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New evidence in unsolved murder

PUBLISHED: 20:46 29 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:12 03 March 2010

IT was a haunting sight that would live for him for years – and now the firefighter who discovered the body of murdered pensioner Edna Harvey has come forward with fresh evidence after reading the first article in a compelling new Evening Star series looking at unsolved Suffolk murders.

A firefighter who discovered the body of murdered pensioner Edna Harvey has come forward with fresh evidence.

Noel Gould has spoken out after reading the first article in a compelling new Evening Star series looking at unsolved Suffolk murders.

Almost 18 years after the Ipswich murder of the frail Finchley Road pensioner, former station officer Mr Gould vividly remembers finding the 87-year-old's body.

Rather than breaking in, as police thought, he believes burglars may have simply slipped in through an open window.

Mr Gould, a retired station officer, said: "I remember it very well.

"It was Bank Holiday Monday and it had been a very hot day.

"I don't remember there being any signs of a break-in. It was a balmy night and the window may have been open.

"We were called when neighbours reported smoke coming from the front windows.

"I think I went through the door and a colleague went through a window. When we got into the bedroom the place had been ransacked and there were drawers everywhere."

Mr Gould, now 70, from Heathercroft Road, was a firefighter for 32 years.

He said: "The old lady was lying in bed in her nightclothes.

"She had bruising around her throat and it was obvious that foul play had taken place. That's when we called the police.

"They had obviously tried to burn the bed because it was smouldering, but beds don't burn very easily and the body was not badly burnt."

According to Mr Gould it appeared that Mrs Harvey had been murdered after disturbing burglars to her ground floor flat.

He said: "They took our fingerprints and I have kept up with the case over the years, even though I doubt if they'll catch anyone.

"I would like to see someone get caught for this, as much for the family's sake as anyone's."

But, according to the country's top criminal psychologist, Paul Britton, the killer of Mrs Harvey – whose strangled and burnt body was found in August 1984 – may still be found.

Last Monday the Star pledged a £1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Edna's killer.

In Monday's paper we asked an expert in arson to profile the killer.

The murderer is likely to have been male, aged around 20 at the time of the killing, with a physical imperfection such as poor vision or bad hearing.

Experts say arson is often committed by loners, who use the thrill of fire as a substitute for sex.

The killer is thought to be likely to have come from long-term foster care and to have suffered sexual abuse.

A police spokesman said: "The case will not be closed. Any new leads we may receive will be followed up."

n The Star has pledged £1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction in each of the county's unsolved murders including the killer of Felixstowe teenager Vicky Hall and Capel pensioner Joan Albert.

n Suffolk Unsolved continues on Monday with the perplexing case of Martlesham pensioner Doris Shelley.

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