When worried neighbours reported that they had not seen Terry Iliffe, 53, or his 46-year-old wife for some time, police went to the couple’s home in Grosvenor Road, Swanage, on DECEMBER 5th, 1973. They found Iliffe severely injured and his wife dead in the freezer.
Iliffe was rushed to hospital, where he was found also to be suffering from acid poisoning.
When he recovered he was charged with his wife’s murder, and when he appeared at Winchester Crown Court in April 1974 the jury were told that he did not deny strangling her. He claimed he was mentally ill, having been recently released from Broadmoor. After he put his wife in the freezer, he said, he had put a chair on it because its lid kept opening.
The court heard that the couple had been married for only 18 days, and Iliffe had killed his wife because she wanted to live in the USA with an ex-lover. It was Iliffe’s third marriage, and he claimed his wife had
attacked him and taunted him about “sexual matters.”
In September 1970 he had been sent to Broadmoor after he attempted to kill his second wife, and he had been released in January 1973. Nevertheless, four doctors told the court that they did not believe Iliffe was mentally abnormal, and on April 9th, 1974, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.