Cold case appeal 30 years after Edinburgh woman's train murder

Police investigating the murder of a woman stabbed to death on a train 30 years ago have appealed again for help from the public.

Friday, 23rd March 2018, 12:26 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd March 2018, 12:33 pm
Police are once again appealing for information. Picture; Met Office handout 1988.

No arrests have been made since Debbie Linsley, 26, was found dead on the 14.16 from Orpington in Bromley, Greater London, when it arrived at London Victoria station on March 23 1988.

She tried to fight off her attacker and police recovered a full DNA profile of the killer from blood traces at the scene.

It did not match any records on the national DNA database and Metropolitan Police detectives are now carrying out a “familial search” to try to identify anyone who may be related to the suspect.

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Members of the public were urged to cast their minds back three decades as detectives vowed to do “everything in our power” to bring the killer to justice.

Acting Detective Inspector Susan Stansfield, of the Met’s special casework investigation team, said: “Have you had an unusual, out-of-the-blue conversation with someone about the murder in the intervening years? Has someone confided in you with information only the killer would know?

“Although this happened 30 years ago, you may recall being on that train or at a station on the route and seeing something which, at the time, you thought nothing of but in light of what happened was out of place and suspicious, and might be significant.”

Ms Linsley, a hotel manager in Edinburgh, had been visiting her parents and brother Gordon ahead of his wedding.

She boarded the train at Petts Wood, south-east London, and sat in an old-fashioned six-person compartment with doors at each side of the carriage.

A French passenger is said to have heard screaming after the train left Brixton in south London.

It arrived at Victoria’s platform 2 and at around 2.50pm her body was discovered on the floor by British Rail staff. The murder weapon - believed to be a 5in to 7in knife - was never recovered.

More than 1,200 statements were taken and over 650 people eliminated as potential suspects during the investigation.

The victim’s father, Arthur Linsley, said: “My daughter was murdered 30 years ago and despite the DNA profile of the suspect being available, the person responsible has still not been found.

“I appealed in 2013 for those who had suspicions about a partner, a friend or a relative to please come forward and I renew that appeal now on this anniversary of Debbie’s death.”

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