamstow flat with the lights on. Maxine’s handbag was still in the flat, as were Gooderham’s watch and wallet.

Police believe they may have been set up to meet a contract killer, or that he came to the flat and forced them to drive to Epping Forest. It is generally accepted that Maxine was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A friend said: “It is nothing to do with his love life or his business, but a lot of money is involved.”

One theory is that Gooderham was trying to get in on the lucrative Spanish ice-cream market and had upset other players. Another is that in his job he had uncovered a major fraud. Still another is that he had a third girl friend who organised the murder.

The killing may have been related to the north London gang war of the 1980s. A fringe participant observed: “Sometimes we take out one of them, and then they take out one of ours.”