Driving through Rumerhedge Wood near Peppard, Oxfordshire, on the evening of MARCH 2nd, 1967, a motorist saw that a red Mini had left the road and struck a tree. The driver, Mrs. June Cook, 41, was severely injured, but her 32-year-old husband Raymond was unhurt. Taken to hospital in Reading, Mrs. Cook died shortly afterwards.

Raymond Cook said the headlights of an oncoming car had blinded his wife, causing her to lose control and crash into the tree. But the aptly named Police Constable Sherlock was suspicious. The Mini was only slightly damaged, and he found bloodspots on the road some 50 yards away. Tests were ordered, and they established that the Mini had been travelling at only walking-pace when it hit the tree.

The passing motorist who had found the Cooks’ crashed Mini told the police that he had also seen a blue Ford Cortina in the vicinity. This was traced to Eric Jones, 46, who lived in Wales, where he was known to the police as an abortionist. A tyre-lever found in his car was identified as the murder weapon that had killed Mrs. Cook, and the investigators learned that Jones and Cook shared the same lover, Kim Newell, a 23-year-old blonde who was pregnant.

When all three appeared at Oxfordshire Assizes in June 1967, charged with June Cook’s murder Jones changed his plea to “Guilty” and testified against his two accomplices. He said he had performed many abortions on Kim Newell, who had blackmailed him into committing murder because she wanted to live with Cook.

Jones admitted that he was the actual killer, saying that he and his accomplices had also wanted to gain from Mrs. Cook’s will.

All three defendants were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Kim Newell, released 13 years later, died from cancer in 1991.