Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Martlesham: 20th anniversary of 82-year-old’s murder that repulsed community

14:04 11 February 2013

Doris Shelley

Doris Shelley


DORIS Shelley was found in a pool of blood by a neighbour.

Mrs Shelley died 11 days later after sustaining fatal injuries when being bludgeoned about the head during a vicious attack. The assault occurred some time between 2pm on Wednesday, February 10, 1993, and 1pm the following day.

What occurred during those 23 hours has always remained a mystery.

The 82-year-old’s injuries were inflicted 18 months after her house was broken into, although it was never known if the two incidents were connected.

More than 70 officers were investigating Mrs Shelley’s murder at one point, and a £10,000 reward was offered to catch the killer, but even now the vital pieces of the jigsaw remain missing.

Things were made more complicated for police as Miss Shelley lived in a chaotic state in her Main Road bungalow.

Former Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert was one of the senior officers on the case.

Now retired after 41 years working for Suffolk Constabulary, Mr Lambert said: “It is quite sad. It was a horrible offence and one of the most frustrating cases of my career.

“It was a difficult case because Doris Shelley was an elderly lady living on her own. She didn’t have any family and was helped by neighbours.

“Her home was in a bit of a state of disarray. Examining the scene was very difficult forensically.

“Because she did not have many visitors it was quite difficult to tie down when she was last seen.”

Mrs Shelley was seriously injured and traumatised when she was found. She was unable to tell anyone what had happened before she died.

House-to-house enquiries were made, road checks were carried out, appeals to the public were issued. Police also asked for help in finding the driver of a red Ford Sierra that was spotted on the animal lover’s driveway with the gates closed on the last day Mrs Shelley was seen alive. However, what avenues there were led nowhere.

Mr Lambert said: “Mrs Shelley never spoke. We had no idea what happened.

“Sadly no-one came forward. It is always frustrating when you can’t find many leads.”

There were no signs of Mrs Shelley’s home being searched or of any property being taken.

At one stage her death was linked to an attack on an Eyke postmistress, Susan Allum, who survived a similar attack five months earlier.

Two men aged 21 and 19 and two girls aged 16 and 17 from Ipswich were interviewed by police, but never charged.

More than 3,000 people were questioned. The murder was also featured on BBC’s Crimewatch but the case remains open.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “The joint major investigation team routinely review unsolved crimes from Suffolk and Norfolk.

“For each victim, there are family and friends who require closure and with Doris Shelley it is no different. The investigation into her death remains open and we will not stop looking for the person or persons responsible.”

If you have any information which could help – even 20 years on – telephone Suffolk Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Related articles


Corrie CCTV Screen

An abandoned van has been seized by police searching for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague, aged 23.

Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team search for Corrie McKeague just outside Troston Slades Covert. Photo Mark Westley

Suffolk police officers are attempting to trace a group seen talking to Corrie McKeague at a pizza takeaway on the night of his disappearance.

Archie Joe Darby and Daniel-Jay Darby. Archie, four months, was killed and Daniel-Jay was seriously injured after being bitten by a dog at their Colchester home.

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms by the family dog and mauled to death, an inquest has heard.

Police were called to the crash

A man in his 30s is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash Stowmarket last night.

Ron Harris outside the first home he shared with his wife, Nina, at Shingle Street before the Second World War. Photo supplied for Life on the Edge by the Harris family.

It’s a place with tragedy and mystery in its past – but as many stories of resilient determination to build a community amid its wild and isolated environment.

Corrie McKeague's last ever sighting at 3.24am September 24 2016. CCTV still from Brentgovel Street, Bury St Edmunds. The building in the background is the edge of Cornhill Walk Shopping Centre

A video of the last ever sighting of Corrie McKeague has been released, as four weeks pass with no new leads.

Stock image of the A14 near Kentford.

Two speeding motorists who admitted driving at 130mph in Suffolk have been disqualified from driving.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24