Karen's last moments

DOTING mum Karen Hales made her fiancé some sandwiches and then waved him off to work.It was about 3.50pm on Sunday, November 21 1993 and Peter Ruffles was preparing for an evening shift at Ipswich's Constantine Road bus station, where he worked as a fitter.

Mark Bulstrode

DOTING mum Karen Hales made her fiancé some sandwiches and then waved him off to work.

It was about 3.50pm on Sunday, November 21 1993 and Peter Ruffles was preparing for an evening shift at Ipswich's Constantine Road bus station, where he worked as a fitter.

He arrived ten minutes later and was visited soon after by Karen's parents, Geraldine and Graham, who had a problem with their car they wanted to discuss.

After being told Karen was at home alone with their baby daughter Emily, Mr and Mrs Hales decided to call in.

They were met with a scene of unimaginable horror.

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As they approached Karen's modern Lavenham Road home, at 4.40pm, they noticed the front door had been left unlocked. This immediately struck them as strange, considering the number of burglaries in the area in the preceding weeks and Karen's safety conscious approach.

Tentatively, Mr and Mrs Hales let themselves in.

Mr Hales made his way to kitchen, where he had noticed a smell of smoke was coming from.

Here he found Karen's smouldering body - she had suffered multiple stab wounds and then been set on fire.

Close by was Karen's 18-month-old daughter, left helpless as her mum was brutally set upon by her vicious killer.

The nightmare scenes are believed to unfolded in front of her eyes.

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