A woman was found stabbed to death in the blood-splattered bathroom of her council flat in Buckland, just four days after she had celebrated her 90th birthday.
Police described the killing of frail Agnes Jervis as ‘frenzied, bizarre, and without apparent motive’.
Miss Jervis was found by a police constable who broke into her flat through a window after nearby residents had telephoned the police.
Neighbours were concerned about her welfare after not seeing Miss Jervis for nearly a week.
A postmortem examination revealed Miss Jervis had been stabbed several times in the upper part of her body.
The weapon used, said Detective Superintendent Norman Green, was a bread knife with a 10-inch blade with a serrated edge.
There was no apparent sign of a break-in at the flat and the murder appeared to be completely motiveless, he said.
Det Supt Green was leading a team of 50 detectives who were making house-to-house inquiries throughout the Buckland area.
Three women, aged 17, 18 and 22, were later arrested by Portsmouth detectives and charged with murder.