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OAP's killer being shielded say police

PUBLISHED: 16:19 14 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 March 2010

JOAN Albert's murderer is being shielded by someone in Capel St Mary the officer leading the hunt for her killer said today.

Almost five months the 79-year-old was stabbed to death Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert revealed the key to the killer's identity likely lies within the 8,000 strong community.

JOAN Albert's murderer is being shielded by someone in Capel St Mary the officer leading the hunt for her killer said today.

Almost five months the 79-year-old was stabbed to death Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert revealed the key to the killer's identity likely lies within the 8,000 strong community.

Keen to stress the murder enquiry has not stalled, Det Supt Lambert told the Evening Star: "Someone in Capel is withholding information, maybe deliberately. Capel St Mary is where the final piece of the jigsaw lies."

But despite sifting through more than 3,000 statements, including those of some 750 people seen in the area at the time of the pensioner's death, police are yet to make an arrest.

Due to the weight of evidence the murder squad recently increased from 20 to 29 officers. Det Supt Lambert said: "We are using every tool available to us to find the killer in this brutal murder."

But Det Supt Lambert, who headed the fruitless investigation into the killing of Vicky Hall, said he would not reveal any operational details that might aid the killer or prejudice a future trial.

He also ruled out any connection to the robbery at the home of a 59-year-old Felixstowe woman this month.

The masked raider in that incident was shrouded in a wolf mask, approached the back door – as in the case of Joan Lambert – and threatened to stab the woman unless she handed over cash.

But Det Supt Lambert said: "I know the MO (method) of the Capel Murder and it is very different from the Felixstowe attack."

But he refused to comment on whether detectives in the Capel murder were searching for a cold blooded murderer or an aggravated burglary that went wrong.

Exhibits' officer Detective Constable John Grant confirmed that police were waiting for the results of 15 to 20 submissions made to the forensic laboratory.

The submissions included samples from the body of the former hairdresser and evidence from her two-storey Boydlands' home where Mrs Albert lived alone.

DC Grant said: "We have all got theories on what went on. For a start it was an unusual house to target for a burglary because it was in the middle of an estate.

After house to house enquiries, last month police took the unusual step of writing to 700 Capel St Mary residents asking them to contact police.

They especially wanted to speak to seven out of 80 people who attended a line dancing class in a community hall close to Mrs Albert's home on the night of murder.

The owner of a white pick up van, seen parked close by, has also not been traced.

Joan Albert's nephew Trevor Cousins, who described his aunt as "elegant and immaculate" has repeatedly appealed for information.

He previously told the Evening Star: "This is something that will stay with our family forever. We want to see whoever killed Joan brought to justice. If anyone knows anything at all we urge them to please come forward and help the police to help us."

Det Supt Lambert today remained confident his men would catch the killer.

"I can't put a time frame on when it might be but I'm sure we will catch this man."


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