New probe into 1974 strangle killing

THE murder of a woman 35 years ago is being re-examined by specialist “cold case” investigators.

THE murder of a woman 35 years ago is being re-examined by specialist “cold case” investigators in a bid to finally solve the crime.

Josephine Backshall, 39, from Maldon, was found dead in Bury Green, near Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, in 1974.

Her death prompted a massive police investigation but despite efforts from Hertfordshire Constabulary and Essex Police, her killer was never brought to justice.

Today, the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Cold Case Review Unit and Mrs Backshall's three children made renewed call for information to help solve her killing.


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Mrs Backshall was last seen by her family at about 6pm on Tuesday October 29, 1974, when she left her home to keep an appointment in Witham.

Three days later, at about 11.45am on Friday November 1, 1974, her body was discovered in a field off the main lane (known as Bury Green Lane) leading to Bury Green, near Bishop's Stortford, almost 35 miles away from her home. She had been strangled.

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Richard Moulder from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire's Cold Case Review Unit said yesterday: “Cases such as this are never closed. Investigations continue and modern forensic techniques are used that weren't available at the time.

“It is felt that during the original investigation people may have withheld information or not come forward and this could have been for very good reasons at that time.

“Thirty-five years later and the world is a different place. We are now urging those with information to come forward and speak to us in confidence.”

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