Killer David Fuller 'eliminated' from murder investigation into Portsmouth barmaid Linda Cook's death in 1986

A KILLER who murdered two women then went on to abuse 99 corpses has been discounted as a suspect in a Portsmouth cold case.

By Richard Lemmer
Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 1:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 3:02 pm

Hospital electrician David Fuller, 67, last week pleaded guilty to murdering Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, in two separate attacks in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1987.

He evaded justice for more than 30 years – going on to sexually abuse around 99 corpses in hospital morgues – before a breakthrough in DNA evidence led to his arrest last December.

National newspapers have reported police sources are looking into a possible connection with the murder of 24-year-old Linda Cook in 1986.

Photo issued by Kent Police of David Fuller who has pleaded guilty to murdering Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, in two separate attacks in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1987.

Her body was found in Lake Road just a mile from where the killer grew up in Angerstein Road in North End.

But Hampshire police said he has ‘eliminated from involvement in the murder of Linda Cook’ last year.

A spokesman said: ‘Any new information or evidence is reviewed as part of our regular assessment of unsolved murders.

‘This information was presented to Hampshire Constabulary last year and enquiries were conducted.

‘The individual was eliminated from involvement in the murder of Linda Cook.

Kent police said officers are having to ‘consider the possibility’ Fuller is responsible for other crimes but no evidence has yet linked him to other murder victims.

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The News extensively covered the investigation into Ms Cook’s death after the barmaid’s body was uncovered on wasteland just yards from a school playground.

A former Royal Navy, 18 years old at the time, was convicted over her death before fresh DNA evidence overturned his conviction. He spent 16 years behind bars before he was released.

Her death became known as the ‘Cinderella Murder’ as a footprint bearing the word ‘flash’ was left at the scene.

Parallels have been drawn with crimes Fuller admitted as a footprint was also left near Ms Knell’s body in 1987 after she was strangled by Fuller. This has led some officers to think the cases might be linked, The Sun has reported.

Officers are investigating potential further crimes committed by the murderer, who has also admitted sexually abusing female corpses while he worked inside hospital mortuaries.

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Fotheringham told The News: ‘Since Fuller was identified as a suspect, the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate has undertaken one of biggest investigations in the force’s history.

‘Part of this investigation has been to try and understand what drove Fuller to commit such violent and appalling acts and clearly we have also had to consider the possibility that he could be responsible for further violent and sexual offences over the past 30 to 40 years.

‘The investigation remains ongoing and is hugely complex, with many challenges and includes collaboration with other police forces, but at this stage there is no evidence to connect Fuller to any other murder victims.’

Fuller filmed himself having sex with dead bodies – including those of children – and officers found four million images of sexual abuse at his house in Sussex.

Earlier this month, Kent police released footage from an interview with the sex offences criminal regarding the mortuary offences.

Admitting the sexual penetration of corpses in the mortuary, Fuller told police: ‘I want to admit…I am admitting the offences but I don’t really want to go into detail.’

More than 400 people have called a police helpline set up on Friday for families who fear their relatives may have been abused by Fuller.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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