THE WHITE HOUSE FARM MURDERS – BAMBER or CAFFELL

My comments in this blog are based on real experience. There were a lot of factors that eventually determined Jeremey Bamber’s conviction, his alleged confessions to Julie Mugford, the phone calls, her statements, his behaviour and actions in front of numerous people, his courtroom challenge and his perceived acting. Post conviction, his insistence that his family and Essex Police were corrupt and the prosecution he faced was composed around lies compounds his situation. He clings to the initial police conclusion that it was a murder suicide; we have to remember that initially he was well on course to get away with it. Some people remain under the spell of his eloquence and determination.  He continues to appeal to the court of loose public opinion.

The central feature in this blog is the murder weapon, how it was chosen, prepared and used. It was the most complex firearm in the farmhouse. Those technical and physical details must be fully understood and they cannot be ignored or overlooked. 

If it is indeed your opinion that Sheila Caffell committed those murders and her own suicide it is your absolute right but if you are still convinced after you have read this blog, please explain it to me in detail because I will be intrigued. I welcome your comments. 

With particular regard to this I respect opinion supported by knowledge, but opinions based on just “mind facts”, (thoughts and feelings), which ignore real issues can be very tedious.

The White House Farm murders have attracted a great deal of attention since they were perpetrated in August 1985. Continued interest in these brutal killings that took place in the peaceful surroundings of rural Essex has been ironically kept in the forefront by Jeremy Bamber who was convicted for the offences in October 1986. He has always maintained he is innocent. With the aid of a campaign team he diligently pursues and overlays supposedly undisclosed evidence. He and they insist that his sister Sheila Caffell committed the murders.

 

His support team consists of some very well respected, intelligent and articulate individuals who are working hard to secure further appeals that will, they hope, ultimately bring about his release. 

This includes a new Patron, Michelle Diskin Bates, the sister of Barry George. It was George who was initially found guilty but later acquitted for the murder of Jill Dando in 1999. 

This team consider Bamber’s incarceration to be major miscarriage of justice. They are impressed by his continued insistence that he is innocent even after 33 years in prison. His stance and dogged determination convinces them that he is a unique, innocent and wrongly imprisoned victim.

To get a broad view I would recommend that you look at the Jeremy Bamber campaign website and read the narratives that his supporters have posted. One particular post by Robin Cox, gives an interesting “opinion” based account of the murder weapon and how it was utilised. It is a fascinating insight into his supporters and the lengths they are prepared to go to support him. My initial contact with them was positive but once they realised the direction of my investigation and my conclusions it was no surprise that contact ceased. Michelle Diskin Bates has never replied to my letter to her. Blog/ Who Didn’t Kill Jill Dando.

Jeremy Bamber’s supporter’s go to great lengths to reveal and remind us of the vast quantities of what they consider to be, undisclosed evidence. Their analysis of how the murder weapon was utilised however is very simple. This conclusion they argue is an important element that supports his innocence. 

“It is an absurd suggestion that the daughter of a farmer, who grew up on a farm during the 60’s and 70’s before gun laws were tightened, who had a brother who used rifles and who herself went to shooting parties, did not know how to fire a weapon. This aside, even if Sheila had never actually picked up a gun before, there was one sitting on the settle in front of her in the scullery on the night of the tragedies, the magazine loaded and ready to fire and more bullets on the side waiting to be used. The family were all shot at very close range, most shots within a few inches, the furthest being 4 feet away”.

“At this distance how could anyone be expected to miss?”

On Wednesday 8th Jan 2020 ITV featured the first of a six part factual drama, White House Farm, produced by New Pictures. The last episode was screened on Wednesday 12 Feb 2020. This was based on the extensive research found in, “The Murders at White House Farm” by Carol Ann Lee, (2018) and the tragic personal material featured in Colin Caffell’s book, “In Search of The Rainbow’s End” (1995). Colin is the ex-husband of Sheila Caffell and father to Daniel and Nicholas Caffell. 

Writer Kris Mrksa says:

“This is an incredibly compelling true crime story, but it’s the human dimension of these events that gripped my imagination, particularly after reading Colin Caffell’s book. So much discussion of the case has focussed on contested legal details, but I wanted to tell this story in a way that did justice to the devastating emotional truth of what happened.”

Jeremy Bamber says: “It is being broadcast in the middle of a judicial review and is likely to interfere with the CPS being able to pursue the option of a retrial”. He goes on to say that it is promoted as a drama based on Carol Ann Lee’s book and for the most part it is made up.

“It’s a disgrace”. 

Jeremy Bamber is not unique at all. The New York killer, Alejandro Henriquez, 58, sentenced for 75 years in 1992 for the murder of three young girls shares the same psychopathic profile. Despite all the evidence Henriquez continues to vehemently deny any guilt. His self-centred narcissistic need for power, control and attention has never waivered all the time he has been in prison.

On the 4th February 2019 I visited the vicinity of the White House Farm Murders in Essex. I discovered that the approaches to the farm complex, the villages of Tolleshunt D’Arcy and Goldhanger where Jeremy Bamber lived, and the surrounding road and route network is probably still much as it was in 1985.

I have handled firearms in my military career and in shooting sport pursuits for over 45 years. I  understand their technical functions and the knowledge and skills required to utilise them. I further appreciate the psychological, physical and proprioceptive demands and dark burden associated with hunting and killing human beings with a gun. I also understand the physical clandestine processes of planning a path to a target with the minimum risk and maximum chance of success.

In October 1986 Jeremy Bamber was tried and convicted for the murder of his adoptive parents, Nevill and June Bamber, his adoptive sister, Sheila Caffell and her two 6 year old twin sons, his nephews, Daniel and Nicholas Caffell. The murders had taken place in the early hours of August 7th, 1985 at the family home, White House Farm near Tolleshunt D’Arcy in Essex. The victims had all been shot with an Anschutz 525 semi-automatic .22 rifle that belonged to and was licenced to Nevill Bamber. A total of 25 rounds had been fired at close range into the victims, no shots had gone astray. Initially Essex police concluded that Sheila Caffell had committed a murder suicide. Bamber’s guilt came to light after some of his relatives became suspicious and his ex-girlfriend, Julie Mugford told police that he had confided in her about plans to kill his entire immediate family in order to secure the wealthy family estate. Bamber she claimed had even contacted her in the hours before and after deliberating the crime. She had considered his plan to be so monstrous she found difficulty believing he would do it. Once the initial police investigation and inquest determined that it was likely to have been Sheila Caffell, (which was how Jeremy Bamber left the crime scene to appear), Julie Mugford, still in a relationship with Bamber, accepted that conclusion.

                                                                 

Confident that he had got away with the crime his arrogant and strange behaviour did not escape attention. He finished his relationship with Julie Mugford, the very person he had confided with about his plan. Julie Mugford confessed her knowledge to the police. As more findings and facts emerged Jeremy Bamber was arrested. Eventually he was put on trial and was found guilty of the 5 murders. The jury convicted him on a majority verdict of 10-2 and he was sentenced to 25 years. He has never admitted guilt and has now spent nearly 33 years in prison. His supporters continue to pursue the theory that Sheila Caffell committed the murders.

Gun Facts v Gun Thoughts

Only 1.6% of people in the UK use and have legal access to guns. This includes our police and military as well as sporting shooters. Private ownership and licencing of shotguns and firearms can only be granted for sporting use. Unlike the USA, guns in the UK, (with some exceptions in NI), cannot be procured for personal protection. Therefore, shooting as a sport has to be associated with a desire and interest. Within that 1.6% gun handling population only 10% are female.

                                                                   

Women are far less likely to commit murder than men advises Adam Lankford, a US criminal justice professor. In the USA where firearms are far more accessible than in the UK only 8% of firearm homicides are perpetrated by females. On the rare occasions when women kill, they are far more likely to poison, stab, suffocate or start fires than use a gun.

There is a very straightforward philosophy called “Ockham’s Razor” which is a problem-solving principle that suggests that simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones. When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one might consider the solution with the fewest assumptions. That practise does not immediately solve crimes but it is an interesting reflection. Within my descriptions I like to use analogies. I appreciate that most people don’t understand firearms and how they operate so I will cross associate with common everyday skills that we regularly undertake or can more easily associate with, I hope that will help. Guns and their characteristics are so often misunderstood, misplaced, and misinterpreted. Unfortunately very few journalists and writers can accurately describe, debate or discuss them. The reason for this is simple, most people don’t use guns. Writing about them especially with reference to crime and the taking of lives has to be absolutely accurate. There can be no room for error.

A great deal of focus, attention and deliberation has been applied to certain features of this crime. The telephone calls to the police, the sound moderator, (rifle silencer), and the mental and physical condition of Sheila Caffell. This is all relevant and important, but I am going to focus my study on three other aspects to this crime. The choice, preparation and use of the murder weapon. The single, detachable Anschutz 525 10 round magazine and the approach and return cycle route to the farm that it was considered Jeremy Bamber might have taken.

   We know that Jeremy Bamber was totally familiar with his fathers Anschutz .22 rifle and regularly used it to shoot rabbits around the farm. That is what the rifle was designed for. It was the most complex firearm in the house. Bamber had handled firearms from an early age. Some people are natural shots and take to handling firearms smoothly and easily; they are not unlike naturally skilled drivers, footballers and artists. Others are awkward and uncoordinated and may become quickly frustrated and disinterested. A lot of people are physically frightened of the mere thought of handling and discharging a firearm. Most of us drive but we don’t need to be interested in cars. That does not apply to guns and shooting in the UK.

If Sheila Caffell had any interest in shooting and the attendant skills needed to operate a semi-auto rifle it would not have escaped attention. Most people in the UK do not know how to operate a firearm any more than they could operate and drive a steam engine. Those same people could learn of course but there must be a desire and they would need to apportion a reasonable amount of time. You don’t learn to drive a steam engine by watching “The Railway Children” or discover how to operate a firearm by watching war movies. Obtaining knowledge and some practise must occur.

If Sheila Caffell committed the murders she had mysteriously acquired the instinctive, proprioceptive skills and knowledge to confidently operate the .22 Anschutz in what would be a very pressured situation. We assume she had a motive and had the will to kill her mother and father and her two 6 year old sons. She had planned the entire event which included her own suicide. She was able to overpower her father after she initially failed to kill him outright. Nevill Bamber was a very tall and powerful man. She was able to twice recharge the rifle magazine, carry out all the drills necessary and all in the frenzy of killing her family. 

The rifle scope had been removed before the murders

A family member had noticed in the weeks prior to the murders that the telescopic sight on the Anschutz had been removed. The scope whilst an ideal sighting accessory to shoot rabbits would have been a burden to a shooter trying to use such a weapon in the close confines of a property to shoot people. If the killer was Sheila Caffell we must assume that she had anticipated this. Either the scope was coincidentally and conveniently removed by Nevill or Jeremy Bamber in the period just before she used it or she did so and neither of them questioned it. You need the tools and the knowledge. For the purpose of shooting rabbits removing the scope made no immediate sense but either Nevill or Jeremy Bamber could have simply reasoned that he wanted to try the rifle without it, using the open iron sights; that would have been reasonable. If Sheila Caffell had removed it surely both men would have questioned it and they would have interrogated the family. Jeremy Bamber stated that the scope was removed so the rifle would fit into a cupboard.

 

When Derrick Bird perpetrated the Cumbria shootings in 2010 he left the scope on his bolt-action CZ .22 rifle. He possibly anticipated he would be killing victims from longer ranges like an avenging sniper. Fortunately some of his targets survived because the weapon was more cumbersome at the closer ranges and in the confined locations that he was shooting at people.

Sheila Caffell never voiced or displayed any interest in firearms or shooting. If she had and if only to fulfil a plan to kill her family maintaining a secret shooting pursuit in the UK would have been extremely difficult. There was certainly evidence that Sheila Caffell had a rudimentary experience of firing a shotgun but that does not qualify someone to purposefully and individually operate it or any other firearm. It has also been implied that because she was brought up in a rural farming family, she would learn how to handle firearms. That is a very common, urban inspired myth and likened to supposing a Merchant Sea Captain’s daughter is skilled at deep sea fishing and tying knots. Sheila Caffell would have needed to have been able to do the following, quickly and confidentially.

Magazine charging / Loading / Making ready

Unless she had acquired extra magazines, (which were never found), she would have to be able to charge a single magazine twice with a maximum total of 20 x .22 bullets. Jeremy Bamber admitted to leaving the rifle on the settle with a full magazine beside it after looking for rabbits on the evening of the murders. That was convenient for Sheila Caffell. Nevertheless she still had to load the rifle, (attach the charged magazine into the magazine housing). Make ready, (withdraw the cocking handle to the rear and let it go – the bolt assembly flies forward under spring tension and picks the top round off the magazine and feeds it into the breech. This also cocks the internal hammer. The process of making a semi-auto rifle ready, (loaded and cocked to fire), is not natural, it takes practise. The natural inclination of the inexperienced shooter is to keep hold of the cocking handle and guide it forward. This will generally fail to pick up a round and will result in a misfeed. The analogy here is when we learn to allow an open car bonnet to drop the last couple of feet to enable it to lock. It’s not natural…but we only learn after we are initially shown.

Placing fired rounds with no hesitation or mercy

She was able to remove the safety and then very confidently bring the weapon to bear, (this is where removing the scope was so important). Firing and placing rounds into shouting, flailing, pleading human frames at close range would require some cold composure; despite being a schizophrenic, physically weak and uncoordinated. Her proprioceptive skills and co-ordination here was truly remarkable, she found her target on every attempt, not one round missed. If you think shooting people at close range, some of whom are determined to resist is an easy task I question how you can conclude that. I can assure you it isn’t.

Killing a family

If it was Sheila Caffell who failed to kill her father in the bedroom she followed him downstairs after killing her mother and fought him in the kitchen, overwhelmed him, striking him with the rifle stock and barrel so hard that a shard of the wooden stock broke off and was later found. Having managed to detach the magazine and reload it, make the weapon ready again she continued to fire more rounds into his head until he was dead. Throughout the entire murderous scenario, she removed the magazine and recharged it twice. A magazine reload at speed would take between 20-30 seconds. That is with the rounds accessible and at hand. How did she achieve this, she was wearing a nightdress. She managed this without dropping any cartridges or leaving any lead deposit or bullet lube on her hands, fingers or clothing. She was also able to do this with long natural nails and without damaging them. She had no stoppages that we know about but if she did, she dealt with them, picking up the small live rounds which having been ejected out of the ejection port would have been difficult to immediately find. Her handling drills were swift and smooth. There would have been no fumbling, panic, odd bullets dropped and cast around. She entered her sons bedroom and coldly shot them both in the head whilst they lay asleep.

Sheila Caffell’s suicide or murder 

She then returned to her parent’s bedroom, laid down turned the rifle around and shot herself in the throat, planning to discharge a bullet through her palate and into her brain. She failed but despite the shock and pain of that attempt she managed to realign the weapon again and on the second attempt successfully killed herself. She had accounted for her rounds perfectly and had had a single round left for her own departure but when she failed to kill herself she reloaded the rifle having conveniently access to one further round and finished the job. So with all this in mind she had been able to count her rounds in the most peculiar circumstances. Now having killed herself she had even left the weapon “safe”; no rounds in the chamber or magazine. She didn’t even take her own life in her son’s bedroom as her ex husband Colin Caffell had pointed out and insisted she would have done if she had ever resorted to something so diabolical.

Subsonic hollow point .22 rimfire ammunition is designed for small game shooting. Used against a human form and particularly multi shot at close range it can be devastating. When these soft lead bullets strike a hard feature like bone they can splay or fracture as indicated by the examples above. Licenced .22 rifles are commonplace in the UK.

Counting rounds, being acutely aware of ammunition expenditure, timing reloads etc are drills practised by the military and armed police. In the heat of a live murderous shooting, this slightly built, physically weakened schizophrenic became a hideous Lara Croft; she was remarkable.

The single Anschutz magazine, or were there more.

If the perpetrator was Jeremy Bamber, he could have acquired 2 further Anschutz magazines at some point well before the killings took place and had a total of 30 rounds already loaded and available. One already in the house where he left it and an extra two on his person. To plan a killing in these circumstances with a single magazine would demand a great deal of confidence. It would require somebody with a clear plan who appreciated that whilst the .22 rifle was the best weapon available to them, it was not ideal. Compared to the shotguns it gave the greatest rate of fire but to be effective the perpetrator would have to get close to his victims and possibly use a lot of ammunition. The rifle and .22 ammunition kept in the house required a Firearms Certificate to buy, store and determine its use which was for vermin control. That was the responsibility of Neville Bamber. It was his habit and ultimately his deadly mistake to allow this rifle and indeed his shotguns to be easily accessed within the property. In practise he should have had them all secured in locked gun cabinets when they weren’t in immediate use. This was a condition of his licence and he and only he should have had access to the keys. Neither Jeremy Bamber or Sheila Caffell had an FAC, (Firearms Certificate), but you don’t need one to purchase magazines; they are not part of the weapon’s determined operational mechanism, they are detachable supporting items. Nevill Bamber did not need to account for how many magazines were used with the rifle so Jeremy or Sheila could have them without his knowledge. The police could not deduce what ammunition was available before the murders because any amount of it could have been used for target or rabbit shooting.

                                                               

If Jeremy Bamber was the perpetrator, having used 23 rounds, (now on the third magazine or third reload), he had to use 2 rounds to kill Sheila Caffell. He then unloaded the Anschutz and placed the original empty magazine on the rifle and then placed the weapon on her body. He took the other two magazines, (if he had them at all), along with perhaps the remaining 5 x .22 rounds ready for disposal. They were small items, it would have been extremely easy.

If Bamber only used the single magazine it was of course entirely possible, and it would suggest he was fit, physically strong, agile, coordinated, sufficiently practised, calm, calculating, knowledgeable and utterly ruthless. Jeremy Bamber fitted that criteria. Sheila Caffell could only have used a single magazine and if she was the killer she would have been all the above.

The route to White House Farm

In her statement Julie Mugford stated that Jeremy Bamber had told her about his plan to kill his family and that it would take 15 minutes to cycle to Whitehouse Farm from his cottage in Goldhanger. By road, the most obvious cycle route would have been via Tolleshunt D’Arcy but it would have taken longer than 15 minutes on a regular pushbike. If Julie Mugford was lying why was she so specific about the timing. DI Robert Wilkinson trialled various routes between Goldhanger and White House Farm and concluded that the most practical and sensible route was by bike via the Brook House Farm track.

This meant starting out of from Jeremy Bamber’s home in Goldhanger, Bourtree Cottage, No 9 Head Street, (image below), turning onto the B1026, Maldon Road and then after 2 miles turning right on the road track which passes through the farm location and leads across field perimeter tracks directly to the back of White House Farm. This cuts off a huge corner and avoids Tolleshunt D’Arcy. It took DI Wilkinson 16 minutes. This part of the route had easy access but it is also well screened and would minimise the likelihood of being seen.

     

                                                                                                                                                                                             

It was a wet day when I found and cycled the route on the 04 Feb 19. The last 400 metres on the approach to White House Farm was muddy. My mountain bike was probably better than the bike Wilkinson used and I was 63 and considering the conditions I did it in 17 minutes on approach and 18 minutes into a slight headwind on return. That was pure riding time. I stopped to take photographs. There was only one gate to open. The route was easy and it would have been equally simple at night with the available ambient light. If Bamber used this route he was a young and fit 24 year old and the tracks would have been dry in the summer of 1985. If he had used additional rifle magazines, he could have taken them along with any .22 rounds he had in them or loose on his person. They would have been easy to dispose. Jeremy Bamber’s defence maintain that this route was a ridiculous exaggeration and nobody witnessed him. That might be true. I didn’t see or meet a single person on the farm track portion of the route and that was in daylight. Who saw me?

If Sheila Caffell committed those murders she is, and would remain entirely unique in the UK. As a real life, hideous version of Lara Croft. She would be the only female, gun slay mass murderer with no knowledge of firearms that has ever existed in this country since the invention of gunpowder.                               

 

 

 

54 thoughts on “THE WHITE HOUSE FARM MURDERS – BAMBER or CAFFELL

  1. your assessment of the case brings up some very valid points. i am currently doing a study on whether jeremy has enough doubt for a new appeal, totally bias.

  2. Thanks. I am researching this crime and currently open-minded as to who did it. The police stated there were unidentified fingerprint son the rifle, that were not of any family members, this is interesting.

  3. This blog is from a very confused older person who should know better. Someone obviously who has some guns knowledge and trying to impress and make that knowledge connected to this case. A firearms expert in US and now a UK expert too, shows bullet wounds on crime scene photos would be different mark if silencer was used. It was tested in a lab on pigs skin. This expert also shows the gun could easily be used and discharged by someone with limited knowledge or of slight build. The videos on youtube, why don’t you search for it before posting this type of conspiracy drivel. Stick to the main facts of the case, i.e. the prosecution claimed the silencer was used on the gun for the killings. Therefore claiming in that scenario sister could not have killed family and herself.

    1. Thank you for your input. I thought I was keeping to the facts but being an older confused person I must consider your advice.

  4. That Jeremy Bamber has convinced otherwise astute people of his innocence is no surprise. It is what psycopaths do. They are plausible. The Babes in the Wood murderer, Russell Bishop, did the same. There are countless others. The clincher to me was always the impossibility of Sheila calmly reloading her gun after shooting herslef in the throat and then firing the fatal shot. She would have been incapacitated by the first shot. And the idea that a distrubed young woman, with no specialist firearm knowledge, could have loaded and reloaded her gun – reloaded a single magazine – without fumbling or dropping a round, and so precisely calculated her ammunition supply as to finish the night with no ammo remaining … is absurd.

    One thing disturbs me. There is an odd and offensive tone in the comments published above, particuarly by somene called Dimitriars. I do not participate as a rule in these blogs but is this normal? If it is it is remarkably unhelpful. The man Dimitriars calls this careful analysis ‘conspiracy drivel’. It is nothing of the sort. It is a lucid and expert assessment of the facts and argues that there has been no conspiracy or miscarriage of justice, that Mr Bamber was guilty as charged and fairly convicted. Let us at least be civil.

  5. Great article. We also came up with the scenario you present re J having taken extra pre-loaded magazines with him. Pretty much worked out a scenario for each shot fired, each victim in order, and when reloaded, which tallys with number of shots received by each person and in which room, and casings found in each area. I’d like to know where he ultimately disposed of the extra magazines (he probably temporarily buried them in land and moved later). Agree that if only one magazine were used it would be time consuming to reload magazine and reload gun, and is convenient that no bullets were left…

      1. Following on from my post a few weeks ago, I think this is how it may have happened: I believe he went over during the day and took the sights and moderator off the gun to make it easier to handle indoors, and loaded the magazine. He put the gun away (but just told the police he’d conveniently left it out). He came back during early hours and got in through the window that he’s mentioned he got in through regularly. He takes the phone off the hook. He brought with him an extra preloaded magazine that he had secretly purchased to make reloading quicker.

        He had to take out the biggest threat first: Nevill, so shot him four times, then June five times, he thinks they are dead but they are subdued at this point. He takes Sheila into parents’ room, probably under the guise of telling her that look, it’s ok now, they’ve gone. He shoots her once and believes she is dead too. He reloads with his preloaded magazine and goes to the twins’ room; eight bullets are fired here. He now has two left.

        He thinks it’s all over but Nevill is now up and heading downstairs for the phone, Jeremy chases him, shoots once, accounting for the casing found on stairs, chases him downstairs and shoots again but Nevill is still active. He is now out of bullets and with no time to reload ten bullets into the magazine he has to beat Nevill to stop him. He overpowers him, reloads ten bullets into magazine and shoots Nevill twice. Checking that he is now dead, Jeremy prods him in the back with the barrel, which accounts for the marks on Nevill’s back.

        He now goes upstairs to set the suicide scene, but June is up and by the door so he shoots twice. Sheila is on floor but is still alive so he shoots again and poses her to make it look like a suicide. He takes his second magazine out and replaces it with the empty original magazine, which accounts for there being no bullets left in gun when found. He leaves, hides the second magazine and clothes somewhere on the farmland, to permanently dispose of later. Gets home, phones police.

        1. I would be very surprised if Nevill had been shot 4 times that he could then get up, go downstairs and reach for the phone! He was an older man and I would not have thought his body would have the strength to recover from being shot 4 times and to then venture downstairs! You also mention about June being shot 5 times and then also getting up. She looks to be slightly built and again, I would not think that her body would have the strength to stand upright after being shot 5 times!

  6. The Bamber case,

    Why once again are we not told about the actual evidence (in detail) that was used to convict the man.
    A through investigation was incomplete and unable to be compared to the excellence that is achieved today.
    So, what is deterring one being lead in the correct way now. If the bodies have to be exhumed then why not.
    Why are hypothetical scenarios not played with and detailed. Such as three men entered the property that night. The gun (more than one).
    The women wasn’t a drug addict and had left a relationship that was abusive but was not abusive herself.
    The house was watched from a far and accessible by absolutely anyone.
    The women would not have caused those injuries herself perhaps one of the gunman put his hand over her hand and pulled the trigger. (Other considerations (if known) child maintance, expensive).
    The violence of an armed drug induced person who are upset with little intelligence who are able to pick up on absolutely anything could be highly likely.
    The book is not the best book – questions are unanswered – a ‘televised documentary! (Thank goodness so lighthearted).
    Perhaps Bamber had nothing more to live for and knew he would have to take it all on himself – he wasn’t believed ever in the beginning and with a concoction of drugs he may have fallen into a subdued state. Believing the truth would manifest.
    Are you sure the police at the time didn’t want some sort of guarantee confirmation – not examining the crime scene. That house was a mess. The reasons behind that are endless. Breakdowns, money, other people’s bankruptcy.
    How many suicides took place at the time?
    Bamber had travelled, in and out of the country taking drugs.
    The man couldn’t go near the property out of fear. He ran for help. The father when he called could only say what he could because he was being held by gunpoint.
    They killed and left. ‘They had held them up’ Bamber didn’t have time to commit the crimes.
    Why don’t you properly interview the man for a fully comprehensive article detailing what he says so that the whole national can read it and go from there. 40 years is a long time for something that he didn’t do! So much has been written perhaps you need to clarify a few details.
    Did you know you could go to a crime scene now and know more about the crime that was committed then emphasis) now. So much

  7. I personally feel that what I have seen and read so far, is that there must have been two shooters, to begin with and would not have been surprised to find it was both Bamber and his partner who was jilted and then gave evidence against him because she was now not going to benefit in any way. don’t know if the toxicology comes back to say the presence of meds induced or not. would explain how the cartridges could have been disposed of though as no one investigated her at all did they? How can you shoot someone and not awake someone else whos asleep? unless there was a silencer on the gun, that got removed by the shooter. After all she was so keen to identify the family and not be disturbed by it. who’s clothing was it in the bucket with the blood and why have the dog put to sleep? because he was a (woofness) witness? As for the role of the head copper, he’s a four letter word for how he just wanted it wrapped up without investigation, removing destroying all evidence, I hope he gets fired in this drama talk about an aggresive violent bully.

  8. I am an ex British Soldier and own a licensed .22 CZ which I use for rabbiting. I remember this crime when it happened. Regardless of what condition people say Bambi was in, it takes a certain type of human to take another human life and I do not believe that she was able to do so. Shooting a human at distance is one thing. Pumping several rounds into family members, including your children is quite another. “Silencers” do not silence a gun. If you fire a .22 round in a house, you are going to hear it very clearly. The silencer / suppressor on the .22 in question had been removed, for no good reason other than to cover up the crime. With the silencer on my .22, I am unable to put the barrel under my chin and reach the trigger, its too long. Equally, I have had to reload magazines “under duress” during my service and I can assure you, even the very experienced suddenly have bananas for fingers and .22 rounds are small and slippery which gives me even more doubt that Sheila was the culprit. My final thought is that once hit with a .22 hollow point round, there is no way, with the injuries that she would have sustained, would she have been able to reload a round into a magazine, go back upstairs, lay down on the floor and execute a second shot. I think that had Sheila only had the one head wound, he would possibly have got away with it but not with two.

  9. Interesting read.The drama is quite gripping but what you realise is it is just that – a drama.
    I am completely open minded as to Bambers guilt/innocence. What you do realise is that the wheels of justice grind very slowly and once a conviction is reached there is little appetite to revisit or examine new/withheld evidence. Also, and I do remember the news reports at the time vaguely; the media play a big part in coloring the publics view of a suspect and then filling in the spaces to condemn once convicted. The truth in the end seems immaterial. Thats not to say I think Bamber is innocent but:-
    – I would suggest that there are question marks about conviction ‘without reasonable doubt’
    – For a relatively intelligent man it seems to me Bamber put himself in a very compromising position been so open with his girlfriend about the killings and then to split with her and still expect her loyalty. Would someone be so arrogant to think such a horendous crime would go undetected if questions about his involvement were raised. Avoiding drawing suspicion to yourself would be paramount especially as if he is guilty the crime was very much premeditated and involved careful planning.
    – The same can be said of his careless disposal of the silencer which brought question marks to the case.
    -The motives of his girlfriend and also his cousin in securing a conviction cannot be dismissed in making their evidence unsafe in isolation without other supporting evidence.
    I’d be interested in others thoughts on my points or direct me to a blog where these issues I raise have been discussed.

    1. I think you make some interesting points. We have to remember that initially he did get away with it, the whole dreadful plan worked. He drew so much attention to himself to so many people with his behaviour, his arrogance got the better of him. He now refers to them all as being either liars or corrupt. The one person who holds the key is Colin Caffell; he didn’t have to research anything, that poor man was in the middle of it. His book is fascinating and deeply moving. The letters he received from JB are shocking. I think it’s interesting how JB supporters never refer to or comment about Colin. Why is that, surely they should offer some support to JB in this instance and seek to explain his actions.

      1. A sound moderator on a .22 rifle is a standard piece of equipment for rabbit shooting, there is nothing sinister about it. It will reduce discharge sound from around 140 decibels to 110. A moderator does not completely silence a weapon but it is less disturbing when used in more confined spaces near occupied buildings for instance. Other potential targets may also be less concerned and thus easier to stalk. Not always though! Jeremy Bamber could not have bought a moderator, he wasn’t a licence holder. His father Nevill Bamber would have purchased it along with the rifle and the scope. Standard stuff for rabbits.

  10. No one seems to be interested in the fact that if Neville had phoned Jeremy and then the phone had gone dead, as Jeremy states, that phone would have still been connected to Jeremy’s line and he wouldn’t have been able to call out on his phone for some time. He couldn’t have called the police or his girlfriend. So, the phone must have been off the hook long enough for the line to have been cleared. This would fit with Jeremy having taken the phone off the hook earlier to fit with the story he had prepared.

  11. Just a bit of family information for added credibility.

    Ralph Nevill Bamber (1924-1985)

    The Nevill name derives from his mother’s maiden name of Beatrice Cecilia Nevill (1883-1981). There is no “e” on the end of “Nevill”. I don’t know why he used his mother’s maiden name for his everyday Christian name and not simply, “Ralph”. Not that it matters?

  12. Just read the book. I agree with other comments that the evidence against Jeremy at the time is not very definite and certain. It seems mostly based on other peoples say so such as his jilted girlfriend and cousin who stood to gain from getting him out of the way. This is not to say i think he is innocent, just that i think more concrete evidence is needed before finding someone guilty and locking then up for such a long time. I also wonder why on earth he put the gun silencer back in the cupboard for people to find, instead of taking it and disposing of it. This seems a highly stupid mistake.

    1. I do not believe that either Jeremy or Sheila killed them all, nor do I believe that Sheila killed herself. I think Jeremy was framed for the murder of his parents, the boys and Sheila, by a relative. Sheila’s mental health issues were always going to be used against her and provided the perfect ruse for the murders. I think there were many relatives of Nevill and June who were jealous of Sheila and Jeremy and the fact that they stood to inherit everything if anything ever happened to Nevill and June. The relatives still live at White House Farm, most of us could not live in a house if our relatives had been brutally murdered within it.

  13. One massive problem though. If JB did kill everyone, how exactly did he manage to kill Sheila? it’s inconceivable that he killed her BEFORE the rampage (in the bedroom and next to the their sleeping parents who didn’t wake!) or that he killed her AFTER, when Sheila, as the lone survivor and after witnessing the slaughter of her family calmly followed JB’s instructions to lie down so that he could aim the gun under her chin and shoot her (twice!) without any resistance or struggle. No she wasn’t drugged or had alcohol as the toxicology tests confirm before anyone asks.
    If JB did do it then he’s a criminal mastermind because he left not one shred of forensic evidence, was able to secure the whole house from the inside and make his escape without a single person seeing him. Yet despite this apparent meticulous planning and execution he put the silencer in a box in the cupboard and left!. Not stuck it in his pocket and chucked it in the sea on his escape route back home and yet that was the ‘evidence’ that convicted him.
    There is still serious, serious doubt in the conviction of JB

    1. Another massive problem is how on earth did Nevill Bamber manage to make two telephone calls during all the mayhem – one to 999 and the other to JB – allegedly? In 1985 no one had speed dial and the phone in the kitchen was the old type rotary dial and that had been moved from the main bedroom. Apparently they didn’t like using the ivory coloured Statesman push-button phone. There was another phone in the office mainly used by Nevill’s secretary, Barbara Wilson but he still had to get to that phone to make the calls.

  14. Some interesting points here. The rifle was already loaded I believe, so there would have been 2 reloads required. There were 28 shots fired according to casing maps, 3 were wild of target . I have not been able to find any details of fingerprints or dna on the casings. If they were clean of fingerprints, then sheila did not commit the murders. Who ever loaded the rifle first, would have left their prints on the magazine and cartridges. second reload would also have prints and dna on it If sheila had carried on killing and reloading the rifle, her prints. maybe smudges, would be on them. If no traces were found on the bullet casings then sheila did not use that rifle. As you say, 3 cleaned fully loaded mags were brought to the site. That I do not have a problem believing . What else bothers me is the so called fresh blood on her neck. Smoking cannabis, and taking herpidol would have thinned the blood, so she could have died earlier but thin blood would take longer to congeal. Would appreciate any advice .

  15. I agree with a lot of the comments, major problems with evidence seemingly so weak even in 1985/86 and didn’t two jurors find him innocent. Overall I’m sure gamers would say on a scale of one to ten for JB to pull this crime off its probably 8/10 degree of difficulty.

    Why leave the silencer behind? Why confide in girlfriend about plan? Why say you received a call from father? Surely you wouldn’t create all these additional risks. I did wonder why JB’s defence team didn’t contact a BT engineer at the time. Maybe someone who’d know inner workings of BT in 1985/86 with info which wouldn’t show up on a bill maybe even.

    One comment above leads to a type of link to 2002 high court appeal judges decision. You start so see how complicated matters have become with over 500 paragraphs of reasons. I think the CCRC referred that on sisters blood DNA found in silencer. Its one of those cases whereby you’d think once DNA came out JB would be cleared.

    Disgraceful really, I’m sure I’ve read stories of other people in prison and requesting access to prosecution blood samples for DNA testing to clear their name. Yet the police won’t allow them access to that evidence.

    One comment about bullet casings? and sisters forensics on them? Were there bullet casings? and don’t forget the scene was treated as a murder suicide for first six weeks? Yet apparently even at original trial experts gave evidence as if nothing were contaminated.

    1. I don’t understand why the supposed telephone call from Nevill Bamber to Jeremy was not traced and flagged up with British Telecom! What on earth were Essex Police thinking? It seems ludicrous that nobody bothered to check basic facts back then.

  16. What’s your view on the silencer being used? The above doesn’t really mention it in detail but it is clear to me you have excellent knowledge of guns so would be curious as to your views.
    – do you think it was used?
    – if yes then why was Jeremy so slack with the cleansing of it? And how did the burn marks get on NB back?
    – if no then how did it get blood inside it? And why was it used in the trial?

    This was an excellent blog, especially around the route taken and the magazine being carried. I have always believed he had a belt on him as walking up and downstairs to reload just doesn’t seem logical. There are also pro Bamber supporters screaming about the bike being impossible to be used but you have just proven it could be , perfectly.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this and helping join some more dots.

    1. Thank you for your comments and questions. Yes, I am sure Bamber used the moderator. We have to remember that despite committing this dreadful crime he hadn’t done it before. He considered that using the moderator would allow him to carry out the killings in the separate bedrooms with reduced sound disturbance. He perhaps feared the thought of his family, including the two boys up and moving around. He surmised quite correctly that Sheila Caffell could not reach the rifle trigger when he placed the weapon on her but he’d overlooked this. Small panic; he removed it, cleaned any blood off the muzzle but didn’t consider any possibility of blood entering the internal baffles. He probably thought of taking it with him and disposing of it, that would have been easy but then thought that could incriminate him. The moderator was part of the licence condition. He put it back in the cupboard. Having extra magazines was just a theory of mine, we will never know. You don’t need a licence to buy magazines. The circular marks on Nevill Bamber’s back; they matched the circumference of the rifle muzzle but they were a bit of a mystery because they appeared like burns. Injuries the poor man received as a result of a beating as well as being shot to death.

        1. Tony, thank you for your comment. With respect, unless you have ever witnessed somebody threatened with a firearm and discovered how willing they are to conform, you will never know.

  17. It is a common trait of this human race to form an opinion based on heresay. Most of which you seem to relish in. A couple of questions… 1: Why would Jeremy, if his intention was to kill all his immediate family, use a virtual pea-shooter instead of using a shotgun. Nevill Bamber was reputed to be fit and therefore the biggest danger to his killer, so surely he should have been the killers first target. 2: Why did the armed squad take so long to enter the farmhouse. 3: Why did the armed officers logbooks show that there were two bodies seen through the kitchen door window, one male and one female near the kitchen door. 4: Why didn’t these same officers ascertain as to whether Sheila was dead. 5: Why was there four ambulances called to the scene.6: Why did the police not produce ALL the evidence in court. You don’t need to answer that.. They did this because the first phone call to the police was from Nevill Bamber at 03.26 a full ten minutes before Jeremy called at 03.36.
    An old saying that was said to me over 65 years ago, Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear!!!

    1. Hi Eddie. I’ll try and answer point number 1. In all my years handling, using and coaching with .22 rifles I didn’t realise they were virtual pea-shooters. That’s a bit of hearsay I obviously missed.

  18. Why people keep talking about a silencer instead of a moderator is unclear it is not like a silencer you see in films it changes the high frequency sound that animals hear, but makes very little difference to the human hearing of a 22 rifle shot.

    An example of a similar 10 shot rifle being fired with and without a moderator is available on youtube.
    https://youtu.be/YeY031-HElg

    I have difficulty understanding how Sheila could have reloaded and extra magazines would make sense which would point to Jeremy.

    The fresh blood would point to Sheila so there are points for and against either.

    Some things are difficult to understand such as Nevill phoning the police mentioning Sheila and a gun which only came to light after the trial.
    Also how the photographs taken at the time showed no scratches on the fireplace but later did.

    I do not know who did it but think the police should not withhold evidence and on balance I am not convinced beyond reasonable doubt either did it, so I think a retrial with all evidence presented should be carried out as soon as possible.

    1. I agree about the retrial and the Police withholding the documents relating to the murders. Those documents should be presented to Jeremy Bamber’s legal team.

      Unless you know about gun terminology, most of us would say the word “silencer” as we would not know the difference.

  19. I am glad that other people can look at the evidence without having a bias one way or the other.
    There is far too much evidence from the police themselves which is not conjecture, that literally does not add up.
    For example they recorded 2 people downstairs which could have been a mistake and if they had then recorded 4 people upstairs I would be more convinced it was recording mistake, but they did not they recorded 3 people upstairs which reinforces the recording of 2 downstairs.

    I find it hard to believe experienced police and firearms officers would find it so hard to count 5 bodies accurately. There are far too many items that are not simple to explain so a retrial should now happen with all the evidence presented, none of us can say with certainty what happened which is in itself a problem and I do not see how anyone can be convinced of guilt or innocence without reasonable doubt.

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