In recent weeks my little old home town of Colchester has been the centre of some very high profile news stories in the UK.
There have been 2 big murders. One of a mentally disabled man who was found on a footpath having been attacked and left for dead. He was stabbed 102 times and suffered severe injuries to his arms, back, hands, shoulders and head. The location where he was found is on the edge of the towns famous park and gardens, just behind a row of houses he was found by a dog walker early morning. It’s still not known his time of death but the police are looking to what happened between 11pm the previous night and 5am the morning he was found.
Last week, also discovered on a public footpath a couple of miles away on the Greenstead estate, a University student was found fatally wounded. Stabbed 16 times she was on her way from her home on the estate to the University just a few hundred yards away. Far from it being a quiet walkway at night, this was an attack in broad daylight at 10.30am.
As if that wasn’t all shocking enough, this story made even bigger news as the lady was dressed in Muslim clothing. the media jumped on the second murder as “STUDENT MURDERED DUE TO MUSLIM CLOTHING” headlines. Within hours, Colchester was being tweeted around the world for a group of Muslim extremists waging war on the small town community suggesting extremists get their revenge.
The ISIS group shared this chilling message: Isis Threat.
The police are very sketchy about the whole thing. They’ve never ruled out a racial incentive to the murder. They’ve never found weapons in either case and although they have never officially linked the cases, the similarities are very apparent.
I personally believe that the cases are linked. I also think it’s very unfortunate for them and their families as they are both victims of circumstance. I believe that if it is the same killer, he (or she – let’s not get too stereotypical here) is a dangerous person that acts in a frenzied manner and on the spur of the moment. There are no real connections between the victims other than the way they died and where they died.
Both of these cases happened within a mile of where I used to live, where my family still live. It’s the town where many of my friends and family are and it is taking it’s toll on Colchester in general. The mood is sombre, the people are wary. There’s either a double killer out there, or more than one person with a knife attacking others. Whatever their motives whether it be premeditated, spur of the moment, whether the victims were random or planned, Colchester seems rather afraid. The council and police are working closely together to bring the communities together but you can tell even they are scared when they are telling people not to go out alone and to make sure someone knows their planned route if on foot.
Another thing that seems clear, is that after a handful of arrests, the police have no clue what they are dealing with right now. If they do, they are keeping it all tightly under wraps.
I still visit the town often, as I said, my family are still there, but I am glad I no longer live there. I don’t think I would feel safe with this going on and a killer walking free.
Whilst this is still the case, I wish the police a lot of luck to find the person or persons who commited these horrific crimes and the evidence they need to secure convictions to make my old town a safer place once again.