Fresh appeal on 25-year-old murder

By James HoreDETECTIVES have spoken on the 25th anniversary of the murder of a student of their determination to bring her killer to justice. It is 25 years to the day since Alison Morris was found stabbed to death in a quiet countryside lane only a few hundred yards from her home in Ramsey.

By James Hore

DETECTIVES have spoken on the 25th anniversary of the murder of a student of their determination to bring her killer to justice.

It is 25 years to the day since Alison Morris was found stabbed to death in a quiet countryside lane only a few hundred yards from her home in Ramsey. The 25-year-old postgraduate student had gone out for her favourite walk through nearby woods, but when she did not return to her Wrabness Road home, her father, Joseph, became anxious and went to look for her.

But he found his daughter's body lying motionless at the side of the footpath with multiple stab wounds to her chest.


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The close-knit community reacted with shock at the death of the “pure Christian girl” and the 1979 case became dubbed “the murder without a motive” with police baffled at the lack of clues.

More than 60 officers spread their inquiries to the surrounding villages of Little and Great Oakley, Wix and Bradfield, but without success and the murder weapon was never discovered.

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At one point the killing was linked to the Yorkshire Ripper, a theory that was later ruled out.

Twenty-five years on and three vital questions remained unanswered about the murder of the Royal Holloway College, London, student:

n why had no-one seen Alison on her evening walk down the lane?

n why had no-one else in the wood seen her at about 6.30pm?

n why had the occupants of two cars parked nearby at the time not come forward?

Detective Sergeant Barry Blackman, of Essex Police, said just one new lead could make all the difference on solving the murder.

“Given the right lead or opportunity, I would work very hard to solve that case and there are other officers still serving who still talk about it and all want to bring closure to it,” he added.

Det Sgt Blackman was a police constable when he was sent to the murder scene off Wrabness Road on September 1, 1979.

He was the first officer to reach the scene after Mr Morris had called the police and arrived at about 8pm.

Det Sgt Blackman said the memory of seeing Alison lying at the side of the footpath had remained with him for the past 25 years.

“As a uniform bobby, I was in the nearest police car and was first on the scene. I remember getting an eerie feeling as I walked down there,” he recalled.

“She was to the right of the footpath, just lying there. Her clothing had not been disturbed and she looked like she had just laid down.”

He added: “She was wearing a yellow top, but she had multiple stab wounds. It is an image that has stuck with me.

“I was only thinking about it the other day - it is not the kind of thing you forget. It niggles at me because we have not solved it.”

Mr Morris, a churchwarden, remains devastated by his daughter's death and said he and his wife were “still suffering”, but added they still could not talk about what had happened.

Anyone with information should contact Essex Police on 01255 221312 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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