Detectives re-examine murder clues

POLICE INVESTIGATIONSUFFOLK police have assigned a team of detectives to re-examine the evidence surrounding the horrific killing of Karen Hales.The small team of four officers – who have been working on the case, alongside other police work, for several months and can call on the help on specialists if required – will also consider whether advances in forensic science could finally trap Miss Hales' killer.

POLICE INVESTIGATION

SUFFOLK police have assigned a team of detectives to re-examine the evidence surrounding the horrific killing of Karen Hales.

The small team of four officers – who have been working on the case, alongside other police work, for several months and can call on the help on specialists if required – will also consider whether advances in forensic science could finally trap Miss Hales' killer.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: "Suffolk Police can confirm that a small team of detectives is currently re-examining the Karen Hales murder enquiry.


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"They are reviewing information gathered during the course of the initial investigation, which was one of the biggest murder hunts in Suffolk's criminal history.

"Officers are also examining whether advances in forensic science, which did not exist at the time of the original investigation, may help move the investigation forward. Karen's family are aware of the review and will be kept informed of developments."

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One of the pieces of information that may be re-examined is a criminal profile of Miss Hales' killer, released by police four years after her death, in 1997.

The profile, which complimented more than 1,400 lines of inquiry pursued by police in the murder hunt, revealed:

n the killer was aged in his or her late 20s to mid 30s

n either lives or works locally

n is of average intelligence

n is subject to sudden rages when faced with stresses, often only minor irritations

n suffers serious mood swings that may result in problems at work with colleagues.

Detective Superintendent Peter Worobec, who was leading the hunt for Miss Hales' killer, also revealed the 21-year mother might have known the murderer.

She was known to be careful about whom she let into her home and would have been on her guard even more after a scare the night before she was killed when someone turned the handle on her front door.

Mr Worobec – who is now a detective chief superintendent and head of crime management for Suffolk Police – said at the time: "The criminal psychologists say that this suggests Karen knew her killer and invited either him or her into the house.

"This may have been an acquaintance from work or her personal life. It is still very unclear what the exact motive for the murder was.

"However, the profilers indicate the crime scene is consistent with an assault motivated by anger which was clearly sudden and unexpected.

"The murder weapon was a knife from Karen's kitchen and the fire was started using materials in her home. Clearly, something happened which led to this sudden violent attack.

"The burning of Karen's body after her death shows the offender showed no signs of remorse at the scene, that they are unlikely to be experiencing any guilt now, and may even feel justified in murdering Karen."

Anyone with information about the murder of Karen Hales should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613831 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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